With childhood obesity reaching epidemic proportions the time for action is now. The problem has many causes and it will take many different approaches to effectively solve it. Parents, teachers, schools, children, lawmakers, and others all need to be accountable. A report released by State Comptroller Susan Combs stated that obesity costs Texas businesses an estimated $3.3 billion due to health care costs, absenteeism, lost productivity, and disability. From a sheer business perspective we cannot afford to overlook this issue.
Obesity is of course a major risk factor for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, many forms of cancer and a host of other health problems. Most everyone agrees that it is imperative to stop obesity before it starts. Overweight adolescents have a 70% chance of becoming overweight or obese adults.
With the Texas Legislature back in session the American Heart Association will be supporting a bill that will improve physical education in the state. The bill will increase daily physical activity, require certified PE instructors, and strengthen PE requirements for students. Tell your lawmakers to support this and other AHA priorities during the 2009 Legislative Session