Topeka State lawmakers today were considering measures aimed at reducing childhood obesity.
"Physical inactivity is killing our children," said Kim Morrissey, a physical education instructor in a Wichita elementary school.
A parade of teachers and health officials urged the Legislative Educational Planning Committee to recommend a package of measures to fight childhood obesity for the Legislature to consider when the 2008 session starts in January.
Rates of obese chidren have tripled over the past 20 years, health officials said. In Kansas, approximately 30 percent of schoolchildren are either overweight or at risk of becoming overweight.
State Rep. Pat Colloton, R-Leawood, and others suggested focusing on middle schools where physical education is not required.
"At the middle school level, that is where the data shows that kids are really packing it on," she said.
Mark Tallman, a spokesman for the Kansas Association of School Boards, urged lawmakers to provide the necessary funding if the Legislature mandates new programs.