PHYSICAL ACTIVITY

  • Only one in three children are physically active every day.1
  • Less than 5% of adults participate in 30 minutes of physical activity each day;2 only one in three adults receive the recommended amount of physical activity each week.3
  • Only 35 – 44% of adults 75 years or older are physically active, and 28-34% of adults ages 65-74 are physically active.4
  • More than 80% of adults do not meet the guidelines for both aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities, and more than 80% of adolescents do not do enough aerobic physical activity to meet the guidelines for youth.5
  • In 2010, research found adults in Alaska (72.5%), Montana (72.4%), Utah (71.8%), and Vermont (73.3%) were more likely to be physically active than any other state. Tennessee (51.8%), Louisiana (56.0%), Mississippi (57.2%), and Kentucky (57.9%) were the least active states in the nation. The national average is only 64.5%.6
  • Children now spend more than seven and a half hours a day in front of a screen (e.g., TV, videogames, computer).7
  • Nationwide, 25.6% of persons with a disability reported being physically inactive during a usual week, compared to 12.8% of those without a disability.3
  • Only about one in five homes have parks within a half-mile, and about the same number have a fitness or recreation center within that distance.5

NUTRITION

  • Typical American diets exceed the recommended intake levels or limits in four categories: calories from solid fats and added sugars; refined grains; sodium; and saturated fat.2
  • Americans eat less than the recommended amounts of vegetables, fruits, whole-grains, dairy products, and oils.2
  • About 90% of Americans eat more sodium than is recommended for a healthy diet.8
  • Reducing the sodium Americans eat by 1,200mg per day on could save up to $20 billion a year in medical costs.8
  • Food available for consumption increased in all major food categories from 1970 to 2008. Average daily calories per person in the marketplace increased approximately 600 calories.2
  • Since the 1970s, the number of fast food restaurants has more than doubled.2
  • More than 23 million Americans, including 6.5 million children, live in food deserts – areas that are more than a mile away from a supermarket.9
  • In recent years, nearly 15% of American households have been unable to acquire adequate food to help meet their needs.2 In 2008, an estimated 49.1 million people, including 16.7 million children, experienced food insecurity (limited availability to safe and nutritionally adequate foods) multiple times throughout the year.10

OBESITY

  • Data from 2009-2010 indicates that over 78 million U.S. adults and about 12.5 million (16.9%) children and adolescents are obese.11
  • Recent reports project that by 2030, half of all adults (115 million adults) in the United States will be obese.12
  • Overweight adolescents have a 70% chance of becoming overweight or obese adults.13 14
  • For children with disabilities, obesity rates are approximately 38% higher than for children without disabilities. It gets worse for the adult population where obesity rates for adults with disabilities are approximately 57% higher than for adults without disabilities.15
  • Obesity Then and Now2
    • Prevalence of obesity for children ages 2 to 5 years – doubled
      • Early 1970s: 5%
      • 2007-08: 10%
    • Prevalence of obesity for children ages 6 to 11 years – quadrupled
      • Early 1970s: 4%
      • 2007-08: 20%
    • Prevalence of obesity for children ages 12 to 19 years – tripled
      • Early 1970s: 6%
      • 2007-08: 18%
    • Percentage of obese adults – doubled
      • Early 1970s: 15%
      • 2007-08: 34%
    • States with an adult obesity prevalence rate of more than 25%:
      • Early 1970s: Zero
      • 2007-08: 32
  • Nearly 45% of children living in poverty are overweight or obese compared with 22% of children living in households with incomes four times the poverty level.16
  • Almost 40% of Black and Latino youth ages 2 to 19 are overweight or obese compared with only 29% of White youth.16

Human and Financial Costs of Obesity

  • Obesity-related medical conditions cost our nation nearly $150 billion every year and account for 16 to 18 percent of our total healthcare costs (1 in every 6 dollars spent).17
  • Projections estimate that by 2018, obesity will cost the U.S. 21 percent of our total healthcare costs - $344 billion annually.18
  • Those who are obese have medical costs that are $1,429 more than those of normal weight on average (roughly 42% higher).19
  • The annual cost of being overweight is $524 for women and $432 for men; annual costs for being obese are even higher: $4,879 for women and $2,646 for men.20
  • Obesity is also a growing threat to national security – a surprising 27% of young Americans are too overweight to serve in our military. Approximately 15,000 potential recruits fail their physicals every year because they are unfit.21

REFERENCES

1 National Association for Sport and Physical Education. The Fitness Equation: Physical Activity + Balanced Diet = Fit Kids. Reston, VA: National Association for Sport and Physical Education, 1999.

