TMA Testimony: Fitnessgram - 06/17/2016
The state of Texas is suffering from an obesity epidemic, which is most glaring among our youth. Obesity usually begins in childhood. Obese children have an 80-percent chance of staying obese their entire lives. The average lifetime cost of obesity is more than half a million dollars for an obese child who remains obese throughout adulthood. In Texas, the numbers are staggering. Forty percent of children are either overweight or obese. Fitnessgram, a physical education assessment and reporting program required under current law for children in grades 3 through 12, measures a child’s aerobic capacity, muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility and body composition. SB 226 seeks to enhance this data by requiring school districts to provide the results of individual student performance without identifiers such as a student’s name, social security number or date of birth. The data is currently reported in aggregate form.