Casey, Burr Applaud Passage of Resolution Encouraging Exercise
to Prevent Disease, Lower Health Care Costs
WASHINGTON, DC—U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) applauded the passage of a bipartisan resolution he introduced with Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) affirming the importance of exercise and encouraging the development of incentives to promote physical activity to combat obesity, reduce chronic disease and lower health care costs.
“Exercise is a key component of a healthy lifestyle and it prevents disease, death and saves the government and taxpayers money,” said Senator Casey. “I applaud the passage of this resolution and encourage everyone to make exercise a part of their lifestyle.”
“It’s important for children to adopt healthy habits at a young age, including exercise and physical activity, which help to prevent disease and lower health care costs,” said Senator Burr. “Exercise is a critical component of putting children and adults on a path to life-long health, while combating our nation’s obesity epidemic and the staggering costs that come with it.”
The resolution cites data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that indicate over 400,000 people die every year as a result of poor diet and physical inactivity. Approximately half of the direct costs associated with diseases that stem from obesity and inactivity are paid for by the government and taxpayers through federally funded programs like Medicaid and Medicare, the resolution states, and the potential savings in direct medical costs if all American adults engaged in regular physical activity could be as high as $80 billion.
The resolution was endorsed by more than 30 health and recreation organizations, including the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association, the YMCA of the USA, the American Diabetes Association and the American College of Preventive Medicine.
The full text of the resolution is below:
Affirming the importance of exercise and physical activity as key components of a healthy lifestyle, including in combating obesity, reducing chronic disease, and lowering health care costs.
Whereas data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that poor diet and physical inactivity cause over 400,000 deaths each year;
Whereas data from the Department of Health and Human Services estimate that 68 percent of adults and 16.9 percent of children of the United States are obese or overweight;
Whereas obesity is associated with more than 30 medical conditions, including cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension;
Whereas research has clearly demonstrated that increased physical activity can play a direct role in reducing the incidence of chronic diseases, including heart disease and diabetes;
Whereas, given the most recent trends in obesity, 1 in 3 children born in the United States in 2000 is expected to develop diabetes over the course of his or her lifetime;
Whereas research has estimated that moderate aerobic exercise lowers the adult risk for type 2 diabetes by 58 percent, heart disease by 45 percent, colon cancer by up to 50 percent, and breast cancer by up to 30 percent;
Whereas average per capita health spending increased by 40 percent during calendar years 1997 through 2005, but the average per capita spending for the 15 costliest conditions, all associated with obesity, increased 55 percent during those calendar years;
Whereas the potential savings in direct medical costs if all inactive American adults engaged in regular physical activity could be as high as $80,000,000,000;
Whereas approximately half of the direct medical costs associated with diseases that stem from obesity and inactivity are paid for by the government and the taxpayers of the United States through federally funded programs, such as Medicaid and Medicare;
Whereas regular exercise combined with reduced caloric intake has been shown to be most effective in reducing body mass;
Whereas, even if an individual does not lose weight, exercise may provide health benefits to that individual, including psychological benefits such as lower rates of stress and anxiety, lower rates of depression, higher self-esteem, and an improved body image;
Whereas new research shows that financial incentives can be used to develop or foster good exercise habits: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Senate—
(1) affirms the importance of exercise and physical activity as key components of a healthy lifestyle, including combating obesity, reducing chronic disease, and lowering health care costs; and
(2) encourages the development of incentives, including responsible economic incentives, to promote exercise and a more physically active and healthy United States.