This week, state Sen. Jane Nelson, a Republican from Flower Mound, introduced legislation to combat childhood obesity by requiring more P.E. time for school-age children. S.B. 890 was one of three pieces of legislation she introduced this week "designed to improve the health of Texas' youth," according to her press release. The proposed legislation is aimed at kids from kindergarten through eighth grade, and calls for state school districts to require that students "participate in moderate or vigorous daily physical activity for at least 30 minutes throughout the school year."
"We must teach our children good health habits and ensure they exercise every day," Nelson tells Unfair Park. "Unfortunately, P.E. has been de-emphasized at a time when the health of our youth is in serious danger."
Nelson is referring to the results of a study that ranked Texas as sixth in the nation for childhood obesity. More than one-third of the state's kids are overweight or obese. Appropriately, Dr. William Sears -- many new parents' favorite advice-giver -- is bringing to Dallas at the end of the month his L.E.A.N. Program aimed at teaching kids between 3 and 12 better nutrition and exercise habits.
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"If we fail to act, this generation will lead shorter lives than their parents," Nelson says. "We cannot let that happen. Plus, studies show a strong correlation between a student's fitness and their academic achievement."