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Slide Deck

Our latest slide deck with more details on Healthy Students Healthy State
pdf | pptx


Watch our presentation on “Key Child & Teen Health Trends, including Impacts on Military Recruitment, Care Costs & the Economy” at the Arizona Senate Health & Human Services Committee meeting on January 23, 2024.  (Starts at 1:50 minutes:seconds;  some slide titles are askew due to Powerpoint settings in the Hearing Room.)

Key hearing on school recess bill, Arizona House of Representatives, February, 26, 2018
(approx. 1.5 hours; start at 42:00)


Did you see our oped with Heritage Foundation?

Counteracting stereotypes about diametrically opposed conservative vs progressive perspectives on health, education & public policy, this nonpartisan opinion piece, A COVID-19 vaccine won’t save us, but improving our health can, was co-authored by Healthy Future US’s Scott Turner and Heritage Foundation’s Lt. Gen. Thomas Spoehr (Ret.). (It was published in the Washington, D.C. “conservative counterpart” to the Washington Post—the Washington Examiner.)

This article describes how our worsening health is literally a threat to national security. Our bad health BOTH disqualifies many potential recruits for our all-volunteer military AND undermines the federal budget—the sole funding source for our national defense (and for veterans benefits). On the other hand, there is significant potential bipartisan support for improving children’s health through schools, using proven strategies—as demonstrated in Arizona. 


The national and state press and Arizona’s then-Governor Ducey (running for a second term) loved our recess bill!:

Recess makes a comeback in public schools
Valerie Richardson, The Washington Times, April 10, 2018.

New law requires more recess for elementary schools in Arizona
Charlie Lapastora, Fox News, April 11, 2018.

Tweet by Arizona’s then-Governor Ducey on June 17, 2018, during the gubernatorial race:

Twitter screenshot

Report: Arizona kids more fit than U.S. kids, but U.S. is pretty sorry
Renata Clo, TV Channels AzFamily 3 & CBS 5, January 1, 2019.
Local TV news coverage on January 2, 2019, which included the main independent station & the CBS affiliate; with excerpts from interview with Scott Turner on the 2018 US Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth.

Teachers encouraged by early results of Arizona law requiring more recess.
Kelly Doyle, Cronkite News, Arizona Republic, February 16, 2019.
Article on front page of Phoenix Republic section of the Arizona Republic, February 16, 2019; also ran on March 6, 2019 on the front pages of the Mesa Republic, Chandler Republic, Gilbert Republic, Tempe Republic and Scottsdale Republic.


Yes, Figure It Out did a podcast about us (before we launched the Healthy Future US name).


Please check out our blog.

Social Media

We are not currently very active on social media, but here are some links to partners:

Facebook link to our partner Arizonans for Recess & School Wellness

Facebook link to our partner Arizona Health & Physical Education

For X (previously Twitter) users, please connect to our partner, Arizonans for Recess & School Wellness


Note: additional references are found in the latest slide deck, under the relevant slide.

Andes, L., Cheng, Y., Rolka D., Gregg, E., Imperatore, G., et al (2019). Prevalence of Prediabetes Among Adolescents and Young Adults in the United States, 2005-2016. JAMA Pediatrics, 174(2).  Published online December 2, 2019.

Arizona Department of Education (2016).  Sample Recommended Instruction Time: Recommended Minutes of Instruction For Elementary Schools (grades 1-8).   Downloaded June 12, 2023.

Arizona House of Representatives, Committee on Education, Hearing, February 26, 2018  (approx. 1.5 hours; start at 42:00) (K-5 school recess bill SB1083 testimony).

Arizona state K-12 standards for health education

Arizona state K-12 standards for physical education

Bailey, A., Hetrick, S., Rosenbaum, S., Purcell, R., Parker, A. (2018). Treating depression with physical activity in adolescents and young adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. Psychological Medicine, 48, 1068–1083.

Biener, A., Cawley, J., Meyerhoefer, C. (2017). The Medical Care Costs of Youth Obesity: An Instrumental Variables Approach. NBER Working Paper No. 23682, JEL No. D62,I1,I14,I18. Accessed December 16, 2019.

Bracci, E., Davis, C. & Murphy, K (2023).  Developing a Mediterranean Healthy Food Basket and an Updated Australian Healthy Food Basket Modelled on the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating.   Nutrients, 2023, 15(7), 1692.

CDC (2023). Data and Statistics on Children’s Mental Health.

CDC (2023).  Prediabetes – Your Chance to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes. 

CDC (2022). Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) – Data Summary & Trends Report, 2011-2021.

CDC (2022). Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) – Arizona 2021 Data.

CDC (2020). National Diabetes Statistics Report. USHHS.

Corbin, C., Kulinna, P., & Sibley, B. (2020). A Dozen Reasons for Including Conceptual Physical Education in Quality Secondary School Programs. Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, 91(3): 40-49.

Crump, C., Sundquist, J., et al (2016). Physical fitness among Swedish military conscripts and long-term risk for type 2 diabetes mellitus. Annals of Internal Medicine, doi:10.7326/M15-2002.

Fryar, C. et al. (2020) Prevalence of Overweight, Obesity, and Severe Obesity Among Children and Adolescents Aged 2-19 Years: United States, 1963-1965 Through 2017-2018. National Center for Health Statistics, CDC.

Hogstrom, G., Nordstrom, A., & Nordstrom, P. (2014). High aerobic fitness in late adolescence is associated with a reduced risk of myocardial infarction later in life: a nationwide cohort study in men. European Heart Journal, 35, 3133-3140.

