By PATRICK HOWARD
Capital News Service
LANSING – A recent federal study echoes concerns by Michigan health professionals that link the lack of time set aside for physical and health education classes in K-8 schools to increasing childhood obesity. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) study of public schools indicates that while sports opportunities for students have generally increased, the frequency of physical education classes has decreased. Noting the “federal government’s role in promoting the health and welfare of children,” the study aims to assist congressional consideration of strategies to increase physical activity among students. Katherine Knoll of Healthy Kids, Healthy Michigan, a coalition dedicated to reducing obesity, said the study is relevant to the state’s situation. She cited three pending pieces of legislation to address concerns raised by the Department of Community Health.