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Holmes proposal to combat obesity epidemic advances

holmes 050218SPRINGFIELD – To combat the growing obesity epidemic, the Illinois Senate passed Senate Bill 2572 to require public school districts to offer 150 minutes of physical education to students in grades K-12 each week. State Senator Linda Holmes (D-Aurora) was the sponsor.

As of 2016, more that 31 percent of Illinois adults were considered obese, ranking 18th in the United States. This is a significant increase from 20 percent in 2000 and 12 percent in 1990.

 

“The lessons students learn through their childhood affect the rest of their lives,” Holmes said. “Teaching them to maintain healthy, active lives when they are in school will help them stay healthy for the rest of their lives.”

Previously, school districts were required to offer daily physical education classes. The new school funding formula passed by the General Assembly in 2017 decreased the physical education requirement to three days per week. Holmes’s proposal allows the school districts to decide the frequency of classes, as long as they provide a total of 150 minutes of physical education each week.

“We require school districts to teach our children skills we deem vital to their future, like math, science and English,” Holmes said. “Teaching kids how to live healthy lives in the future may be the most important skill of all.”

The bill, supported by many health organizations including the American Diabetes Association, American Academy of Pediatrics and American Heart Association, passed the Illinois Senate with a bipartisan vote of 36-14. It will now head to the Illinois House for consideration. 

Sen. Linda Holmes

holmes-15

42nd District

Years served:
2007 - Present

Committee assignments: Agriculture; Environment and Conservation; Labor; Local Government; Committee of the Whole; Commerce and Economic Development (Chairperson); Insurance.

Biography: Elected to the Senate in 2006; born March 16, 1959, in Chicago; received a bachelor's degree from the National College of Education (now National-Lewis University); First woman president of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry; Full-time state legislator.