Bush Launches New Federal Initiative to Encourage Physical Fitness
President Bush yesterday at the White House launched a four-day "federal focus" on physical fitness and urged Americans to exercise, "eat healthy and abstain from alcohol and tobacco" use, the Washington Times reports. Bush this week released a 16-page booklet that outlines his "Healthier USA" initiative, which recommends at least a half-hour of exercise each day for adults and "more for children." In addition, the initiative calls for regular preventive health care and "avoidance of any risky behaviors," including use of alcohol, tobacco and illegal drugs (Curl, Washington Times, 6/21). Bush said, "Better health is an individual responsibility, and it is an important national goal," adding, "The evidence is clear: A healthier America is a stronger America" (Zeleny, Chicago Tribune, 6/21). Bush cited an HHS report released yesterday that found "more than one-third" of the nation's students in ninth through 12th grade fail to exercise at least 20 minutes a day, three times a week (Washington Times, 6/21). The HHS report, titled "Physical Activity Fundamental to Preventing Disease," analyzed data from past studies to determine the "correlation between inactivity and poor health," including the onset of diseases such as diabetes, obesity and heart disease (HHS release, 6/20). Bush yesterday also announced new members of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, including Chair Lynn Swann, a former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver and a commentator for ABC Sports, and Vice Chair Dr. Dorothy "Dot" Richardson, a two-time Olympic gold medalist in softball (HHS release, 6/20).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.