California Endowment: $35M program led to healthier schools

The California Endowment reports its $35 million investment in health programs in a handful of low-income communities has paid off.

In a study released Wednesday, the Endowment said the effort has resulted in better eating habits, better fresh food options and healthier lifestyles in those communities

Residents in Oakland, Shasta County, South Los Angeles, Baldwin Park, Santa Ana and Chula Vista were targeted because they typically had higher rates of obesity and poverty-related health problems.

The Endowment worked with local officials to bring salad bars to some schools, put mini-marts in contact with local farmers to supply fresh produce and improve public physical fitness facilities.

Sixteen new farmers markets and produce stands were opened all over California through the Endowment's efforts.

The California Endowment is a private health foundation.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.