Harkin, Brownback, Udall and Wamp Introduce Bicameral, Bipartisan Legislation to Push Physical Activity Guidelines
Legislation Would Require Health Department to Create Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans of Every Age
Lack of Physical Activity a Key Factor in Rising Rates of Obesity and Skyrocketing Health Care Costs
Washington, D.C. – Responding to recent reports that Americans are growing unhealthier and less active, U.S. Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Sam Brownback (R-KS), along with Representatives Mark Udall (D-CO) and Zach Wamp (R-TN) today introduced legislation aimed at improving the health and wellness of Americans. The Physical Activities Guidelines for Americans Act would direct the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to prepare and promote physical activity guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence, for Americans similar to dietary and nutritional guidelines, commonly known as the Food Pyramid, which are updated every five years.
"Many Americans are unaware of just how much exercise they should be getting," said Senator Harkin. "These guidelines will promote a healthier lifestyle and improve fitness among all age groups. This is a step towards combating the obesity epidemic and the onslaught of chronic disease that is causing our health care costs to skyrocket."-----------------------------
First of all, WHAAA?! Americans do too know how much exercise they should be getting, they just aren't doing it! Even the little ones know they should be moving for at least 30 minutes daily (recommendations are actually 60+ min for them. Also, why has it taken upwards of 30 YEARS to get this initiative going? I mean yes, I applaud the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) for finally lighting a fire under some political butts, but really.
It's just simple truth that people in Western civilized countries just don't move enough. We've done a pretty darn good job of conditioning ourselves to accept that "we're too busy," or "exercise is no fun." We don't eat very well either, despite having had the Food Pyramid since the 80's, so what makes ACSM and the politicos believe that having national guidelines will get people to do it? What we need are INITIATIVES. You know, stuff like subsidizing/decreasing the cost of fresh foods and taxes on nutritionally deficient (junk) foods, and health care companies that reduce premiums on people who work out at least 3 times per week and/or have decreased their weight by 10% or more since beginning the insurance plan (if their weight was higher than recommended in the first place), etc. If we make it make sense with MONEY $$ then for some reason it gets done.
However, at least the article is worth reading. Here's the rest of it:
"I am pleased that the Physical Activities Guidelines for Americans Act will promote better physical activity guidelines for all Americans. It is clear that in order to combat the rising rates of obesity we must encourage physical activity as key components of a healthy lifestyle," said Senator Brownback. "Reducing America's obesity rate and encouraging healthier living will alleviate a wide-range of health issues currently facing our nation's youth."
"The wealthiest country in the world should be the healthiest. This is a matter of national security and of economic competitiveness," said Congressman Udall. "These guidelines are a common-sense way to improve the quality of life of many Americans."
"The human body was made to move. The more people we can encourage to have a regime of physical activity in their lives and take better care of themselves, the better off we will be as a society," said Congressman Wamp. "Publishing physical activity guidelines may persuade Americans to live a healthier lifestyle."
"An overwhelming amount of research clearly demonstrates the importance of physical activity in preventing disease and lowering death rates. In fact, approximately 250,000 premature deaths each year can be attributed to lifestyles that lack physical activity," said Mindy Millard-Stafford, Ph.D., American College of Sports Medicine president-elect. "As a mother, I find it appalling that we are facing the possibility that my daughter's generation may be the first not to out live their parents, in part, due to lower physical activity in our kids."
More than half of Americans do not get enough daily exercise to maintain proper health. The Physical Activities Guidelines for Americans Act will call for guidelines for children, adults, seniors and people with disabilities, to ensure Americans understand how much exercise they should be getting.