Octobers thought bullets come from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention
(CDC) Web site on Nutrition and Physical Activity <http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa>.
- Chronic diseases account for 7 out of every 10 deaths in the United States. Sixty
percent of the total medical care expenditures go for the treatment and care of chronic
diseases. Chronic diseases have on enormous impact on decreased quality of life for
millions of Americans.
- At the turn of the century, the life expectancy for Americans was 45 years. Today it is
75 years (67% increase). Researchers believe 5 years of the 30-year gain can be attributed
to advances in medicine. The other 25 years are attributed to advancements in public
health including sanitation, immunization, and improved housing.
- Physical inactivity and unhealthy eating have critical impacts on health. Only tobacco
use causes more preventable deaths in the United States.
- Physical activity need not be strenuous to be beneficial. Example of beneficial moderate
physical activity: 30 minutes of brisk walking five or more times a week.
- Documented benefits of regular physical activity include:
* Reduced risk of dying from coronary heart disease
* Reduced risk of colon cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure
* Control of weight
* Maintenance of healthy bones, muscles and joints
* Reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression.
- Despite the proven benefits of regular physical activity, more than 60% of American
adults do not engage in sufficient levels of physical activity to achieve the known
- Promotion of physical activity must be accorded the same degree of attention as other
important public health messages. The CDC has launched a campaign called Physical
Activity: Its Everywhere You Go. Messages include physical activity at work
(take the stairs instead of the elevator), physical activity at home (enjoy gardening) and
physical activity in the community (enjoy throwing a frisbee in the park).
- Communicating the message of get active is not enough. The get active
message must be supported by programs, policies and environments that support physical
Compiled by Betty Holmes, MS, RD
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