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Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) has introduced the “Play Every Day Bill,” which, if passed and signed by President Bush, would “require federal agencies to support the development of a measurement tool to assist communities in identifying strengths and gaps in policies and programs for physical activity for children and youth,” according to a prepared statement. “The bill would also authorize federal agencies to fund model communities of play to develop action plans that promote increased opportunities for quality play, spaces for play and voices for play.”

The bill is being advocated by The Partnership for Play Every Day, which describes itself as “a newly-founded public-private-non-profit sector collaboration.”

As Harkin introduced the new legislation, the Partnership released a new study by the Stanford University School of Medicine that directly addresses the issue of childhood inactivity and its direct relationship to the nation’s burgeoning childhood obesity rate.

Subsequent to the issuance of the report, the Grocery Manufacturers/Food Products Association (GMA/FPA) issued a statement that read, in part: “The report issued today will be an invaluable resource for government, industry and all stakeholders to learn more about the effect physical inactivity is having on the health of our children and what we can do as a community to help make children in this country be more physically active.

“This report underscores the fact that reversing the trend towards obesity in this country, especially among children, is a complex issue requiring a comprehensive approach and the involvement of stakeholders at every level including industry, government, schools, community organizations, local businesses, and families.”
KC's View:
We’re just not sure that legislation is going to solve what clearly is a cultural problem.

But they’re right about one thing. You can’t solve obesity just by eliminating trans fats or the like. You also have to get up off the couch and get some exercise.