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 Home > News & Policies > June 2002

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
June 20, 2002

Executive Order: Activities to Promote Personal Fitness

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and in order to improve the efficiency and coordination of Federal policies related to personal fitness of the general public, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Policy. This order is issued consistent with the following findings and principles:

(a) Growing scientific evidence indicates that an increasing number of Americans are suffering from negligible physical activity, poor dietary habits, insufficient utilization of preventive health screenings, and engaging in risky behaviors such as abuse of alcohol, tobacco, and drugs.

(b) Existing information on the importance of appropriate physical activity, diet, preventive health screenings, and avoiding harmful substances is often not received by the public, or, if received, is not acted on sufficiently.

(c) Individuals of all ages, locations, and levels of personal fitness can benefit from some level of appropriate physical activity, dietary guidance, preventive health screening, and making healthy choices.

(d) While personal fitness is an individual responsibility, the Federal Government may, within the authority and funds otherwise available, expand the opportunities for individuals to empower themselves to improve their general health. Such opportunities may 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.

Sec. 2. Agency Responsibilities in Promoting Personal Fitness.

(a) The Secretaries of Agriculture, Education, Health and Human Services (HHS), Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Labor, Transportation, and Veterans Affairs, and the Director of the Office of National Drug Policy shall review and evaluate the policies, programs, and regulations of their respective departments and offices that in any way relate to the personal fitness of the general public. Based on that review, the Secretaries and the Director shall determine whether existing policies, programs, and regulations of their respective departments and offices should be modified or whether new policies or programs could be implemented. These new policies and programs shall be consistent with otherwise available authority and appropriated funds, and shall improve the Federal Government's assistance of individuals, private organizations, and State and local governments to (i) increase physical activity; (ii) promote responsible dietary habits; (iii) increase utilization of preventive health screenings; and (iv) encourage healthy choices concerning alcohol, tobacco, drugs, and safety among the general public.

(b) Each department and office included in section 2(a) shall report to the President, through the Secretary of Health and Human Services, its proposed actions within 90 days of the date of this order.

(c) There shall be a Personal Fitness Interagency Working Group (Working Group), composed of the Secretaries or Director of the departments and office included in section 2(a) (or their designees) and chaired by the Secretary of HHS or his designee.

In order to improve efficiency through information sharing and to eliminate waste and overlap, the Working Group shall work to ensure the cooperation of Federal agencies in coordinating Federal personal fitness activities. The Working Group shall meet subject to the call of the Chair, but not less than twice a year. The Department of Health and Human Services shall provide such administrative support to the Working Group as the Secretary of HHS deems necessary. Each member of the Working Group shall be a full-time or permanent part-time officer or employee of the Federal Government.

Sec. 3. General Provisions. This order is intended only to improve the internal management of the executive branch and it is not intended to, and does not, create any right, benefit, trust, or responsibility, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or equity by a party against the United States, its departments, agencies or entities, its officers or employees, or any person.

June 20, 2002.

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