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      RS 17:17     


§17.  Physical fitness; students; findings; purpose

A.(1)  The legislature finds that childhood obesity is a growing problem in this state and that the promotion of physical activity and the promotion of the consumption of snacks of higher nutritional value during the school day for children are first steps in combating this problem and in changing the attitudes and behavior of citizens toward understanding the health benefits that can be derived from participation by children in physical education and activity and by providing and encouraging the consumption of more highly nutritious snacks.

(2)  The legislature further finds that regular physical activity and healthy eating habits can contribute to the protection from cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and other chronic diseases; reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety; help control weight; and help build and maintain healthy bones, muscles and joints.

B.  The purposes of this Section and R.S. 17:17.1, 17.2, and 17.3 shall be to accomplish the following objectives:

(1)  To promote, encourage, and motivate children of all physical abilities to participate in physical activity for children to reach their full potential as individuals.

(2)  To promote physical activity and fitness in schools by encouraging innovative physical education programs that consist of physical exertion of a moderate to vigorous intensity level.

(3)  To promote improved nutritional levels in children by providing for snacks with higher nutritional value during the school day.

(4)  To inform children and their parents about the importance of physical activity and improved nutrition and the effects of both on positive outcomes.

(5)  To increase parental awareness of their children's activity and fitness levels.

(6)  To promote daily physical activity, the enjoyment of physical activity, the improvement of nutritional levels and eating habits, and the development of lifelong patterns of physical activity.

Acts 2003, No. 814, §1, eff. July 1, 2003; Acts 2004, No. 734, §1, eff. July 6, 2004.

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