2 U.S. Department of Agriculture. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010. Available at:http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/dietaryguidelines.htm.

3 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Healthy People 2010. Available at:http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/healthy_people/hp2010.htm.

4 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey. Available at:http://www.cdc.gov/brfss/.

5 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Healthy People 2020. Available at:http://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/default.aspx.

6 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC State Indicator Report on Physical Activity. Available at:http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/downloads/PA_State_Indicator_Report_2010.pdf.

7 Rideout, Victoria J., Foehr, Ulla G., and Roberts, Donald F. Generation M2: Media in the Lives of 8- to 18-Year-Olds.Rep. Menlo Park: Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, 2010.

8 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Vital Signs: Where's the Sodium? Available at:http://www.cdc.gov/VitalSigns/pdf/2012-02-vitalsigns.pdf.

9 U.S. Department of Agriculture. Creating Access to Healthy, Affordable Food. Available at:http://apps.ams.usda.gov/fooddeserts/.

10 Nord, Mark, Andrews, Margaret, and Carlson, Steven. Household Food Security in the United States, 2008. Rep. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, 2009; Available at: http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/err-economic-research-report/err83.aspx.

11 Ogden, C.L., Carroll, M.D., Kit, B.K., Flegal, K.M. Prevalence of Obesity in the United States, 2009-2010. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics Data Brief, January 2012; Available at:http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db82.pdf.

12 Wang, Y Claire, McPherson, Klim, Marsh, Tim, Gortmaker, Steven L., Brown, Martin. Health and Economic Burden of the Projected Obesity Trends in the USA and the UK. The Lancet; 2011.

13 Hedley, A.A., Ogden, C.L., Johnson, C.L., Carroll, M.D., Curtin, L.R., and Flegal, K.M. Overweight and Obesity Among US Children, Adolescents, and Adults, 1999-2002. Journal of the American Medical Association; 2004.

14 Flegal, K.M., Carroll, M.D., Kuczmarski, R.J., and Johnson, C.L. Overweight and Obesity in the United States: Prevalence and Trends, 1960-1994. International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders; 1998.

15 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. 2003-2008. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/disabilityandhealth/documents/obesityfactsheet2010.pdf.

16 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. F As In Fat: How Obesity Threatens America's Future. 2010. Available at:http://www.rwjf.org/files/research/20100629fasinfatmainreport.pdf Exit Disclaimer.

17 Wang, Youfa, Beydoun, May A., Liang, Lan, Caballero, Benjamin, and Kumanyika, Shiriki K. Will Americans Become Overweight or Obese? Estimating the Progression and Cost of the US Obesity Epidemic. Obesity; 2008.

18 National Association for Sport and Physical Education. 2010 Shape of the Nation Report. Available at:http://www.aahperd.org/naspe/publications/upload/Shape-of-the-Nation-2010-Final.pdf Exit Disclaimer.

19 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Vital Signs: Adult Obesity. 2010. Available at:http://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/AdultObesity/.

20 Dor, Avi, Christine Ferguson, Casey Langwith, and Ellen Tan. A Heavy Burden: The Individual Costs of Being Overweight and Obese in the United States. Washington, DC: The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services Department of Health Policy; 2010.

