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“Alison is more than just disgusted by people’s efforts to want to live a healthy lifestyle!”

By Alison E.

Throughout America, children and adults are getting fatter. It is sad but nevertheless one of America’s evil truths that more than 60 million Americans are affected by being overweight or obese.

According to The Alliance for a Healthier Generation, about 17.1% of children are obese. If we have fat kids now, what will become of them when they are adults?

“More and more kids are being diagnosed with adult diseases like high blood pressure and type II diabetes,” said Robert Eckel, MD, Immediate Past President of the American Heart Association.

Across the state of California, high school students are required to pass a Physical Fitness Test, formally known as the Fitness Gram. Here in Ventura, including at Foothill, this means that if high school students are able to pass five or more of the six tests, in addition to passing the actual class, then students are allowed to “opt” out of or are no longer obligated to participate in a P.E. class.

So my question to you is, by allowing students to discontinue their P.E. class after their first two years of high school, are we encouraging unhealthy lifestyles?

One of my friends who were enrolled in the ISPE (Independent Study P.E.) program even claimed to not have had any incentive to want to work out. Without much motivation, she was one day caught not working out at the gym, and thus suffered from being kicked out of the class.

As from what I can see from the past few years, students whose weight has increased and thus their health has begun to decline through inconsistent physical activity and unhealthy eating habits. Some students have not made great attempts to stay fit and in shape after they complete the P.E. class requirement.

I understand that our lives become busier and more stressful with homework, friends, jobs, and time spent with the family. But is that an excuse for not keeping up with a fitness plan, which you had been doing up until you had passed a test?

I believe that many high school students are only “in” for a P.E. class to meet their high school requirements. There is no doubt in my mind that this is just setting us all up for an unhealthy future.

This really bothers me because I care deeply about my academics and meeting my high school and college requirements, but I need to have some form of physical exercise to keep myself sane. I work hard in school and am in cross training for modern pentathlon. Right now, I train in swimming 8 times a week, run on the weekends, fence Mondays and Wednesdays, and horseback ride 4 times a week, all in addition to my 2 AP and 2 honors classes at school. Honestly, not only would I be unfit, I think I would die if I did not participate in any physical activity.

Seeing people just give up there fitness plans after two years makes me absolutely sick to my stomach! I don’t care if you are buckling down on school (don’t even say that “you don’t have enough time”, I do 5 different sports and take difficult classes, yet I find a way to make time for my priorities) - physical fitness should be a priority too, despite what others, like teachers, counselors, parents, may lead you to believe.

And although, there is that small portion of us that have continued with a fitness program, many of us have given up any of that ambition. People no longer engage in physical activity after their sophomore year or until the pass the Fitness Gram. To me, this is more than just disappointing.

Physical exercise along with good eating habits outside of school will promote a healthy lifestyle for the future. I want to come to a high school reunion in 10, 20, even 30 years, and see my fellow classmates healthy and fit living joyous lives. I am sure all of us want to be looking and feeling good in 30 years! So let us strive for a better life while we are still young.