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Monday, November 19, 2012


Nearly 120 years ago, the great physicist Lord Kelvin taught us you cannot improve what you cannot measure. That maxim applies to politics, business, and education as well as science. Austin pediatrician Stephen Pont, MD, brought that lesson to the Texas Sunset Commission when he spoke against a recommendation to eliminate the state’s Physical Fitness Assessment Report. Known as the FitnessGram, the report is a physical education assessment and reporting program required under current law for children in grades 3 through 12 who participate in physical education classes. “Obesity and its related disorders cost the Texas economy a projected $9 billion in 2009,” Dr. Pont said, testifying on behalf of TMA, the Texas Pediatric Society, and the Texas Academy of Family Physicians. “If unchecked, this cost is anticipated to grow to more than $32 billion by 2030. That is $32 billion we could use elsewhere in the state budget, such as in our education system. It is $32 billion we cannot afford to squander.”

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