21 American Heart Association. Teaching America's Kids About A Healthy Lifestyle. 2010. Available at:http://www.heart.org/idc/groups/heart-public/@wcm/@adv/documents/downloadable/ucm_301728.pdf Exit Disclaimer.The Importance of Physical Activity for All Americans

Physical Activity | October, 18 2012

By: Dominique Dawes, Three-time Olympic gymnast, motivational speaker and Co-chair of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition

Obesity impacts more than just the waistbands of Americans – life expectancy, health, medical spending, and productivity are all affected by the weight of the nation. If recent trends continue, experts predict all adults will be overweight or obese by 2048. The statistics are equally as startling when it comes to youth – one in every three youth are overweight or obese. Overweight adolescents have a 70 percent chance of becoming overweight or obese adults.

Without regular physical activity and good nutrition, these trends likely will not reverse. That is why the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition (PCFSN), within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, works every day to promote physical activity and healthier lifestyles among all Americans regardless of age, background or ability.

The benefits of physical activity include a lower risk of premature death, lower rates of disease – including heart disease, stroke, hypertension and cancers of the colon and breast – and improved cognitive capacity.

In fact, physical activity among children not only helps them stay healthy, but studies show that it can also enhance important skills like concentration and problem solving, which can improve their academic performance.  PCFSN highlighted this important message in our recently released public service announcements targeting parents and caregivers, which featured President’s Council co-chair Drew Brees (NFL quarterback) and myself. 

Other PCFSN programs promote physical activity for a wide range of audiences – from Joining Forces (service members and their families) to I Can Do It, You Can Do It! (persons with disabilities) to a collaboration with the President’s Challenge (Presidential Youth Fitness Program for students and the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award for all ages).

Visit the new home of PCFSN at Fitness.gov to learn more about its initiatives, including the physical activity initiative to inspire youth in your community to get active and tips for getting active at any age. For example, Council members highlight their own tips for staying physically active:

  •  “Make exercise a family affair. Physical activity is more than the gym and classes. Dancing, walking or ice skating with your family provides great physical activity opportunities, and is a great way to spend time with your loved ones.” –Cornell McClellan, trainer to the First Family
  •  “When it comes to fitness, you never have to go it alone. Grab a friend! I climbed Kilimanjaro with my daughter and exercise in the mornings with colleagues from work. By sharing time spent being active, we receive much-needed support that helps us reach our goals.” –Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
  • “Find a way to build physical activity into your daily routine. I led the development of a 2,000 square foot employee wellness center in our district office, but we could not hire anyone to open it. I volunteer to open the wellness center at 6 a.m. so that my colleagues and I can in get our workouts before the workday starts.” –Dr. Jayne Greenberg, district director of physical education and health literacy for Miami-Dade County Public Schools (Fla.)
  • The Department of Health and Human Services issued the federal government's first-ever Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans in 2008 to help Americans understand the types and amounts of physical activity that offer important health benefits. Physical activity is any form of exercise or movement of the body that uses energy. Some of your daily life activities—doing active chores around the house, yard work, walking the dog—are examples. The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend 60 minutes of physical aerobic activity daily for children ages 6-17 (there are no specifications for those five and under), and 30 minutes daily for adults ages 18-64.

    The President's Council has convened a subcommittee to review the evidence on strategies to increase physical activity among youth. The subcommittee chaired by PCFSN member Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, will present their findings in a Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans Mid-Course Review Report scheduled for release in 2013.

    CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS (6-17 YEARS OLD)

    Children and adolescents should get 60 minutes or more of physical activity daily. Most of the 60 or more minutes a day should be either moderate- or vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity, and should include vigorous-intensity physical activity at least three days a week. As part of their 60 or more minutes of daily physical activity, children and adolescents should include muscle- and bone-strengthening physical activity at least three days of the week.

    ADULTS (18-64 YEARS OLD)

    Adults should get at least two and a half hours (150 minutes) each week of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity. You need to do this type of activity for at least 10 minutes at a time as intervals shorter than this do not have the same health benefits. Adults should also do strengthening activities, like push-ups, sit-ups and lifting weights, at least two days a week.

    AEROBIC ACTIVITIES

    Aerobic activities require moderate physical effort and include, but are not limited to: biking slowly, canoeing, ballroom dancing, general gardening, using your manual wheelchair, arm cycling, walking briskly, and water aerobics. Examples of vigorous activities are basketball, jumping rope, running or bicycling on hills, soccer, swimming laps, and martial arts.

