Obesity tools: CT middle of the pack in physical education report; improved home ec classes described

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25.7 % of CT children are overweight or obese and policymakers are looking to the quality of physical education as one tool to address it. A new report by the National Association for Sport and Physical Education finds that CT’s state policies are better than some states and worse than others – we require physical education in elementary and high school, but not middle school. CT does not collect height and weight data on students making policy decisions, targeting resources, and evaluation of initiatives more difficult.

The Wall Street Journal Blog reports on what is needed in effective PE classes as well as other pieces of the solution to obesity including healthy eating. The authors argue that schools should require revamped home economics classes as well as physical education. The blog quotes a JAMA commentary describing improved home ec classes as giving students “the basic principles they will need to feed themselves and their families within the current food environment,” including “basic cooking techniques; caloric requirements; sources of food, from farm to table; budget principles; food safety; nutrient information, where to find it and how to use it; and effects of food on well-being and risk for chronic disease.”
Ellen Andrews