Graduation Year

Spring 2012

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Frederick R. Lynch

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Rights Information

© 2012 Ari Zyskind


The purpose of the paper is to determine why today's youth are so physically inactive by examining the role and efforts of physical education, and the state and federal governments responsibility in supporting these programs, in fighting today's obesity epidemic by creating generations of healthy and physically active children. Research led to the determination that states have failed to maintain and improve physical education resulting in a physically inactive youth. Therefore, the nation should look to federal legislation to support state-led physical education, which this paper found to be constitutional if the enactments followed the provisions established in South Dakota v. Dole. Examples of recent physical education bills, most specifically the FIT Kids Act, are briefly analyzed for effectiveness and likeliness of enactment. Lastly, the determination is made that federal legislation has failed because of the view that physical education is not a "core" subject, preventing programs from receiving Title I and Title II funding. The findings are useful in light of the numerous attempts to get children physically active.