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Let's Get Moving: The Need for More Effective State-Level Physical Education Policies

Hong, Mina MSW, MPP; Valerio, Melissa A. PhD, MPH; Spencer, Michael PhD

doi: 10.1097/FCH.0b013e3181fdecda
Original Article

This study reviews obesity trends and physical education policies of 13 states with the highest and lowest youth obesity rates. A review of state policies for physical education was compared and analyzed. Although a majority of the states had physical education policies, they were typically not mandated and varied in time and grade-level requirements. However, little distinction in policies between states with higher and lower prevalence of obese youth was found. Financial and infrastructure support for the implementation and evaluation of physical education policies are needed, as well as innovative strategies including socioecological models to better address the obesity epidemic.

School of Social Work (Ms Mina Hong and Dr Michael Spencer) and Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, School of Public Health (Dr Valerio), University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Correspondence: Mina Hong, MSW, MPP, School of Social Work, University of Michigan, 1080 South University Ave, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 (

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