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President Obama Urged to Prioritize Physical Activity

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According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), 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.

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. Physical activity is a viable, inexpensive way to combat these numerous preventable health problems. ACSM and many other health care organizations wrote a letter stating these facts to President Obama and encouraged him to promote and prioritize physical activity.

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