Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Overwhelmingly States Exercise Right to Legislate PE

Next fall, Florida’s school children will be part of a trend reversal in which some states are starting to bring back physical education classes to combat childhood obesity. “We’re talking about young kids cooped up in the classroom all day, and for health reasons — physical health, mental health, and probably the mental health of the teachers as well — we’ve got to get those kids out there and let them run off some energy,” said Florida state Rep. Will Weatherford (R), the bill’s sponsor.

Since 2005, seven states — including Florida and Mississippi this year — have decided to bring back P.E. by mandating how often and how long students should be physically active at school. In all, about 20 states now have some sort of requirement about the length or frequency of P.E. classes, according to Trust for America’s Health, a preventive-health advocacy group.

Change is in the air..............
This year at least 18 state legislatures have considered bills to set or increase the minimum number of P.E. minutes required, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

For a comprehensive look at what states are doing in the area of childhood obesity, physical education, and nutrition legislation download the "F" as in Fat: How obesity policies are failing in America.