Our regular readers know that we here at Sip & Savor often talk about physical activity as a way to balance out calories consumed from food and beverages. We also recognize that schools are a unique space for children - which is why a recent report from the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) is particularly concerning.
NASPE recently issued their “Shape of the Nation” report for 2012, providing a picture of the state of physical education programs in this country. The report recommends that elementary schools provide 30 minutes a day of instructional physical education, and 45 minutes a day for middle and high school students. Unfortunately, no states follow these guidelines in their entirety. In fact, only six states (Illinois, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New York and Vermont) require physical education for students in kindergarten through high school.
Our industry understands the significant impact that voluntary programs like our School Beverage Guidelines can have in making meaningful changes. Through the School Beverage Guidelines, we’ve reduced the total beverage calories shipped to schools today by 90 percent.
But while we are doing our part, we won’t be able to conquer childhood obesity on our own. We need all groups – parents, teachers, schools, community leaders, government and private industry – to come together to promote physical activity and educate people about moderation in the diet. That way, we can really approach this very serious issue comprehensively.