The Norman Transcript

Breaking News


September 11, 2012

Helping our children live healthier

NORMAN — September is National Childhood Obesity Month, and each year during this month, we take time to focus on some of our most vulnerable citizens and their health. 

According to the American Heart Association, one in three American children and teens are considered overweight or obese. That’s nearly triple the number in 1963. More of our children are developing problems that were previously considered adult issues, such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol.

Obesity is also affecting our children psychologically, as overweight children are developing low self-esteem, negative body image and depression.

The good news is we are taking the steps to remove barriers and empower Oklahomans to make the choice to live healthy and more active lifestyles. This year, I teamed up with the Oklahoma Fit Kids Coalition and the American Heart Association to pass Senate Bill 1882.

This legislation, also known as the shared use bill, clarifies liability laws for our schools that choose to open their doors to community groups for physical activity and recreation. Doing so removes a major barrier for families seeking more options for physical activity and will help return public schools to the hub of activity in many communities across Oklahoma.

Statistics show people with access to recreation facilities exercise 38 percent more than people without similar access. Unfortunately, not all communities have access to proper facilities.

Our schools have begun to turn their lights out and lock their doors out of fear of costly litigation, becoming inaccessible to Oklahomans who might otherwise use them on evenings and weekends. Through shared use agreements, schools will now be able to open their facilities to the community, giving Oklahomans increased access to facilities like gymnasiums, running tracks and tennis courts.

 This fall, the Fit Kids Coalition and the American Heart Association — with my full support and help — are helping communities across Oklahoma secure shared-use agreements with their local schools. This will give communities access to public resources to help us move toward a healthier state by creating safe places for our children and families to gather together.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Don’t let moderation confuse you

    Jeb Bush’s recent compassionate comments on immigration show how far apart he is from the far right of the Republican Party....

    April 20, 2014

  • Priest’s execution should spur action

    In the hierarchy of saints, martyrs are on the highest rung of the celestial ladder, at least for me....

    April 20, 2014

  • Settlers found opportunities in red dirt fields

    There are few constants in families where the teenagers and soon-to-be teenagers outnumber their parents. One things holds true at my home: Nobody gets out of bed in the morning before dear old Dad....

    April 20, 2014

  • NRA members need to step up

    Please, Mr. Bloomberg, leave the checkbook open, but step away from the podium. Your efforts to curb gun violence and improve safety are notable. The National Rifle Association thanks you....

    April 19, 2014

  • First, do no harm — to your bank account

    After being sued by the Wall Street Journal, the government finally released its Medicare reimbursement data last week. It included the less-than-stunning revelation that 28 of the 100 doctors who received the largest payments in 2012 were ...

    April 15, 2014

  • Reading between the lines

    Reading is such an improbable idea — a miracle, really. Yet simple squiggles on a page, arranged just so, can convey ideas that change the way we think or introduce to us characters we love for a lifetime. In celebration of reading — and ...

    April 15, 2014

  • CCFI tackling area’s child abuse problem

    Editor, The Transcript: To those of you who are reading this editorial, I assume you care or at least are entertained by the opinions of others. It is my hope and desire that when you read this editorial, you will care about the facts. ...

    April 12, 2014

  • Does Oklahoma need advice from Texas?

    Does Texas have a lock on “brilliant minds”? The names of Texans like Congressman Louie Gomert, Sen. Ted Cruz and that other guy ... I can’t think of his name ... oh yeah, Rick Perry come to mind very quickly. Add to that infamous list ...

    April 12, 2014

  • Why Comcast-Time Warner deal makes sense

    Say this about the deal announced Thursday for Comcast to buy Time Warner Cable: It’s big. Big price tag of $45 billion. Big combined subscriber base of 30 million households. And big risk of a veto from government antitrust regulators....

    April 12, 2014

  • Solid evidence within ice record

    In his November 10 Letter, Gary Reynolds misstated information in the October 27 op-ed by Catherine Hobbs, “New report says global warming is “unequivocal.” Mr. Reynolds incorrectly stated that Dr. Hobbs cited evidence from the 2007 UN ...

    April 12, 2014