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Policy Corner: Member-Advocates out in Force for Capitol Hill Day

The air outside the U.S. Capitol was cool, but ACSM member-advocates were warmly received in scores of visits with members of Congress and staff March 5. The occasion was ACSM's second annual Capitol Hill Day, held in conjunction with the Sports and Fitness Industry Association's National Health Through Fitness Day.

The ACSM contingent numbered almost 40, allowing each team meeting in a House or Senate office to include a member to urge co-sponsorship of the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans Act. The other asks were to co-sponsor the Carol M. White Physical Education Act (PEP) and the Personal Health Investment Today Bill (PHIT). Advocates garnered significant support for all three measures, which were presented as ways to lower obesity rates and health care costs while enhancing individual health and providing numerous co-benefits.

Celebrity athletes accompanied each team, ensuring perspectives from the playing field and rapt attention by elected officials and staff. During a vigorous demonstration of active games by a roomful of T-shirted youth, Baltimore Ravens cornerback LaDarius Webb jumped in and joined them with nimble verve.

Many ACSM participants were members of the Health and Science Policy Committee, which held an in-person meeting March 4 for an in-depth discussion of strategies and progress to advance the ACSM policy agenda.

Monte Ward, ACSM's vice president for government affairs, welcomes inquiries about the College's policy program. Contact him at mward@acsm.org. more


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