The rate of childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years -- and obesity related health care, along with lost worker productivity, now costs our nation over $270 billion annually. It is absolutely essential that we implement preventative policies to create a fit future for our children, and stop the public health epidemic that obesity has become.
That is why I introduced legislation in the House of Representatives that requires all public schools to provide minimum requirements of physical education time for all students. The Physical Education to Create a Healthier Nation Act (H.R. 422) requires elementary schools to have at least 150 minutes of physical education per week for students. For middle and high schools, it requires at least 225 minutes of physical education per week for students. The mandated physical education levels are those currently recommended by the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE), a non-profit association dedicated to quality in physical education and sport.
It is terrifying that right now, we are raising the first ever generation of Americans to have shorter life expectancies than their parents. This legislation is an important first step in recognizing the seriousness of childhood obesity, and working towards preventative solutions that makes America a happier, healthier nation.
JOE BACA, Congressman
43rd Congressional District