April 7-13, 2003 is National Public Health Week
DALLAS (April 4, 2003) – In an effort to educate the public about health risks associated with the overweight and obesity epidemic in the United States, the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) has partnered with numerous health care organizations in recognizing National Public Health Week, April 7-13, 2003. This year’s theme, “Getting in Shape for the Future: Healthy Eating and Active Living,” calls attention to the issues of overweight and obesity which affect Americans of all ages. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 127 million adults in America are overweight, 60 million are obese and an alarming 9 million are severely obese. In addition, childhood obesity has reached its highest level in 30 years. NATA’s 23,000 certified athletic trainers (ATC), who work in secondary schools, clinics, hospitals and colleges, are advocates for a healthy lifestyle. While ATCs focus on physically active people, they work with the obesity problem every day at their work settings. ATCs are skilled health care providers who are trained in many areas, including nutrition. “Partnering with the American Public Health Association on this important effort is a natural fit for NATA,” according to NATA President Julie Max, MEd, ATC, and head athletic trainer at California State University, Fullerton. “We stress healthy eating and consistent physical activity to achieve life-long health. Being physically active and a proper weight greatly reduces the chance for injury, and if you are injured, being fit reduces your rehabilitative time,” Max added. NATA is a lead organization of the National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity (NCPPA). The coalition, which also includes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American College of Sports Medicine, American Cancer Society, American Heart Association and others, has a primary goal to promote physical activity and fight obesity. “Even above smoking,” Max said, “a lack of physical activity leads to numerous disease factors – from stroke and heart disease, to diabetes and osteoarthritis. Because NATA members are part of the public health care system, it is our responsibility to work at the grass roots level and with individuals to achieve a healthy lifestyle.“ For more information on National Public Health Week, visit http://www.apha.org/nphw/ About NATA: Certified athletic trainers (ATCs) are medical professionals who specialize in the prevention, assessment, treatment and rehabilitation of injuries and illnesses that occur to athletes and the physically active. The National Athletic Trainers' Association represents and supports the more than 30,000 members of the athletic training profession through education and research. www.nata.org.