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Chronic Disease Risk Factors Increasing Among Children

by Grace H. on Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Recent research shows children and adolescents are being diagnosed with high blood pressure, a risk factor for heart disease and stroke, at an increasing rate. Increasing body mass index, a weight to height ratio that indicates a healthy or unhealthy weight, is pointed to as a potential cause. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 12% of Idaho youth are overweight and 8.8% are obese (as determined by their body mass index).

With increasing rates of childhood obesity and the corresponding risk of chronic disease, it is more important than ever to teach healthy habits. All the more reason to ensure Idaho’s Board of Education prioritizes physical education in Idaho schools.

PE is an essential part of the school curriculum, helping students learn lifelong healthy habits. In fact, research has shown that healthy children learn more effectively and achieve more academically. Yet there is currently no minimum class time requirement for physical education in Idaho elementary, middle or high schools.

The Idaho Board of Education will consider setting statewide standards for physical education at their August meeting. You can send the Board your message of support here.

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