2010-05-20 / Local & State

Effort To Combat Childhood Obesity In Pa. Advances

By Marc Levy ASSOCIATED PRESS WRITER

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – A proposal that backers say would be among the most comprehensive in the nation to motivate public schools to combat childhood obesity has a preliminary stamp of approval.

The Pennsylvania State Board of Education voted Thursday to advance a draft regulation that would greatly increase the exercise that most students currently get during school hours and toughen nutritional guidelines for public school food.

The draft faces a lengthy public review and possible changes before a state regulatory board can vote on it.

The measure would likely banish many of the processed foods served in schools while requiring districts to provide phys ed classes and 30 minutes of daily exercise.

The concept has support from various education groups, but they worry about costs and providing children with enough academic time.

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