Narrator: This is Science Today. National surveys have found that at least one in eight children are overweight due to a high fat diet and lack of exercise. Since these statistics also go hand-in-hand with an alarming rise in childhood diabetes, there's a nationwide effort to improve physical education programs in schools. Joanne Ikeda, a nutrition education expert at the University of California, Berkeley, says the goal is to introduce quality PE programs.
Ikeda: Quality physical education focuses on improving coordination, strength, endurance - and does it in a way that's fun for a child.
Narrator: Ikeda says often times, quality PE programs can be too competitive - causing children to either drop out or lose self-esteem.
Ikeda: I think we've got to take some of the competition away. At young ages, children don't want to necessarily compete or if they do, when they start losing, then their eagerness diminishes at the same time.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.