H. R. 1585
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
To increase awareness of physical activity opportunities at school, and for other purposes.
This Act may be cited as the
Fitness Integrated with Teaching Kids Act or the
FIT Kids Act.
Congress finds the following:
Childhood obesity has reached epidemic proportions in the United States.
Researchers estimate that medical costs of the obesity epidemic may total as much as $147,000,000,000 annually.
The prevalence of overweight in children between the ages of 6 and 11 years increased from 4.0 percent between 1971 to 1974 to 17.5 percent between 2001 to 2004, and the prevalence of overweight in adolescents between the ages of 12 and 19 years increased from 6.1 percent to 17.0 percent.
Recent studies indicating that 17 percent of 6 to 11 year-olds and 17.6 percent of 12 to 19 year-olds are considered obese. Furthermore, 33 percent of 6 to 11 year-olds and 34 percent of 12 to 19 year-olds are overweight; these rates have roughly doubled since 1980.
Of all United States deaths from major chronic disease, 23 percent are linked to sedentary lifestyles that now begin at childhood.
Overweight adolescents have a 70 to 80 percent chance of becoming overweight adults, increasing their risk for chronic disease, disability, and death.
A decline in physical activity has contributed to the unprecedented epidemic of childhood obesity.
The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans published by the Secretary of Health and Human Services recommend that children engage in 60 minutes or more of physical activity each day.
In a 2005 Government Accountability Office report on key strategies to include in programs designed to target childhood obesity,
increasing physical activity was identified as the most important component in any such program.
Part of the decline in physical activity has been in our Nation’s schools, where physical education programs have been cut back in the past 2 decades.
The national standard for physical education frequency, as outlined in the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, is 150 minutes per week in elementary school and 225 minutes per week in middle school and high school.
Only 3.8 percent of elementary schools, 7.9 percent of middle schools, and 2.1 percent of high schools provide daily physical education or its equivalent for the entire school year, and 22 percent of schools do not require students to take any physical education at all.
Among children ages 9 to 13, 61.5 percent do not participate in any organized physical activity during out-of-school hours.
Regular physical activity is associated with a healthier, longer life and a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and some cancers.
Research suggests a strong correlation between children’s fitness and their academic performance as measured by grades in core subjects and standardized test scores.
Approximately 81 percent of adults believe daily physical education should be mandatory in schools.
Increasing awareness of physical activity opportunities at school
Local educational agencies
Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act, and annually thereafter, each local educational agency located in a State receiving funds under part A of title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 6311 et seq.) shall—
post on its Internet website, or otherwise make available to parents and families of students served by the agency, information on healthful eating habits, physical education, and physical activity, including information on—
the importance of a healthy lifestyle (including healthful eating habits, physical education, and physical activity) for an effective learning environment;
how schools served by the agency are promoting healthy lifestyles, including information on applicable elementary school and secondary school programs and policies regarding nutrition, physical education, and physical activity (including coordinated school health plans or local wellness policies, as applicable);
whether the schools served by the agency follow an age-appropriate physical education curriculum for all elementary school and secondary school students enrolled in the schools that adheres to national guidelines adopted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the Department of Health and Human Services or the State in which the school is located;
the most recent national recommendations for physical education and physical activity for elementary school and secondary school students, as established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the Department of Health and Human Services; and
a description of the amount of time that students in kindergarten through grade 12 served by the agency are required to spend in physical education, disaggregated by grade level, including information on criteria for granting students a waiver or exemption, or allowing a substitution for the requirement; and
assist each school served by the agency in collecting and disseminating (such as through the Internet website of the school) to parents and families of students enrolled in the school, information on—
whether the school follows an age-appropriate physical education curriculum for all students enrolled in the school that adheres to national guidelines adopted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of Health and Human Services or the State in which the school is located;
the most recent national recommendations for physical education and physical activity for elementary school and secondary school students, as established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the Department of Health and Human Services;
the requirements described in paragraph (1)(E);
a description of the facilities available for physical education and physical activity for students enrolled in the school; and
if applicable, any health and wellness council (such as a school health council or local wellness policy council) located in the school or that the school is involved with, including information on—
opportunities for parental involvement; and
meeting dates and agendas.
State educational agencies
Submission; information availability
Not later than 15 days after a local educational agency described in subsection (a) posts on its Internet website the information described in subsection (a)(1)(E), and annually thereafter, the local educational agency shall provide to the applicable State educational agency the information described in such subsection.
Additional duties of the state educational agency
A State educational agency that receives information under paragraph (1) shall ensure that the information is made available to the general public within a reasonable period of time, such as through the Internet website of the State educational agency.
Studies on Physical Activity and Fitness
National research council study
Subject to the availability of funds appropriated to carry out this subsection, the Secretary of Education shall enter into a contract with the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences to—
examine and make recommendations regarding—
various means that may be employed to incorporate physical activity into elementary school and secondary school settings, and before- and after-school programs;
innovative and effective ways to increase physical activity for all students in kindergarten through grade 12; and
efforts to encourage the participation of students with disabilities in physical education programs and the types of accommodations used to increase the participation of such students;
study the impact of health, level of physical activity, and amount of physical education on students’ ability to learn and maximize performance in school; and
study and provide specific recommendations for effectively measuring the progress students, at the elementary school and secondary school level, in increasing physical activity and improving their health and well-being, including improving their—
knowledge, awareness, and behavior, related to nutrition and physical activity;
cognitive development, and fitness, with physical education;
knowledge of lifetime physical activity and health promotion; and
performance on overall health indicators, including flexibility, endurance, strength, balance, and blood pressure.
National fitness study
Subject to the availability of funds to carry out this subsection, the Secretary of Education shall conduct a study on the participation of students in physical education and other physical activities in public elementary schools and public secondary schools that—
examines student participation in exercise (including sports and active games), including the types, frequency, duration, and seasonality of exercise participation, through—
school physical education classes;
other school programs; and
intramural activities; and
assesses student physical activity and fitness levels.
Authorization of appropriations
There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary to carry out this section for fiscal year 2011.
Dissemination of best practices
Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Education shall identify and make available to State educational agencies and local educational agencies, best practices on innovative physical education and physical activity policies and programs at the State and local level, including best practices that—
identify and address common challenges to States and local educational agencies in implementing physical education and physical activity policies and programs, including barriers for meeting national recommendations for physical education and physical activity in schools, as established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the Department of Health and Human Services; and
meet or are working toward meeting the national recommendations for physical education and physical activity in schools, as established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the Department of Health and Human Services.
Updating best practices
The Secretary shall update the best practices described in subsection (a) after completion of the study carried out under section 4(a).
Promoting the HealthierUS school challenge
The Secretary of Education, in collaboration with the Secretary of Agriculture, shall encourage schools to participate in the HealthierUS School Challenge of the Food and Nutrition Service of the Department of Agriculture.
Except as otherwise provided, any term used in this Act that is defined in section 9101 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 7801) shall have the meaning given the term in such section.
Passed the House of Representatives April 21, 2010.
Lorraine C. Miller,