Sunday, February 24, 2008

2008 Legislative Fitness Challenge Launch

Date Change To THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 28th, 2008. Time and Location will remain the same.

Due to the scheduled recess for the General Assembly, GPAN has been forced to move the kickoff from Monday, Feb. 25th to Thursday, February 28th. Please join us at the Georgia State Capitol on Thursday, February 28, 2008, to launch the 2008 Legislative Fitness Challenge. This is your chance to let your state senators and representatives know the importance of good health!

As state lawmakers consider new legislation designed to improve the health and wellness of Georgians, it is critical that they see a big turnout in support of change. We encourage you to forward this information to your friends and colleagues.
2008 Legislative Fitness Challenge LaunchThursday, February 28, 200811:00 a.m.Georgia State CapitolWashington Street StepsReception followingMezzanine LevelRoom 455

PRESS CONFERENCE HELD ON THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 21st.
For those of you who were unable to attend Thursday’s Press Conference, Bill Burns from the American Heart Association, has forwarded the following information.

AHA State Advocacy Committee Members & Friends,

On the heels of our exciting announcement last week regarding a dollar per pack increase on cigarettes, I am pleased to announce the introduction of a new bill aimed at improving the state of physical education in Georgia. Together with Senator Carter (R – Tifton), and several other state coalition partners, we are pleased to introduce SB 500 today (Thursday) at a press event hosted by the Senate Press Office at 10:00 A.M. The first article on the bill has appeared already in the AJC online at http://www.ajc.com/search/content/health/stories/2008/02/20/fatkids_0221.html, and should run as a lead story in the print version Thursday.

SB 500 seeks to accomplish a couple of things:
First, the legislation would force schools to live up to existing DOE regulations, which call for 90 hours of P.E. for grades K-5, and will create a recognition program for those schools that do follow the existing regulations. Recent studies have suggested that many schools in the state are not in fact following those regulations, and that many of the schools provide NO physical education to their students.
The second thing that the legislation will do would be to mandate twice annual BMI measurements for all public school children. The measurements will be done confidentially, and WILL NOT be reported on a student’s report card. The data will be stored by student number, and parents requesting to be informed of their child’s measurements will receive by mail a letter that explains the meaning of the BMI measurement, where their child ranks relative to others in their school, and, if necessary, tips to positively affect the measurement.

The American Heart Association is fully supporting Senator Carter and this bill. While we recognize that it is not the solution to the problem, it does address some important issues.

Please look/listen for local news coverage of this exciting news, and feel free to direct any questions about the bill my way.

Bill Burns, J.D.
Georgia Advocacy Director
American Heart Association
1101 Northchase Parkway, Suite 101
Marietta, GA 30067
678.224.2085 Direct Dial & Fax
…You’re the Cure!

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