This is a rather stunning statistic, actually:
Using a complex analysis, Dr. Stevenson showed that increasing girls’ sports participation had a direct effect on women’s education and employment. She found that the changes set in motion by Title IX explained about 20 percent of the increase in women’s education and about 40 percent of the rise in employment for 25-to-34-year-old women.
He (Kaestner) found that the increase in girls’ athletic participation caused by Title IX was associated with a 7 percent lower risk of obesity 20 to 25 years later, when women were in their late 30s and early 40s. His article was published this month in the journal Evaluation Review.
The article here in the NYT notes that there is no public health program that can claim success on this magnitude. Indeed, I can’t think of any. The effects appear robust for both sexes. It suggests that funding extracurriculars, and particularly sports, should be a higher priority for policymakers.