|April 10, 2017 03:17 PM
|Representative James R. Santora
|All House members
|Co-sponsor Memo - Every Kid Healthy Week in Pennsylvania April 24-28 Resolution
|In the near future, I will be introducing a Resolution that will designate the week of April 24th – 28th, of the year 2017, as “Every Kid Healthy Week” here in Pennsylvania. This will bring an already nationally recognized week to the Commonwealth, ensuring we are doing our part to raise awareness regarding the importance of kids practicing healthy behaviors.
Evidence shows that increasing physical activity has a number of benefits for kids, including: 1) losing weight; 2) improving academic performance, insulin response, and blood lipid levels in obese children; and 3) preventing obesity, and/or other related chronic diseases, later on in adulthood.
The obesity and physical inactivity epidemics in the United States are well known; in most states – including here in Pennsylvania – over a quarter of citizens are considered obese. In Pennsylvania, 14% of children ages 10-17 are obese and less than 20% meet the recommended levels of aerobic, and muscle strengthening, physical activities. These obese youth are more likely to: have risk factors for heart disease, have pre-diabetes, experience bone and joint problems, get sleep apnea, and develop psychological problems.
This issue has gone beyond public health, as increasing levels of obesity and physical inactivity are directly linked to increasing government healthcare costs. Nationally, 75% of healthcare expenditures go toward diagnosing and treating chronic diseases, many of which have been linked to obesity and physical inactivity. Here in Pennsylvania, we have come to have some of the nation’s highest health costs. Currently, we rank 11th out of 51 in healthcare spending per capita.
I am encouraging the legislature to recognize the importance of a physically active lifestyle and the role it plays in the physical, psychological, and academic well-being of Pennsylvania’s children by designating April 24th – 28th “Every Kid Healthy Week.”
Please join me in co-sponsoring this Resolution
Introduced as HR282