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J Obes. 2013;2013:483017. doi: 10.1155/2013/483017. Epub 2013 May 13.

Policy challenges in the fight against childhood obesity: low adherence in San Diego area schools to the California Education Code regulating physical education.

Author information

  • 1Division of Pediatric Endocrinology, Department of Pediatrics, Rady Children's Hospital San Diego, 3020 Children's Way MC 5103, San Diego, CA 92123, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Assess the adherence to the Physical Education (PE) requirements per California Education Code in San Diego area schools.

METHODS:

Surveys were administered anonymously to children and adolescents capable of physical activity, visiting a specialty clinic at Rady Children's Hospital San Diego. The main questions asked were their gender, grade, PE classes per week, and time spent doing PE.

RESULTS:

324 surveys were filled, with 36 charter-school students not having to abide by state code excluded. We report on 288 students (59% females), mostly Hispanic (43%) or Caucasian (34%). In grades 1-6, 66.7% reported under the 200 min per 10 school days required by the PE code. Only 20.7% had daily PE. Average PE days/week was 2.6. In grades 7-12, 42.2% had reported under the 400 min per 10 school days required. Daily PE was noted in 47.8%. Average PE days/week was 3.4. Almost 17% had no PE, more so in the final two grades of high school (45.7%).

CONCLUSIONS:

There is low adherence to the California Physical Education mandate in the San Diego area, contributing to poor fitness and obesity. Lack of adequate PE is most evident in grades 1-6 and grades 11-12. Better resources, awareness, and enforcement are crucial.

PMID:
23762537
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3666203
Free PMC Article
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