LA kids receive "D" on health report card

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The Pennington Biomedical Research Center (PBRC) in Baton Rouge released its second statewide report card on children's health Monday, but the grade was the same as last year.

Researchers said Louisiana children received an overall grade of "D," which is unimproved from last year. They also announced a statewide public health conference to focus on improving children's health, specifically regarding physical activity and obesity.

Peter Katzmarzyk, Ph.D., PBRC's associate executive director for population science, said Louisiana's grade can be improved. The report card listed specific recommendations for parents, teachers and school administrators, and policy makers.

1.  Parents should spend time with their children in healthy outdoor activities and ensure children have adequate free time to be physically active.

2. Teachers and school administrators should incorporate physical activity breaks during and between classes and restructure physical education programs to teach more life-time and individual goal-based skills such as tennis, golf and dancing.

3. Policy makers should provide tax credits to parents whose children participate in physical activity programs as a way of off-setting fees, equipment and uniforms.

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