TPHC to Legislature: Reinstate FitnessGram for Healthy Children

Testimony by Eduardo J. Sanchez, MD, MPH

House Appropriations Committee
Article III Subcommittee

Feb. 20, 2017

Members of the Article III Subcommittee,

The Texas Public Health Coalition (TPHC) is an alliance of more than 35 health professional and health-focused organizations dedicated to disease prevention and health promotion. The coalition works to reduce preventable disease by advancing effective public policies that promote a healthy and safe environment for all Texans.

Part of our mission is to prioritize and advocate for statewide policies, programming, and funding to address public health issues, and to monitor our state’s progress on these issues. Today we submit testimony urging you to restore the $2 million in Texas Education Agency (TEA) funding for the FitnessGram program. This funding provides TEA with an assessment instrument to collect and analyze fitness measures in schools.

TPHC recognizes obesity as a serious condition for our young Texans and supports public policy that promotes healthy and active students. Schools play a critical role in helping students establish healthy behaviors, which can have long-term effects on the students’ academic achievement, and physical and mental health. The fitness assessment targets our students who are already enrolled in a physical education course, and measures a variety of physical fitness components including aerobic capacity, muscular strength, and body composition.

The annual fitness testing provides useful information that can help enlighten students and their parents about the student’s individual fitness level and goals. The information also can help guide educators and community leaders in designing and targeting interventions to help improve the health and academic success of our students. Further, having concrete data in a community helps secure funding for community-level programming.

The fitness assessments continue to be a critical tool in helping us monitor obesity in our state. We ask for your serious consideration of our request to restore funding for this important tool so we can continue to address the serious problem of obesity in Texas.

And remember, fit kids are smart kids.

Last Updated On

February 22, 2017

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