President Bush urges Americans to make themselves and their nation healthier through exercise, proper diet and regular checkups"/> President Bush urges Americans to make themselves and their nation healthier through exercise, proper diet and regular checkups"/>
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ACE STANDS BEHIND WHITE HOUSE "HEALTHIER U.S. INITIATIVE"
President Bush urges Americans to make themselves and their nation healthier through exercise, proper diet and regular checkups

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – June 20, 2002 – The American Council on Exercise (ACE), America’s nonprofit fitness advocate, today announced its complete support of President George W. Bush’s “Healthier U.S. Initiative.” Announced recently by the White House Office of the Press Secretary, the initiative addresses the future of our overweight nation and hopes to motivate Americans to live healthier lives.

President Bush’s call to action is in response to the growing number of obesity-related illnesses that account for more than 300,000 deaths per year, and cost the country over $117 billion in medical expenses and lost productivity.

“It is up to each one of us to make America a healthy nation,” said Ken Germano, ACE executive director and founder of Operation FitKids. “Now with the directive from our president, our nation is forced to see the importance of this severe problem.”

Established in 1985, ACE has emerged as a significant force in the field of physical fitness and is committed to promoting active, healthy lifestyles and their positive effects on the mind, body and spirit. ACE pledges to enable all segments of society to enjoy the benefits of physical activity and protect the public against unsafe and ineffective fitness products and trends.

ACE’s public outreach program, Operation Fit Kids (OFK), has emerged as a leading program in the area of youth fitness, helping thousands of children experience the benefits of physical fitness each year by giving them a safe and productive place to spend their time.

Through ACE, OFK provides fitness facilities to communities in need. Working with local high schools, organizations and youth groups, Operation FitKids creates fitness centers, at minimal cost, to provide adolescents and teenagers with greater access to comprehensive physical fitness programs.

Operation FitKids was established in 1990 and is dedicated to improving the health and fitness of America's youth. Operation FitKids has arranged for the donation of more than $6 million in equipment (accounting for nearly 8,000 exercise machines) to 150 facilities in cities including New York, Los Angeles, Detroit, Portland, Houston, San Antonio, San Diego, Washington, D.C., Orlando, Chicago and Miami. In the last three years alone, over 30 facilities have been completed.

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About ACE
The American Council on Exercise (ACE), America’s Authority on Fitness, is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the benefits of physical activity and protecting consumers against unsafe and ineffective fitness products and instruction. As the nation’s “workout watchdog,” ACE sponsors university-based exercise science research and testing that targets fitness products and trends. ACE sets standards for fitness professionals and is the world’s largest nonprofit fitness certifying organization. For more information on ACE and its programs, call (800) 825-3636 or log onto the ACE Web site at www.acefitness.org.

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About ACE

Founded in 1985, the American Council on Exercise (ACE) is a nonprofit organization committed to America's health and wellbeing. Over the past 30 years, we have become an established resource for health and fitness professionals, and the public, providing comprehensive, unbiased research and validating ourselves as the country's trusted authority on health and fitness.

Today, ACE is the largest nonprofit health and fitness certification, education and training organization in the world with more than 60,000 certified professionals who hold more than 67,000 ACE Certifications. With a long heritage in certification, education, training and public outreach, we are among the most respected organizations in the industry and a resource the public has come to trust for health and fitness education.