Originally published Oct. 9, 2017 in the Herald Sun.
As a pediatrician, it is my job to advocate for the health of our children. It is also my job to promote and advocate for evidence-based programs and policies that work. That is why I believe so strongly that we must require high-quality, regular physical education in our North Carolina schools. There are three very clear benefits of physical education for our state’s youth.
The first benefit is for their health. Physical inactivity has replaced smoking as the most common cause of preventable death in the U.S. Since the early days of our country, the lifespan of each generation has been longer than the previous one. Sadly, for the first time in our history, this generation will live shorter, sicker lives than their parents due to the epidemic of obesity—and this is completely preventable.