California schools give a series of physical fitness tests each year to students in grades fifth, seventh and ninth. Among those is the “body composition” measure, based on the Body Mass Index and other tests to determine the percentage of a student’s body fat. Each student is then classified as being in the “Healthy Fitness Zone,” “needs improvement,” or “health risk.”


Tests administered to this year’s freshman class in Bay Area schools showed that while more than half fell into the healthy zone, the rate varied substantially in the nine counties.1. Marin — 76.3%2. Santa Clara — 69%3. San Mateo — 67.8%4. Contra Costa — 66.5%5. Alameda — 65.5%6. San Francisco — 65%7. Napa — 64.1%8. Sonoma — 61.9%9. Solano — 60.3%[bar color=”Accent-Color” title=”1. Marin” percent=”76.3″][bar color=”Extra-Color-1″ title=”2. Santa Clara” percent=”69″][bar color=”Accent-Color” title=”3. San Mateo” percent=”67.8″][bar color=”Extra-Color-1″ title=”4. Contra Costa” percent=”66.5″][bar color=”Accent-Color” title=”5. Alameda” percent=”65.5″][bar color=”Extra-Color-1″ title=”6. San Francisco” percent=”65″][bar color=”Accent-Color” title=”7. Napa” percent=”64.1″][bar color=”Extra-Color-1″ title=”8. Sonoma” percent=”61.9″][bar color=”Accent-Color” title=”9. Solano” percent=”60.3″]While the test results do stay in the student’s permanent record, a poor result doesn’t trigger any additional action beyond a recommendation to the student and parents to improve fitness. Schools are encouraged to reward students for improvement rather than performance, while keeping individual results confidential.

Source: California Department of Education

Daniel J. Willis