Oklahoman Modified: May 5, 2008 at 4:24 pm •  Published: May 5, 2008
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p /> On hand for the bill signing were the bill's main sponsors — Sen. Mary Easley, D-Tulsa, and Rep. Ann Coody, R-Lawton — as well as members of the Oklahoma Fit Kids Coalition, which pushed for the legislation, Public Health Commissioner Mike Crutcher and Sandy Garrett, school superintendent.

Crutcher said increased physical activity will help children avoid becoming obese and developing such diseases as diabetes.

"We know that healthy bodies build strong minds," Garrett said. "We want all of Oklahoma to keep moving."

A 2004 study found that only 37 percent of Oklahoma school children were enrolled in physical education courses, compared to a national rate of 55 percent.

"The experts are telling us that obesity will soon replace tobacco use as the number one preventable cause of death and disability in the United States," said Anne Roberts, director of the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy.

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