In the News: Fighting Obesity (Letter to the Editor)

This commentary originally appeared in the Houston Chronicle and the Longview News-Journal.
by Lauren Dimitry

Regarding "$37 million in PE grants did little to curb student obsesity" (Page B3, Wednesday), the article highlights the need for Texas leaders to focus on preventing childhood obesity and improving the physical fitness of our state's students.

The grants were designed to improve PE classes and student fitness and, as the article notes, the funding met those goals. Tackling obesity, on the other hand, requires implementing multiple approaches at the same time, such as good nutrition education, physical fitness, reducing sugar from school meals and snacks, improving access to affordable fresh vegetables and fruits, and ensuring safe and accessible community sports and park areas.

The research cited in the article demonstrates the need for Texas leaders to support multiple approaches to reducing childhood obesity, develop a comprehensive strategy, and evaluate program effectiveness so more Texas children grow up healthy and have the energy and focus they need in the classroom.

Lauren Dimitry, Health and Fitness Policy Associate, Texans Care for Children, Austin