    Not sure whether you are at a moderate or vigorous activity level? Try the talk test. If you can talk while you are active, then you are participating at a moderate level. If you can only say a few words without stopping to catch your breath, then you are engaging in vigorous activity.

    MUSCLE-STRENGTHENING ACTIVITIES

    Strengthening activities work all the major muscle groups - legs, hips, back, chest, stomach, shoulders, and arms. These activities include, but are not limited to: lifting weights, push-ups, sit-ups, and working with resistance bands. Don't have weights? Common household items such as bottled water and soup cans can also be used.

    BONE-STRENGTHENING ACTIVITIES

    Bone-strengthening activities produce a force on the bones that promotes bone growth and strength. This force is commonly produced by impact with the ground. The good news: bone-strengthening activities can also be aerobic and muscle-strengthening like running, jumping rope, basketball, tennis, and hopscotch.

No categories found


There are no files available for any categories.

Physical activity provides long-term health benefits for everyone! By being active, you will burn calories that you store from eating throughout the day and—it can be as easy as walking the dog or as rigorous as running a marathon. Providing opportunities for children to be active early on puts them on a path to better physical and mental health. It's never too late to jumpstart a healthy lifestyle.

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY & OBESITY

Physical activity, along with proper nutrition, is beneficial to people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities. And it is important that everyone gets active: over the last 20 years, there's been a significant increase in obesity in the United States. About one-third of U.S. adults (33.8%) are obese and approximately 17% (or 12.5 million) of children and adolescents (aged 2-19 years) are obese.1 

The health implications of obesity in America are startling:

  • If things remain as they are today, one-third of all children born in the year 2000 or later may suffer from diabetes at some point in their lives, while many others are likely to face chronic health problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, diabetes, and asthma.2
  • Studies indicate that overweight youth may never achieve a healthy weight, and up to 70% of obese teens may become obese adults.3
  • Even more worrisome, the cumulative effect could be that children born in the year 2000 or later may not outlive their parents. 4

The impact of obesity doesn't end there. Obesity has personal financial and national economic implications as well. Those who are obese have medical costs that are $1,429 more than those of normal weight on average (roughly 42% higher).5 And annual direct costs of childhood obesity are $14.3 billion.6 

By incorporating physical activity into your daily life—30 minutes for adults and 60 minutes for children—as well as healthy eating, you will experience positive health benefits and be on the path for a better future.

THE IMPACT OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY ON YOUR HEALTH

Regular physical activity can produce long-term health benefits. It can help:

Child playing soccer
  • Prevent chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and stroke (the three leading health-related causes of death)
  • Control weight
  • Make your muscles stronger
  • Reduce fat
  • Promote strong bone, muscle, and joint development
  • Condition heart and lungs
  • Build overall strength and endurance
  • Improve sleep
  • Decrease potential of becoming depressed
  • Increase your energy and self-esteem
  • Relieve stress
  • Increase your chances of living longer

When you are not physically active, you are more at risk for:

  • High blood pressure
  • High blood cholesterol
  • Stroke
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Cancer

REFERENCES

1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. U.S. Obesity Trends. (2011). Retrieved from:http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/trends.HTML

2 Let's Move!. (2009). Learn the Facts. Retrieved from: http://www.letsmove.gov/learn-facts/epidemic-childhood-obesity

3 Office of the Surgeon General. The Surgeon General's Call To Action To Prevent and Decrease Overweight and Obesity. (2007). Retrieved from: http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/topics/obesity/calltoaction/fact_adolescents.htm

4 Ludwig DS (2007). New England Journal of Medicine, 357(23): 2325-2. Retrieved from:http://www.getoutdoorsalaska.org/sites/default/files/Nature_Initiative_Fact_Sheet_12.4.09.pdf

5 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2010). Vital Signs: Adult Obesity. Retrieved from:http://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/AdultObesity/

6 Hammond, Ross A., and Ruth Levine. (2010). The Economic Impact of Obesity in the United States. Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity: Targets and Therapy 3: 285-295.