A new report has shown that New York city students are overweight or obese - with about half the youngsters in some zip codes tipping the scales too heavily.
In the largest study of childhood obesity ever conducted in the city, 40 pc of kindergartners through eighth-graders - more than 250,000 kids - were found to be too heavy.
Officials say even though the data seem startling, the rate of obesity in city kids is actually flat-lining, while it's rising nationwide.
"While it would be great if we saw the numbers go down, it is encouraging that they're holding steady," the New York Daily News quoted Laurie Benson, executive director of the Department of Education's Office of School Wellness, referring to previous studies with smaller sample sizes, as saying.
The report based on Fitnessgram assessments of more than 635,000 kids in eighth grade or lower, showed wide variation in obesity levels throughout different neighborhoods.
In the upper West Side zip code of 10069, less than 12 pc of kids were found to be obese or overweight. But in Corona's 11368, a shocking 51 pc of kids were found to be too heavy.
The report also found that about 48 pc of children in two Central Harlem/Morningside Heights zip codes - 10037 and 10039 - are too heavy.
About 47pc of kids in four zip codes in Washington Heights/Inwood - 10031, 10040, 10033, 10032 - are overweight or obese.
More than 46 pc of youngsters in Williamsburg/Bushwick's 11237 and East Harlem's 10029 are carrying too much weight.
City officials conceded that the dramatic geographic divide is disappointing but not surprising.