April 06, 2008

Coalition Seeks Support for 'Moore' Physical Education

Contact: Mark Woodard, Community Organizer for Maryland Healthy
Schools Coalition: 410-207-4088

WHEATON, MD—National Health Advocates Join Maryland
Physicians Supporting Physical Fitness in Public Schools.

The Maryland Healthy Schools Coalition calls state lawmakers to enact a
Physical Education Bill to ensure that young school children participate
in a daily program of physical activity. Physicians and medical experts
have found this would help combat childhood obesity, a leading cause of
Type II diabetes, and other chronic and sometimes fatal diseases.

Coalition urges Montgomery County Delegates Sheila Hixson, District 20
(Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee) and Anne Kaiser, District
14, (Chair of the Education subcommittee for Ways and Means) to pass the
bill out of committee and push it toward final passage. Both Hixson and
Kaiser are key leaders who could help pass HB 503 in their respective

Increased physical education legislation has failed in committee for the
past two years. The Montgomery County Board of Education is opposed to
any state legislative mandate extending required physical education
time, although the county's Physical Education program continues to be
ranked at the bottom among MD counties for the amount of time elementary
school students participate in physical education.

The Maryland Healthy Schools Coalition consists of the following
organizations: American Academy of Pediatrics, Maryland Chapter,
American Cancer Society, American Diabetes Association, American Heart
Association and Maryland Association for Health, Physical Education and

The coalition is rallying public support for the "Bryan Moore Student
Health and Fitness Act" (HB 503), legislation to provide for a daily
program of physical activity for children in grades Pre K- 5th grade.

The program would require physical activity totaling 150 minutes per
week that includes a minimum of 90 minutes of Physical Education with
the balance to be gained through recess and other developmentally
appropriate, moderate to vigorous physical activity.

The bill is named for student Bryan Moore, a young student who suffers
from Type II Diabetes--the form which used to afflict adults, but is now
increasingly seen among young people as well.

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