EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

The impact of state physical education requirements on youth physical activity and overweight

John Cawley (), Chad Meyerhoefer and David Newhouse

Health Economics, 2007, vol. 16, issue 12, 1287-1301

Abstract: To combat childhood overweight in the US, which has risen dramatically in the past three decades, many medical and public health organizations have called for students to spend more time in physical education (PE) classes. This paper is the first to examine the impact of state PE requirements on student PE exercise time. It also exploits variation in state laws as quasi‐natural experiments in order to estimate the causal impact of PE on overall student physical activity and weight. We study nationwide data from the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System for 1999, 2001, and 2003 merged with data on state minimum PE requirements from the 2001 Shape of the Nation Report. We find that high school students with a binding PE requirement report an average of 31 additional minutes per week spent physically active in PE class. Our results also indicate that additional PE time raises the number of days per week that girls report having exercised vigorously or having engaged in strength‐building activity. We find no evidence that PE lowers BMI or the probability that a student is overweight. We conclude that raising PE credit requirements may make girls more physically active overall but there is not yet the scientific base to declare raising PE requirements an anti‐obesity initiative for either boys or girls. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Date: 2007
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (54) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
https://doi.org/10.1002/hec.1218

Related works:
Working Paper: The Impact of State Physical Education Requirements on Youth Physical Activity and Overweight (2005) Downloads
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:16:y:2007:i:12:p:1287-1301

Access Statistics for this article

Health Economics is currently edited by Alan Maynard, John Hutton and Andrew Jones

More articles in Health Economics from John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Wiley Content Delivery ().

 
Page updated 2022-01-19
Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:16:y:2007:i:12:p:1287-1301