Senate Bill 42

Implementation and Impact on Physical Activity in Middle Schools

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation invests in research aimed at halting the rise in childhood obesity. This study found that middle school students in Texas, including those in areas at high-risk for increased obesity, were meeting minimum physical activity requirements.

Texas Senate Bill 42 (SB42), enacted in 2005, mandated that middle schools create formal health programs and advisory councils. SB42 also ordered schools to comply with nutrition regulations and physical activity requirements. This study assessed whether, in response to SB42, physical activity levels increased in Texas middle schools from 2004-2005 to 2006-2008. Researchers also examined the impact of SB42 on four Texas-Mexico border cities with relatively high rates of obesity, diabetes and poverty. Both components of the study included telephone interviews with administrators and instructors. Researchers observed the quality of physical activity in physical education classes in the four border middle schools.

Key Findings:

  • Middle schools throughout Texas reported that the amount of time students were physically active exceed daily and weekly minimums.
  • Thirty-one percent of interview respondents were unaware of the SB42 requirement to involve parents in the creation of a coordinated school health program (CSHP).

This article is part of a supplement presenting research on childhood obesity-related issues.