Study: School Compliance with P.E. Policies Matters for Latino Children’s Fitness


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Editor’s Note: This is a 20-part series featuring new research briefs on Latino childhood obesity, nutrition, physical activity and more by the 20 grantees of Salud America! Part 10 is Dr. Emma Sanchez. Find all briefs here.

Dr. Emma Sanchez

Dr. Emma Sanchez
“The Role of Physical Education Policies in California”

In her Salud America! pilot research project, Dr. Emma Sanchez of San Francisco State University used existing data to investigate whether school district compliance with California physical education (P.E.) requirements influences fitness among the state’s Latino children.

Key preliminary findings include:

  • most Latino students attended school in districts that did not comply with P.E. policies;
  • compared with Latino children in non-policy compliant districts, those in districts that complied with P.E. policies were significantly less likely to be overweight or obese; and
  • school district compliance with P.E. policies matters for physical fitness.

These results suggest that school district compliance with P.E. policies may be an important determinant of Latino children’s fitness status. These findings imply that population-level approaches including policy mandates for P.E. in schools may contribute to overall improvements and reduced disparities in children’s physical activity and fitness levels.

However, the success of these approaches is likely to depend on adequate funding to ensure that policies can be fully implemented and that compliance can be monitored in every school.

Read more here.

Salud America! is an RWJF national program directed by the Institute for Health Promotion Research at The UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, the team behind SaludToday.

By The Numbers By The Numbers



of Latino kids have obesity (compared to 11.7% of white kids)

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