ACS CAN Denounces Legislation to Cut Back Physical Education

May 30, 2017

Today, the Illinois House of Representatives introduced a measure that would reduce physical education classes in public schools to three days a week and allow more student exemptions. Heather Eagleton, Illinois government relations director for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, released the following statement in response:

“As an organization dedicated to promoting healthy eating and active living, ACS CAN opposes any efforts to cut back on physical education in schools. When only one in three children are physically active every day, this is the last thing the State of Illinois should be doing.

“Physical inactivity, being overweight or obese, and poor nutrition are the top causes of cancer in people who do not use tobacco. Together, they are responsible for 20 percent of cancer cases each year. Beyond the obvious health benefits, many studies have demonstrated that physical education can boost students’ academic performance and interest in their education. There is no benefit to eliminating these classes from the school day.

“As any parent or educator knows, what we teach our kids now will stay with them forever. Cutting back on physical education sends the wrong message to students – that a healthy lifestyle isn’t important. We urge our lawmakers to oppose this legislation and to empower our students to begin healthy habits while they are young.”


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Tracy Lytwyn Fischer
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