U.S. schools and childcare programs could be required to include daily exercise as part of the new National Physical Activity Plan released recently. This is, in my opinion, critical to the health of our school children – physically, emotionally, and intellectually.
In my book SuperSized Kids: How to protect your child from the obesity threat and on my SuperSized Kids Web site I write at some length about this problem. (You can learn more about my book from the links at the bottom of this blog.) Here are a few of the facts I discuss:
Here’s more on the new plan from Reuters Health:
With two-thirds of adult Americans and a third of children overweight or obese, the need for more activity is dire, health experts said in launching the plan.
The plan calls for changes in medical school curricula, local regulations to encourage construction of sidewalks, playgrounds and parks, guidelines for doctors on counseling patients, and a return of organized exercise to school days.
The report acknowledged what it said was pressure on schools to improve academic standards. “These pressures, combined with the trend toward children being driven to school and other factors, have reduced the amount of time children and adolescents are physically active during the school day.”
The plan was launched by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, the National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity, American Heart Association and the American College of Sports Medicine. It spans law, policy, schools and medicine with recommendations that include:
Most research shows that adults and children alike need at least one hour of moderate physical activity a day to stay healthy and keep from gaining weight. Regular exercise reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke and other chronic illnesses.
“Unfortunately, nearly a quarter of the U.S. population does not participate in any physical activities,” Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown said in a statement.
Until such a plan is implemented, what can you and your family do? Obtain a copy of SuperSized Kids: How to protect your child from the obesity threat and review loads of tips on how to protect your family: