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HealthierUS: The President's Health and Fitness Initiative

Chapter 2. Executive Order on Agency-wide Activities to Promote Personal Fitness

photo of a kickboxing classExisting information on the importance of appropriate physical activity, diet, preventive health screenings, and avoiding harmful substances is often not received by the public or cannot be sufficiently integrated by Americans into their daily lives. However, individuals of all ages, in all locations, and of all levels of personal fitness can benefit from some amount of appropriate physical activity, dietary guidance, preventive health screening, and making healthy choices.

While personal fitness is an individual responsibility, the Federal Government should expand opportunities for individuals to empower themselves to improve their general health. Such opportunities should include improving the flow of information about personal fitness, assisting in the utilization of that information, increasing the accessibility of resources for physical activity, and reducing barriers to achieving good personal fitness.

The Departments of Agriculture, Education, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Labor, Transportation, and Veterans Affairs, and the Office of National Drug Policy together oversee programs and initiatives that promote or enhance personal fitness and health. Under the new Executive Order issued by President Bush, these agencies will review and evaluate the policies, programs, and regulations of their respective agencies relating to personal fitness and health of the general public. Based on that review, they will make recommendations to the President on whether existing policies, programs, and regulations of their respective agencies should be modified or whether new policies or programs should be implemented. These policies and programs shall improve the Federal Government's assistance of individuals, private organizations, and State and local governments in increasing physical activity; improving responsible dietary habits; increasing utilization of preventive health screenings; and discouraging the use of tobacco and drugs, and the abuse of alcohol.

Designees from each agency shall meet no less than twice a year as part of a Personal Fitness Interagency Working Group to ensure cooperation, coordination, and efficiency in Federal fitness activities.

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