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Last updated 6:56PM ET
March 3, 2021
Democratic Leader Seeks Healthier Alabama Children
(APR - Alabama Public Radio ) - House Majority Leader Ken Guin has shaved his head to motivate himself to shave some inches off his waist and to encourage Alabama school children to do the same.

The Democrat from Carbon Hill has adult-onset, or type II, diabetes. At 5 feet, 9 inches and 212 pounds, he acknowledges he's overweight. And he says he's going to keep shaving his head until he loses 32 pounds.

Guin doesn't want to stop with just improving his own health.

When the Legislature convenes next month, he will sponsor legislation to require more physical education in public schools. Elementary schools would go from 150 minutes per week to 200 minutes. And high school students would have to take P.E. every year instead of just one year.

Guin also plans legislation that would require school nurses to calculate the body mass index of each student at least once each school year. Then they would put it on the student's report card so parents could see it.

Guin will also ask the Legislature to create a study commission on childhood obesity that will report its finding at the start of the 2009 legislative session. Among the issues he wants the commission to review are school menus.

Guin is the father of two school-age children. He says schools have done a good job of getting rid of fried foods, but there are still too few fresh fruits and vegetables and too many high carbohydrate choices.

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