My appeal is to Texas Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz and all other senators in the U.S., especially those who made our list of Top 10 Fittest Senators, to enact the “Promoting Health as Youth Skills In Classrooms And Life Act” for the future of our children, the future of America. 

In a country where more than one third of children are overweight or obese, we cannot afford to ignore a bill such as the Promoting Health as Youth Skills In Classrooms And Life Act. The children are the future of America in every aspect, including corporations, military, culture, production and education. These are just a few of the most important assets where a creative and healthy mind is necessary in order to make a positive impact.

With one third of children being obese or overweight, it will directly impact the rate of illnesses such as type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, low self-esteem, asthma, depression, sleep apnea and social discrimination. Currently, more than 70 percent of Americans are overweight or obese. We are setting ourselves up for failure with every year that these statistics continue to worsen.

The Promoting Health as Youth Skills In Classrooms And Life Act, which was introduced in 2011 but not enacted, aims to initiate, expand and improve health education programs for all kindergarten through 12th-grade students. It also allows for schools to partner with outside organizations such as non-profits to help expand and initiate health education curricula, including instruction on healthy eating habits and good nutrition. In short, it makes health education and physical education a part of “core academic subjects.”

Health is essential to the success of our nation, as past presidents have often pointed out.

George W. Bush once stated, “Exercise is so important that corporate American should help its employees make time. There should be flextime for families, and there should be flextime for exercise. A healthy workforce is a more productive work force. We have got to do a better job of encouraging exercise in America.”

John F. Kennedy also said, “Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.”

Considering that we are losing several hundred billion dollars in workforce productivity a year due to obesity and unhealthy lifestyle, a small portion of this cost can be put into schools to make our children healthy and fit. Health and fitness nonprofit organizations are one of the best ways to make this happen because those who work in nonprofits are educated on healthy lifestyle and can help these children experience the best in physical health. Their enthusiasm, knowledge and experience as health experts can be transferred to the children and will continue to live with them through adulthood. We are not only creating a healthy child, but a healthy adult who is a leader, a soldier, a teacher, spiritual guide, and healthy human being.

200 million Americans don’t live a healthy lifestyle, and that is my biggest concern. Right now, America is the most overweight nation in the world with over 30% of people suffering from obesity. Studies suggest that by the end of 2015, 75% of American’s will be overweight. 360,000 Americans die every year from obesity and its complications.

This must stop. America is the greatest nation in the world and should be the healthiest as well, given all the resources and possibilities here. We are leaders in the world when it comes to democracy, military and individual freedoms. We should, we will and we must lead the world in healthy living.

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