Kaiser Family Foundation (2012). The Role of Medicaid for Adults with Chronic Illnesses. Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured.

Katz DL, Cushman D, Reynolds J, Njike V, Treu JA, Walker J, et al (2010). Putting physical activity where it fits in the school day: preliminary results of the ABC (Activity Bursts in the Classroom) for Fitness Program. Preventing Chronic Disease, 2010; 7(4):A82.  Accessed December 16, 2019.

Kenney, E. & Barrett, J. et al (2020). Impact Of The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act on Obesity Trends (HHFKA). Health Affairs, July 2020, Vol. 39, No. 7.

Klein, E. (Host) & Damour, L. (Guest) (2023). Our Obsession with Wellness is Hurting Teens—and Adults. The clinical psychologist Lisa Damour offers an on-the-ground look at the mental health crisis teenagers are facing. Podcast: The Ezra Klein Show, May 23, 2023.

Klein, E. (Host) & Twenge, J. (Guest) (2023). Why Are Teens in Crisis? Here’s What the Evidence Says. The psychologist Jean Twenge makes a definitive case for why smartphones and social media are contributing to the mental health struggles of young people. Podcast: The Ezra Klein Show, May 19, 2023.

Kolbe, L. (2019). School Health as a Strategy to Improve Both Public Health and Education. Annual Review of Public Health, 40:443-63.

Liu, J., Li, Y. & Zhang, D. (2022).   Trends in Prediabetes Among Youths in the US From 1999 Through 2018. March 28, 2022 Research Letter in JAMA Pediatrics 2022: 176(6):608-611.
(Summary @CNN: Prediabetes has more than doubled among American children. Here’s how to reduce your kids’ risk.)

Mackey, A., Finn, A., et al (2015). Neuroanatomical Correlates of the Income-Achievement Gap. Psychological Science, 26(6): 925-933.

Makary, M. (2019). We spend about half of our federal tax dollars on health care. That’s ridiculous. September 16, 2019, USA Today.

Mandsager, K., Harb, S., Cremer, P., Phelan, D., Nissen, S., Jaber, W. (2018)  Association of Cardiorespiratory Fitness With Long-term Mortality Among Adults Undergoing Exercise Treadmill TestingJAMA Network Open, 1(6):e183605.

May, A., Kuklina, E., Yoon, P. (2012). Prevalence of Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors Among US Adolescents, 1999-2008Pediatrics, 129(6): 1035-1041.

Mayo Clinic (2017). If Sitting Is the New Smoking, Here’s How to Break the Habit.

Mission: Readiness. Council for a Strong America (2020). Letter to Acting Secretary Miller, Department of Defense.

NAEP (2023). The Nation’s Report Card. [National scores on standardized reading & math tests, 1971-2020].

O’Donnell, M. (2017). Universal Access to Health Promotion – A Sustainable Strategy to Reduce Health Disparities, Improve the Health of an Entire State, and Accelerate the Evolution of Health Promotion. Art & Science of Health Promotion Institute.

Rao, M., Afshin, A. et al (2013). Do healthier foods and diet patterns cost more than less healthy options? A systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ Open 2013; 3:e004277.

Reeves, J. (2016). US Department of Education Grant Performance Report, PR/Award # Q215F120160, Sunnyside Unified School District, Tucson, AZ.
[Note: this is the official report to the US Department of Education on University of Arizona’s Partners for Healthy Promises federal PEP-Grant-funded project in the Sunnyside Unified School District, 2012-2015.]

Sallis, J., McKenzie, T., Beets, M., Beighle, A., Erwin, H. & Lee, S. (2012). Physical Education’s Role in Public Health: Steps Forward and Backward Over 20 Years and HOPE for the Future. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 83: (2):125-135.

Schonert-Reichl et al, 2015. Enhancing Cognitive and Social–Emotional Development Through a Simple-to-Administer Mindfulness-Based School Program for Elementary School Children: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Developmental Psychology, Jan. 2015, 51(1):52-66.

Sibold et al, 2015. Physical Activity, Sadness, and Suicidality in Bullied US Adolescents. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Oct. 2015, 54(10):808-15.

Tabak, A., Herder, C., Rathmann, W., Brunner, E.J., Kivimaki, M. (2012). Prediabetes: A high-risk state for developing diabetes. Lancet, 379(9833), 2279-2290.

Thompson, 2023. Why American Teens Are So Sad. Four forces are propelling the rising rates of depression among young people. The Atlantic, April 11, 2022.

Trost, S. & van der Mars, H. (2010) Why We Should Not Cut P.E. Health and Learning in Educational Leadership, 67(4): 60-65.

Turner, S. (2013).  Transformative Education for Long-term Behavior Change: Preventing Childhood Obesity and Improving Health Through In-School Curriculum-based Nutrition and Exercise Programs. (PhD Human and Organizational Systems), Fielding Graduate University, Santa Barbara, CA.

Ward, Z.J. et al. (2019). Projected U.S. State-Level Prevalence of Adult Obesity and Severe Obesity. New England Journal of Medicine, 381:2440-2450.

Waters, H. & Graf, M. (2018). The Costs of Chronic Disease in the U.S. Downloaded November 2, 2021 from

Willett, W. et al. (2006). Prevention of Chronic Disease by Means of Diet and Lifestyle Changes. Book chapter in Disease Control Priorities in Developing Countries, 2nd ed. The World Bank, Oxford University Press, New York.

Zhuo et al, (2014). The lifetime cost of diabetes and its implications for diabetes prevention. Diabetes Care, 37: 2557-2564.