Bush, First Lady Launch Initiative to Boost Nation’s Physical Fitness Levels
Hoping to motivate the estimated 50% of U.S. adults who do not exercise "at all," President Bush and first lady Laura Bush next week will launch a new exercise initiative, the Los Angeles Times reports. White House spokesperson Ari Fleischer yesterday said that the president will host a "fitness exposition" on the South Lawn next Thursday, when he will announce the new members of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports (Chen, Los Angeles Times, 6/13). The exposition will include free diabetes screenings, nutritional advice and blood-pressure, cholesterol and body-mass index tests for "an invited crowd" of schoolchildren and seniors. As part of the initiative, the Department of the Interior is dropping entrance fees to all national parks over the June 22-June 23 weekend to "encourage Americans to hike, walk or just visit our national treasures," Fleischer said. That weekend, Bush will host a three-mile run at Fort McNair with about 400 White House staffers. Deputy White House Communications Director Jim Wilkinson said, "Everyone is free to run at the pace they choose, but clearly the president is going to keep score," adding, "We expect the president to win the president's division." The first lady also will lead a 1.5-mile walk around Fort McNair. President Bush said, "[E]very little bit of exercise counts, and if you do nothing now, you should walk; if you walk, you should run; if you run, you should sprint" (Sobieraj, AP/Nando Times, 6/12).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.