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A New Law on School Fitness Data Faces Obstacles

September 24, 2011
by Morgan Smith
New York Times

Texas children are fat — and getting fatter.

The State Legislature has already set nutritional standards for school meals.

It is something state policy makers have known and have struggled to address for years. In the last decade, the Legislature has passed laws that set nutritional standards for school meals, required body mass index screenings for children and adolescents, and instituted physical activity requirements.

The latest effort came during this year’s legislative session with a bill passed by Senator Jane Nelson, Republican of Flower Mound, that allows a deeper study of schools’ fitness data.

Under the new law, researchers can access unidentified individual student data, which they say will help bolster aggregate analyses that already show correlations between physical fitness and academic performance, gang activity and absenteeism.

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