|Posted:||April 4, 2019 11:48 AM|
|From:||Representative Frank A. Farry and Rep. Perry S. Warren|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Resolution - Designating April 22-26, 2019, as "Every Kid Healthy Week" in Pennsylvania|
|In the near future, we will be introducing a resolution that will designate the week of April 22-26, 2019, as “Every Kid Healthy Week” 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 and play are essential elements for child development, overall health, and a well-rounded education. Not only does research show that physical activity improves sleep, contributes to a more positive mood and self-esteem, and helps students concentrate in class and contribute to improved grades, but creating healthy habits now can help fight against a chronic disease later in adulthood.
It has been recommended by the United States Department of Health and Human Services in its “Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans” that children and adolescents ages 6-17 should have 60 minutes of physical activity daily. However, only 24% of children in the United States reach this recommendation at least five days per week. In Pennsylvania, fewer than 1 in 3 children meet this recommended level of physical activity. Pennsylvania has the 14th highest obesity rate for youth ages 10-17. Regular physical activity in children and adolescents promotes health and fitness and lifelong lessons that children carry with them into adulthood. Establishing healthy behaviors during childhood is easier and more effective than trying to change unhealthy behaviors during adulthood.
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. In Pennsylvania we have come to have some of the nation’s highest health costs. Currently, we rank 12th out of the 50 states in healthcare spending per capita.
We are 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 22-26 as “Every Kid Healthy Week.”
Please join us in cosponsoring this resolution.
Introduced as HR223