Graham Melstrand by Graham Melstrand
on

Dear Members of the 116th Congress:

A new session of Congress is a time to reflect on the goals, issues and priorities that impact all Americans. The American Council on Exercise (ACE) strongly encourages you to prioritize one issue that touches the life of almost every person in the country: the epidemic of inactivity and its effect on chronic disease.

The impact of inactivity on population health is extensive. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 30 percent of adults aged 18 years or older are obese, with an additional 35 percent being classified as overweight. Further, about half of all adults in the U.S. have at least one chronic health condition such as high blood pressure or diabetes. All of these conditions are costly to our healthcare systems and impact productivity, military readiness and quality of life for Americans.

Addressing inactivity through an array of approaches such as behavior-change counseling and structured physical activity programs and interventions, diverse academic research, and additional funding to public health agencies could not only save millions of American from a lifetime of health issues, but also make a large impact on healthcare service delivery nationwide. The American Council on Exercise calls on Congress to consider the following policies:

The American Council on Exercise calls on Congress to consider the following policies:

  • Incentivize the inclusion of community resources and programs such as behavior-change counseling in coordinated care for people living with chronic-disease that are supported by Medicare, Medicaid, and military and private insurance that could be delivered by teams that include non-traditional providers such as well-qualified exercise professionals and health coaches.
  • Support science-based, behavior-focused preventive interventions that are safe, effective, accessible, and affordable to Americans of all ages, ethnicities, and income levels that can be delivered in communities, schools, workplaces, and health clubs and fitness facilities.
  • Recognize behavior-change counseling and structured physical activity programs as allowable expenses for a Health Savings Account or Flexible Spending Account.
  • Increase funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention efforts to promote physical activity as an effective means of prevention and management of cardiovascular disease, obesity and other chronic diseases.

We are here as a resource for the 116th Congress. Please visit us at www.ACEfitness.org, call us at (858) 380-3899 or send us an email at advocacy@acefitness.org.

In health,

Graham Melstrand

Executive Vice President, Engagement

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