May 5th, 2010
04:57 PM ET

Steps to a healthier nation

By Madison Park
CNNhealth.com writer/producer

How do you  get a nation moving?

The National Physical Activity Plan report, out this week, attempts to address that.

The panel composed of members from organizations including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and American College of Sports Medicine made suggestions on ways to facilitate fitness.  Here are some of them:

- Work with employers to make physical activity practices and policies, such as flex time for activity, commonplace

- Encourage businesses to explore ways to promote physical activity and reward innovative actions

- Promote physical education in schools and provide resources (facilities, equipment, appropriately trained staff) for such programming

- Require school districts to annually collect, monitor, and track students’ health-related fitness data, including body mass index

- Establish tax incentives to promote the development and use of parks, recreation, fitness, and sports facilities and programs

The report is geared to policy makers and stake holders in public health, education and business.

What kind of steps do you think schools, workplaces and the government can take  to encourage Americans to be healthier?

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soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Maria H-Miami

    I come from Europe ( U.S. Citizen ) been there-done that-doesn't work and I have lived in various countries.

    Why is the USA always late trying out what Europeans have already been doing for years and are getting away from, especially at the work place?

    This is just one more Fad, Gimick Americans will entertain for a few years and then will quickly drop and move on when they realize it doesn't work and it cost them a lot of money $$$$$.

    But I am sure someone along the way will find a way to line their pockets with Cash $$$$$$$$$$ selling programs, classes, clothing, music, equipment, books, etc....

    Have you guys seen how many people are coming up with all kinds of Diet Healthy Snack packs for kids on the internet? because they know parents have been frightened so they are vulnerable.

    On the Internet they're using Obesity now to make money on the vulnerable.

    Don't the members of these Panels ever live and work in other countries?

    The only one that works is Physical Education (PE) in schools.

    I fear a lot of vulnerable people will be taken for a ride.

    May 5, 2010 at 17:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Hu

    The number one recommendation should be to create incentives for people to ride their bikes to work. Less pollution, less dependence on the oil industry, less obesity. Win, Win, Win!!!

    May 5, 2010 at 23:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. DN

    Incentives for bikes, yes. But also safe bike routes. If I rode to work I would probably be dead now.

    May 6, 2010 at 11:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Lincoln Brigham

    The AAP, the ACSM, and the CDC all have a history of promoting ideas that are healthy only so long as they are also politically correct, so I'm not impressed.

    This quote especially irks me:
    "Establish tax incentives to promote the development and use of parks, recreation, fitness, and sports facilities and programs"

    Government already uses tax money, legistlative protection against lawsuits and the power of eminent domain to establish football programs, which is clearly the most dangerous of pediatric sports. It's a sport that simply would not exist without the contribution of local governments. These municipalities do not use their money and power in healthy ways as it is, so why would we want to give governments even more money and power to run sports programs?

    Someone needs to convince the AAP to quit using BMI and move up to assesment techniques that are a little closer to the 21st century science. It's been shown over and over again that BMI is quite flawed.

    May 6, 2010 at 11:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. bob

    Why is there no discussion of the FDA's recent rejection of the drug pirfenidone? There is a disease known as Ideopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) and is fatal to all that contract it. The median survival in terms of years after diagnosis is in the range of 3-4 years. This means that half the population of patients with IPF have only 3-4 years before they die. So it i becomes real curious that there is no discussion of the FDA rejection of the only drug to have been developed that could slow the progress of that disease. Why is CNN not bringing this topic to the attention of its viewers ?!!

    May 6, 2010 at 12:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Maria H-Miami


    I hate to tell you but here in Miami most of everyone drives 12 to 19 miles to work from home. And some drive 30 to 40 miles into the next counties.

    Between the Tropical storms, Rain with very bad lightning, Heat, Heat and Mosquitos that will eat you alive in seconds, you would never make it on a bike even 3 miles.

    May 6, 2010 at 16:28 | Report abuse | Reply

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