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The impact of state physical education requirements on youth physical activity and overweight

Author: John H Cawley, Jr.; Chad Meyerhoefer; David Newhouse; National Bureau of Economic Research.
Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. : National Bureau of Economic Research, 2005.
Series: Working paper series (National Bureau of Economic Research), no. 11411.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"To combat childhood overweight, which has risen dramatically in the past three decades, many medical and public health organizations have called for students to spend more time in physical education (PE) classes. This paper is the first to exploit state PE requirements as quasi-natural experiments in order to estimate the causal impact of PE on student activity and weight. We study nationwide data from the YRBSS  Read more...
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Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: John H Cawley, Jr.; Chad Meyerhoefer; David Newhouse; National Bureau of Economic Research.
OCLC Number: 60603693
Notes: June 2005.
Title from first page of PDF document.
Description: 1 online resource (29 pages) : color map.
Series Title: Working paper series (National Bureau of Economic Research), no. 11411.
Responsibility: John Cawley, Chad Meyerhoefer, David Newhouse.

Abstract:

"To combat childhood overweight, which has risen dramatically in the past three decades, many medical and public health organizations have called for students to spend more time in physical education (PE) classes. This paper is the first to exploit state PE requirements as quasi-natural experiments in order to estimate the causal impact of PE on student activity and weight. We study nationwide data from the YRBSS for 1999, 2001, and 2003 merged with data on state minimum PE requirements from the 1994 and 2000 School Health Policies and Programs Study and the 2001 Shape of the Nation Report. We find that certain state regulations are effective in raising the number of minutes during which students are active in PE. Our results also indicate that additional PE time raises the number of days per week that students report having exercised or engaged in strength-building activities, but lowers the number of days in which students report light physical activity. PE time has no detectable impact on youth BMI or the probability that a student is overweight. We conclude that while raising PE requirements may make students more active by some (but not all) measures, there is not yet the scientific base to declare raising PE requirements an anti-obesity initiative"--National Bureau of Economic Research web site.

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