CDC Report Finds American Kids Are Not Active Enough
A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report released today on children's physical activity, the first of its kind, says the percentage of children who are overweight has doubled since 1980, and that in order to remedy the problem, schools and families will have to "overhaul" how they perceive physical activity, USA Today reports. At present, approximately 25% of children are overweight or at risk of becoming overweight, and participation in high school physical education classes has dropped to 29% in 1999 from 42% in 1991. CDC Director Jeffrey Koplan said the report, which was requested by President Clinton, is "addressing a new generation of young people who are in large part inactive, unfit and increasingly overweight." The report offers several recommendations for increasing activity among children, including: helping children receive quality daily physical education and health education that will encourage them to adopt healthy lifestyles; encouraging parents to set a good example for their children by becoming active themselves; helping communities develop sidewalks, bike paths, trails and recreation facilities that are well maintained, safe and close to home; and implementing a media campaign to promote physical education (Hellmich, USA Today, 11/29).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.