Pennsylvania School District Combats Childhood Obesity

kids exerciseChildhood obesity is on the rise and a new study has even shown that kids whose parents are overweight are more likely to become overweight themselves.

This is becoming a very serious public health issue, since being overweight or obese can cause a whole slew of health complications, such as high blood pressure, stroke, cancer, and many more.

What can we do to help kids stay healthy and avoid all of these problems?

In Pennsylvania, a new proposal will require schools to take a step in the right direction of helping students learn healthy habits. The proposal requires schools to add 30 minutes of “daily moderate to vigorous physical activity into the school day.” This extra 30 minutes is to be in addition to regular physical education classes, not in place of them.

The proposal also requires schools to improve the students’ diets by removing the junk food that is in schools. This can be accomplished by “establishing baseline nutritional standards for foods sold in vending machines and through fundraisers.”

Compared to other nutritional and physical education requirements in school districts around the country, Pennsylvania’s would be one of the strongest and most beneficial in preventing childhood obesity.

“The research is clear: young people need at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day,” said State Board of Education Chairman, Joe Torsella. “With children spending nearly one-third to one-half of their waking hours in school each day, we have an obligation to meet them halfway on a critical public  health goal.”

Some are worried that it will be difficult to squeeze an extra 30 minutes into the already busy school day. My suggestions?

Combine it with other classes, like the Read and Ride program, or shorten summer break to allow for more educational hours, like President Obama is in favor of doing.

Via The Patriot News

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