As school systems across the country are battling to make ends meet during the recession, one of the first programs that schools are reducing or eliminating is physical education. Many health experts say as our children are living more sedentary lifestyles, the need for physical activity in schools is greater then ever before. USC professor of exercise science, Dr. Russ Pate, is a national expert on physical activity.
Pate recently testified before a U.S. Senate committee about the importance of physical activity in schools. Pate supports the FIT Kids Act that recently passed the U.S. House and is under consideration in the Senate. The FIT Kids Act stands for the Fitness Integrated with Teaching Kids Act. Pate says the FIT Kids Act would work to shine the light of day on what schools are and aren’t doing with regard to providing high quality physical education programs.
Pate says he does not want to sound like an alarmist but he is concerned about school children’s long-term health if they continue the pattern of less and less physical activity coupled with a diet of processed and fast foods loaded with salt, fats and sugar. Pate says while he is working to see that physical education takes a more important role in schools, teaching children about eating healthy goes hand-and-hand with the overall promotion of creating a nation of citizens who practice living healthy and fit.