Calif. schools don't get kids moving

June 9, 2006

Just over half of California school districts that include elementary school students fail to provide an average of 20 minutes daily of physical activity.

The districts include the Los Angeles Unified School District, which was a pioneer in banning junk food from its campuses, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

"Our priorities are tragically skewed," said Harold Goldstein, executive director of the California Center for Public Health Advocacy. "We're in the midst of a severe and growing childhood obesity epidemic, and yet most of our children are missing out on even the most basic school physical-activity opportunities."

A spokesman for the Los Angeles district said teachers are under so much pressure to include academic activities that physical education gets "pushed to one side." He said the district is attempting to train teachers to incorporate active play into the day.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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