Thursday, July 29, 2010

Call for QUALITY PE!

7-29-10: Here's a call from the new exec dir of the President's Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition for the need for quality PE time!

Fighting Childhood Obesity

Posted: 28 Jul 2010 05:22 AM PDT

As the Executive Director of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition I am profoundly aware of the importance of making physical activity and nutrition accessible and affordable for all Americans, especially children. This is a multifaceted problem, and I’ll address several dimensions of this issue in this discussion.

Availability of facilities that provide healthy, affordable food in our communities is a necessity. If we do not have facilities within our neighborhoods where we can obtain fresh fruits and vegetables at affordable prices, then kids are going to continue to buy the Twinkies. We’ve got to incent our retail establishments to be able to come into communities. I think we’ve seen success where we’ve put forth the effort in this area.

The school environment has a strong influence on whether physical activity and nutrition are accessible to children. Kids spend a good part of their days, weeks, and years in school. We’ve got to continue pushing for policy change as it relates to physical education and school meals.

In many cases we are going in the wrong direction. Physical education is being cut out of schools, and it is so very important. Many states are passing policies mandating physical activity. This time could be recess, before or after school programs, or physical education. The unintended consequence we are hearing from school officials is “we are doing our 15 minutes of recess and then kids are walking between classes, so we are just going to cut PE because nobody said we have to do PE.” Physical education is a curricular area. It is an educational area that should be taught by a certified physical education teacher. It is not recess.

When advocates like myself come in and say we need more physical education, what we are really saying is we need more quality PE.

We know it can be done. Often we hear that test scores are the priority and we only have so many minutes in each school day, but we have examples of schools that have made it a priority where kids are getting 30 minutes of physical education every day and their test scores are increasing. For more information regarding this, reference the Centers for Disease Control and the National Association for Sport and Physical Education report on academics and physical education. There is an increasing body of research that shows definitively that kids who are physically active perform better academically. It can decrease their delinquency and behavioral issues, as well as help them concentrate so they tend to perform better on tests.

Has your organization worked to improve access to the health of America’s children through physical activity and nutrition? How? To learn how you can get involved, visit and become a President’s Challenge Advocate today.

Note: The President’s Council’s name was recently changed by Executive Order from President Obama to the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition (PCFSN) in recognition of the fact that good nutrition must go hand in hand with fitness and sports participation in order to achieve a healthy lifestyle.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

PCPs Lifestyle Impacts Patient's Lifestyle Choices

7-22-10 This just came out from the AMA Journal of Ethics, Virtual Mentor, talking about the importance of whether a PCP preaches healthy lifestyles, and if they do, how effective they are with their patients.

It found that PCPs who "practice what they preach" are much more effective in getting their patients to do likewise. Those who don't, and are also overweight, have very low credibility when it comes to lifestyle interventions.

To read more, go to:

Sitting just as deadly as not exercising enough?

7-22-10: More research supporting that being physically inactive during most of your day can be just as deadly as not getting your minimum recommended amount of exercise per day. Read the latest research here:

This supports the NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis) theory that it is good to get low intensity physical activity throughout the day.

Friday, July 9, 2010

ABCs of Fitness in school day!

7-9-10: A study looked at the ABC's of fitness...but not the alphabet, but the effects of "Activity Bursts in the Classroom"! It's a preliminary study, but I think shows great promise based on the results. David Katz, of Yale, is the lead researcher in this study.

It's a preliminary study, and they discuss the limitations, but I think it's a great start and one that future research can be built upon, especially with utilizing exergaming.

Here's the source and link to this article:

You may want to see this recent article from Preventing Chronic Disease, the online e-journal:
Preventing Chronic Disease (PCD) is a peer-reviewed journal established to disseminate knowledge and promote discussion among researchers and practitioners in the field of chronic disease prevention and health promotion. All issues are available electronically, free of charge to subscribers.
You can find PCD on the Web at:

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

TED talk on food and obesity

7-6-10: I know this blog is mainly about physical activity, but this is an excellent TED 2010 talk by James Oliver on food in our country and obesity. A must-watch 21-min. video clip! Check it out...

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Getting on the ball!

7-1-10: Wonder how you can get more exercise even though you're chained to a desk every day at work? Well check out this video clip, sent by one of our patients and maybe it'll motivate you to get on the ball at work! (I plan to get a ball to use here at work as well.)

Here's the e-mail link from Kelley:

Kelley here… I have attached a link that features the company that I work for. It is a feature that was done on our Redwood City/Sacramento offices and we at our Newport beach office have followed suit. I was the 2nd person in our region to “get on the ball”. Just thought I’d share!

Thx to Kelley for sharing and letting me post here in my PA blog!