American Heart Association Calls on House to Support Safe Routes to School Program

February 02, 2012 Categories: Advocacy News
Washington, D.C. American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown issued the following statement today on the defeat of Rep. Thomas Petri’s (R- Wisc.) amendment on the Safe Routes to School program by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee: 
 
“Today members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee jeopardized the safety and health of America’s children. By voting down an amendment that included the Safe Routes to School program, the committee has robbed our kids of the opportunity to walk and bike their way to better health. 
 
Since 1980, the number of children and adolescents who are overweight or obese has grown to nearly one out of three. Because of the numerous chronic diseases associated with obesity, such as heart disease and diabetes, today’s children are on a path to becoming the first generation with a shorter life expectancy than their parents.
 
The Safe Routes to School program can help reverse this terrible trend by bolstering physical activity that keeps our kids healthy. Research indicates that children who walk and bike to school are not only more active and maintain a healthier weight, they also perform better in school and have less truancy and disciplinary problems.
 
Rep. Petri and his co-sponsors, Reps. Timothy Johnson (R-Ill.) and Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.), understand the states’ desperate need for this program and the American Heart Association wants to thank them for sponsoring this amendment in support of it.  We hope the other members of the House of Representatives also hear our message: Preserve funding for the Safe Routes to School program. Give America’s kids the right of way to a healthy life.”

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Contact:  Retha Sherrod, (202) 785-7929
              retha.sherrod@heart.org