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ACSM is fortunate to be the go-to source on sports medicine and exercise science for several national and international media outlets. You can find some of our most recent coverage below, or you can view archived articles.  

President Obama Urged to Prioritize Physical Activity

by User Not Found | Aug 01, 2011
Disease prevention, health care cost control touted as benefits

INDIANAPOLIS –  More than 30 national medical, scientific, and health and fitness organizations today urged President Obama to give physical activity a heightened focus on the nation’s health care agenda.

The call to action cited the powerful effects that physical activity has on reducing long-term health care costs. The United States currently spends 16 percent of its Gross Domestic Product on health care, more than any other developed nation in the world. Although health care spending could account for up to 20 percent of the GDP by 2015, more than 75 percent of diseases treated by health care are preventable.

Physical activity is a viable, inexpensive way to combat these numerous preventable health problems, including heart disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, colon cancer, stroke, osteoporosis, depression and anxiety, breast cancer, and falls among older adults.

Supporters of the letter also urged Obama to focus the activities of the to-be-appointed Surgeon General, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and director of the National Institutes for Health on increasing physical activity to promote health and reduce chronic disease.

Organizations issuing the call to action include:

  • American Alliance for Health Physical Education Recreation and Dance
  • American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation
  • American College of Sports Medicine Activity & Health Policy Network
  • American Council on Exercise
  • American Dietetic Association
  • American Hiking Society
  • American Osteopathic Academy of Sports Medicine
  • Association for Applied Sport Psychology
  • Be Active New York State
  • Center for Science in the Public Interest
  • Clinical Exercise Physiology Association
  • Connor Sport Court International
  • International Association for Worksite Health Promotion
  • International Health, Racquet, and Sportsclub Association
  • National Academy of Sports Medicine
  • National Association for Sport and Physical Education
  • National Athletic Training Association
  • National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity
  • Pop Warner Football
  • Pop Warner Little Scholars
  • Shaping America’s Health
  • Snowsports Industries America
  • The National Association for Health and Fitness
  • Trust for America’s Health
  • US Biathlon Association
  • US Speedskating
  • US Triathlon
  • USA Diving
  • USA Hockey
  • USA Luge
  • USA Volleyball
  • Washington Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity
  • Wellness Institute of Greater Buffalo and Western New York
  • Women’s Sports Foundation

The letter to President Obama read as follows:

March 13, 2009

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear President Obama:

We, the undersigned organizations, write to express our strong support for the promotion of physical activity as a way to combat our nation’s health care problems.

In addition, as you work with Secretary-Designee Kathleen Sebelius and future candidates for the positions of Director of the National Institutes for Health (NIH), Director of the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Surgeon General, we urge you to focus their activities on the important role of physical activity in preventing and managing numerous and troubling health problems in the United States.  As leaders in your Administration, these positions will play a vital role in determining how we move America from an inactive nation beset with preventable health problems to an active nation living a healthy lifestyle free of preventable disease.

Physical inactivity is a leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States and a huge economic burden on the nation.  A massive array of serious health problems including heart disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, colon cancer, stroke, osteoporosis, depression and anxiety, breast cancer, and falls among older adults are attributable to inactive lifestyles.

According to recent studies, more than 150 million Americans over the age of 20 are either overweight or obese, and it is estimated that by 2010, 20 percent of children in the U.S. will be obese.  The United States currently spends 16 percent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on health care.  This is more than any other developed nation in the world.  The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) projects health care spending will account for 20 percent of our GDP (or $4 trillion) by 2015.  Seventy-five percent of every dollar spent on health care goes towards treatment of preventable chronic diseases.

We are committed to improving America’s health and we believe it is imperative that the federal government be devoted to an ongoing process that is dedicated to promoting physical activity and reducing physical inactivity in America.  We are ready to support you in your efforts to attack this growing problem that is affecting our nation’s health and economy.  We look forward to working with you and your Administration on this difficult issue.

-30-

The American College of Sports Medicine is the largest sports medicine and exercise science organization in the world. More than 35,000 international, national, and regional members and certified professionals are dedicated to advancing and integrating scientific research to provide educational and practical applications of exercise science and sports medicine.

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