Harris et al 2009 performed a meta-analysis of the literature on the effects of school-based health and exercise interventions. Of nearly 400 articles, 18 were performed to sufficient standard to meet inclusion criteria.
The analysis shows that at this time, school-based health and exercise interventions did not change BMI or % body fat. This would indicate what many already suspect, physical education in its current form, will only hamper our children. While it is clearly the responsibility of the parents to ensure the child eats well, plays a sport and learns about nutrition and training and all that goes along with that (as well as why we put children in sports- things like fair play, confidence, etc.) we simply can not rely on schools to get our kids to exercise. Their hamstrung budgets simply cannot be used to enforce exercise training on children who have no background in sports. They need to teach children important things; math, science, composition, history and internet safety. This is not to dismiss phys. ed but if they can’t help kids lose weight when one in three is overweight or obese, either we need to go all out or we need to change what we want kids to get from phys. ed.