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The Mississippi Healthy Students Act of 2007 strengthened physical education and
health education requirements in Mississippi and mandated that schools provide
programming that will aid in reducing obesity in the state. Data indicates that the earlier
that students begin participating in physical activity and are introduced to health
education skills, the greater the chance that they will build life skills to help them to be
healthier. The Mississippi Healthy Students Act also strengthened the child nutrition
program and school health councils in the state. Prior to the passing of this law, health
education was already a graduation requirement in grades 9-12.
As a result of this legislation, forty-five minutes of health education and 150 minutes of
physical education/physical activity are required each week for students in grades K-8
and a ½ Carnegie Unit for graduation for grades 9-12.

The results of a quality daily physical education program can have a dynamically
positive and long-lasting effect on those who participate. According to the Centers for
Disease Control’s Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans (2008) the following are
benefits of physical activity:
• Assists in the reduction of obesity;
• Reduces the risks of developing type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease and
other chronic health conditions;
• Improves respiratory efficiency and reduces the risk of respiratory diseases
such as asthma;
• Helps build and maintain healthy bones and muscles;
• Reduces feelings of depression and anxiety; and
• Promotes psychological well-being.