Combating Childhood Obesity

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White, Elizabeth Lytle
Childhood obesity rates have grown at a very high rate in the past three decades. Although it is highly recommended that school age children get at least sixty minutes of moderate to vigorous activity per day, many physical education programs are being cut drastically. Due to the fact that there are no national requirements for physical education, states and individual school districts are able to change physical education programs as they choose to. Those programs that are in place often do not achieve their goal of teaching children lifetime physical activities to help enhance their level of fitness. By using physical fitness test results, physical education teachers should be able to modify their programs to help students increase their level of fitness and help them to avoid becoming overweight or obese. This research study will allow us to collect and examine information provided by the physical fitness tests given to sixth through eighth graders in St. Lawrence County. Nutrition information will also be collected and examined. By doing this, physical education teachers should be able to determine weaknesses in their own program. By recognizing our weaknesses, we should then be able to tailor the physical education program to help overcome these weaknesses and combat obesity in general.