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Home > america on the move the national health

Health scares come and go, but the real and immediate threats to public health are the growing rate of obesity and widespread inactivity. No one understands this better than Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy G. Thompson. The fitness industry has a hero in Thompson. He speaks our language: if you exercise regularly, follow a balanced diet and don't smoke, your chances of remaining healthy and living longer climb dramatically. Most of all, he is a leader who recognizes prevention is the answer to turning around the nation's declining health.

National Press Conference Launch

This January, Secretary Thompson and Dr. Joyce Brothers are scheduled to announce a new public health initiative at a national press conference in Washington, D.C. The grassroots campaign creates what Secretary Thompson calls a "triumphant trio" of government, private industry and fitness professionals. Secretary Thompson aligned with AFAA, Stayhealthy (manufacturers of body fat testing products) and AmerisourceBergen Corporation (a pharmaceutical services provider) to deliver this public health initiative. Attending the conference will be senior management of IBM, AmerisourceBergen, AFAA, Stayhealthy as well as other corporations, national media, sports celebrities and a number of leading politicians.

AFAA Instructors to Provide Fitness Counseling

Both Secretary Thompson and Dr. Brothers agree that screening programs raise awareness and help people take control of their health. As a central mission, this public health campaign will provide free body composition testing in neighborhood pharmacies--an ideal location since pharmacists are among the most trusted health care professionals. Secretary Thompson is counting on AFAA certified instructors and personal trainers, the nation's top fitness and allied health professionals, to be on the frontline of the campaign by conducting the community screenings.

Qualifying AFAA instructors will offer free body fat testing and fitness counseling to individuals who visit participating pharmacies during a special body fat awareness promotion. Stayhealthy will provide the body fat measuring devices and the Good Neighbor Pharmacy and Family Pharmacy chains will be the sites. A free booklet written by Dr. Brothers, The Psychology of Body Fat: Thing Your Mind to Control Your Weight, will also be provided by the pharmacies.

Secretary Thompson says, "One of the first things fitness professionals can do is recruit more people into exercise plans." If you know someone who might need help with weight control, suggest a free consultation to get him or her hooked on an exercise plan. You might gain a long-term client and feel the reward of helping someone improve his or her health.

"We have a chance to change America for the better and make it healthier. The President wants to do it. I want to do it. You want to do it. Why not team up? Why not, as sort of a triumphant trio, go out and do something good for America? Enroll corporations, insurance companies, the youth and body politic into trying to persuade people to take care of themselves. That's what we have to do," states Secretary Thompson.

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