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HB 2381 can improve health, education outcomes for Oklahoma children

Oklahoma is home to the finest corporations, higher-education institutions and medical facilities, bolstered by a vibrant workforce and supportive community. However, childhood obesity poses a serious threat to our future economy. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2020, Oklahoma had the ninth-highest obesity prevalence in the nation.

COVID-19 led to school closures, disrupted routines, increased stress and reduced opportunities for physical activity among youths. A Cooper Institute published study demonstrated the impact of COVID-19 on physical activity nationwide. Of respondents, 79% reported their students were “Significantly Less” or “Somewhat Less” physically active during school closures. Decrease in physical activity puts our children at increased risk for obesity and other health-related outcomes. A Journal of the American Medical Association study found that the portion of students between 5 and 11 who are considered overweight increased to 45.7%, compared to 36.2% pre-pandemic, with a 5.2% increase for those between 12 and 15, and a 3.1 % jump for those ages 16 and 17.

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