Costs of Inadequate Nutrition and Physical Activity on Obesity, Lifestyles, and Disability
Public health initiatives encouraging healthy lifestyles can prevent diminished health leading to a host of chronic health conditions that may cause disability. Two aspects of a healthy lifestyle linked with chronic disorders are inadequate nutrition and poor physical activity. Consequences of inadequate nutrition and physical activity may be obesity, and obesity is the precursor to a host of chronic conditions.
Proactive public health initiatives can begin by holding federal agencies accountable to collaborate on multidisciplinary health and physical education and activity models. Agencies such as the Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services and the Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Disability should work together to focus on transition from school to work to community to retirement, emphasizing physical education motor skill development, physical fitness, recreation, and leisure pursuits.
For instance, the Department of Health and Human Services rolled out the I Can Do It, You Can Do It initiative which utilizes the President's Physical Fitness Program to encourage peer mentorship with children who have disabilities to participate in after school activity programs. While no federal financial support has yet been appropriated to this initiative, it might be a good start--especially if this Department works with the Department of Education and with adapted physical education teachers who will develop the appropriate skills and abilities so that children with disabilities can participate safely and successfully in these recreational programs.
Many federal legislators realize the value of regular physical activity and proper nutrition education for all people, especially for those with disabilities. A list of legislative initiatives of the 109th Congress related to inadequate physical activity follows.
Proposed Legislation Related to Physical Activity
* HR. 807: Extend the IRS transportation fringe benefit to bicycle commuters (Blumenauer)
* HR. 2844: Foster greater understanding of human eating patterns, physical activity, dietary exposure, and nutritional status through timely information to the public (Hinchey)
* S. 421: Reauthorize programs related to sport, fishing, and recreational boating (Lott)
* S. 772: Expand workplace health incentive by equalizing employee athletic facility use (Cornyn)
* S. 794: Improve the safety of non-motorized transportation, including pedestrian and bicycle safety (Harkin)
* S. 808: Encourage energy conservation through bicycling (Durbin)
* S. 1067: Undertake activities to ensure the provisions of services under the PE program to frail elders living in rural areas
* S. 1074: Improve the health of Americans and reduce health care costs by reorienting the Nation's health care system toward prevention, wellness, and self-care
* *S. 1276: Amend section 1111 of the ESEA regarding challenging academic content standards for physical education (Cornyn)
* *S. 1324: Reduce and prevent childhood obesity by encouraging schools and school districts to develop and implement local school-based programs designed to prevent childhood obesity
* *S.1325: Establish grants to provide health services for improved nutrition, increased physical activity, obesity, and eating disorder prevention
Proposed Legislation Related to Obesity
* HR. 49: Raise awareness of eating disorders and create educational programs (Biggert)
* HR. 286: Provide medically necessary prescription drug coverage to treat obesity under Medicaid and SCHIP (Towns)
* S. 799: Provide for the coordination of activities to prevent obesity in childhood, within homes, schools, and communities (Kennedy)
* S. 1074: Improve the health of Americans and reduce health care costs by re-orienting the …
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Publication information: Article title: Costs of Inadequate Nutrition and Physical Activity on Obesity, Lifestyles, and Disability. Contributors: Not available. Magazine title: Palaestra. Volume: 21. Issue: 4 Publication date: Fall 2005. Page number: 5. © 1999 Challenge Publications Limited. COPYRIGHT 2005 Gale Group.
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