New bill would bring 90 minutes of physical activity into school - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

New bill would bring 90 minutes of physical activity into schools

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

It's a startling statistic: South Carolina has one of the highest childhood obesity rates in the nation. Now a new bill aims to not only solve that problem, but save taxpayer money in the process.

It's a problem seen in virtually every school in America, especially in the Palmetto State, where middle school and high school students aren't required to participate in any physical activity.

"About 30 percent of kids in South Carolina are overweight or obese," said exercise physiologist Dr. Russell Pate.

But a bill to bring 90 minutes of physical activity a week into all K through 12 classroom aims to put a dent in those statistics.

"It can be classroom exercise breaks, activities that kids performed first thing in the morning while announcements are being made over the PA system," said Pate.

The bill, sponsored by Lexington Sen. Katrina Shealy, aims to ultimately reduce the costly result of childhood inactivity.

"She hears from taxpayers citing their concern about the high cost of health care and obesity is a contributing factor to that," said Amy Splittgerber from the Eat Smart, Move More organization. "We need to raise a generation of healthier children."

If passed, the bill would likely take effect in the 2014-2015 school year.

Copyright 2013 WIS. All rights reserved.

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