Sports Medicine Bulletin
Jun. 25, 2013

Active Voice: Extending the Undergraduate Classroom to Embrace Learning at the ACSM Annual Meeting
By Kimberly Reich, Ph.D.
Viewpoints presented in SMB commentaries reflect opinions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect positions or policies of ACSM.

Kimberly Sewright Reich, Ph.D., ACSM-HFS, is an assistant professor of exercise science at High Point University in High Point, NC. She is an ACSM member and her emerging research focus is on innovative teaching practices in exercise science.

This commentary, along with two others scheduled to appear in SMB this summer, relate to a special symposium on the topic of teaching innovations in exercise science that Dr. Reich and two of her ACSM colleagues presented as part of the 2013 program at the Annual Meeting of the Southeast Regional Chapter.


In undergraduate education, we seek to provide experiences for students that will develop a strong understanding of core concepts, an ability to apply such concepts, and the tools to extend application to new situations. Within the context of classroom-based coursework, well-designed out-of-classroom experiences (e.g., laboratory, service learning) not only deepen understanding of course concepts, but provide priceless “aha” moments that motivate and inspire. Furthermore, these experiences prepare students for success in internships and undergraduate research. For these reasons, students will benefit if we expand our quest to identify experiential opportunities that we can tie into classroom-based courses at all stages of a student’s academic career. More

The AMA Decision to Call Obesity a Disease — Implications?
By William Herbert, Ph.D., FACSM
ACSM Online Content Editor

While the implications of medical labeling of obesity as a disease are unclear at this point, ongoing discussion among professionals is now more important than ever before. To that end, in coming weeks, SMB will invite ACSM experts in science, clinical care and health behavior to present viewpoints on this policy in light of their experiences and understandings of the scientific and clinical issues of concern. The first of these will be a highlighted commentary by Dr. John Jakicic and colleagues on the ACSM Committee on Obesity Prevention & Treatment. Stay Tuned!

On June 18, the American Medical Association voted to recognize obesity as a disease. The policy is intended to concentrate medical community efforts to more effectively attack this complex issue. They expressed concern that now roughly 1/3 of adults and 1/5 of children in the US are obese and that the condition increases development of cardiovascular disease and type-2 diabetes. The policy has received broad media attention and expert commentaries, suggesting many potential ramifications, should it be followed by legislative actions that lead to changes in health insurance coverage for new types of medical consultations and interventions.

The extensive media attention includes speculation about wide-ranging consequences. The obvious immediate result expected is that physicians and allied health care providers will now directly engage obese patients in examinations, evaluations and treatments that target the need to achieve and maintain a healthier body mass. Other media comments suggest that such direct approaches may increase the risk that obese patients, already stigmatized by their condition, become even less likely to seek medical care when needed. Still other reports point to concern that this will add staggering new health care costs, should legislation and health insurance mandates for fee payment be forthcoming for the overwhelming number of patients affected.

Several medical specialty societies concerned with obesity-related care have endorsed this AMA policy. However, debate continues on all aspects of the decision, ranging from questions about whether obesity meets a strict definition of a disease or should continue to be regarded as a clinical disorder to uncertainty about how to measure clinically relevant obesity (BMI or other?). Still others question whether agreement that obesity is a disease will actually improve its management at the population level. The AMA Council on Science and Public Health recently summarized their concerns about the scientific and clinical issues (see CSAPH Report 03-A-13: Is Obesity a Disease?). While they did not find evidence to encourage a decision to declare obesity a disease, the AMA’s CSAPH recommended finding a better clinical measure for obesity and further investing efforts in clinical and public health programs that encourage individuals to improve obesity-related lifestyle behaviors.

Understanding the interactions between physical activity, body composition, adiposity, weight regulation and health are of central concern to ACSM and its member scientists, clinicians, and practitioners. Several ACSM position stands make clear that physical activity has a critical role in combatting obesity – for ACSM’s most recent scientific position; see Appropriate Physical Activity Intervention Strategies for Weight Loss and Prevention of Weight Regain for Adults. Also of ongoing relevance to these issues is the ACSM Committee on Obesity Prevention & Treatment, led by John Jakicic, Ph.D., FACSM. This group provides expert scientific advice guiding ACSM's initiatives on health policy and programs for educating the public on the myths and facts surrounding physical activity and obesity. Given the rising health concerns, the Board of Trustees has recently advanced this Obesity group to the status of a standing (permanent) committee of the College.

On another front, is ACSM's leadership in the coalition of organizations sponsoring national Childhood Obesity Awareness Month (each September). COAM promotes public awareness of obesity in our youth and shares the message of how good nutrition and physical activity behavior both are keys to healthy lifestyles and addressing the obesity problem across the lifespan. ACSM will continue to work with Congress and the White House on childhood obesity and related issues, serving as a resource as understanding, policies and programs continue to evolve in light of developments such as the new AMA statement and a growing evidence base.More

Policy Corner: Ask Your Senators/Representative to Co-Sponsor PA Guidelines Bill

Can you take a moment and ask your senators/representative to co-sponsor federal physical activity guidelines legislation? (If you responded to the most recent ACSM Action Alert, many thanks—please ask your friends and colleagues to do the same.)

Senators Harkin and Wicker introduced the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans Act (S. 531) in the Senate and Representatives Kind and Schock introduced the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans Act (H.R. 2179) in the House. The bills are identical and would direct the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to prepare and promote physical activity guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence at least every ten years.

S. 531/H.R. 2179 would also direct HHS, five years after the release of each set of guidelines, to publish a midcourse report highlighting best practices and continuing issues relating to physical activity among Americans. Given the strong base of science and medicine that shows the benefits of exercise, every American needs to know the current physical activity recommendations to promote health and combat obesity.

Please click here asking your senators/representative to support S. 531/H.R. 2179. Feel free to use the sample language provided, or to edit the subject and text to reflect your individual views. Thank you for taking this step in the interest in better health and fitness for all Americans.

For more information on ACSM's policy program, please contact Monte Ward, vice president for government relations: mward@acsm.org. More

U.S. Medical Soccer Team Joins with EIM, Heads to Hungary for Championships

The U.S. Medical Soccer Team, led by President Gautam Nayak, MD and coached by Stephen Merriwether, drilled and scrimmaged recently at the 60th ACSM Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, where they formalized a collaboration with the ACSM. ACSM and the USMST will work together to further Exercise is Medicine® as the global health initiative strives to make physical activity part of the health care plan for every individual. Later this month, the team will represent the U.S. in the World Medical Football Championships in Budapest.

The U.S. Medical Soccer team comprises about two dozen physicians whose practices run the gamut from family practice and pediatrics to anesthesiology, dental surgery and ophthalmology. They caught the bug for soccer early in life and maintained their skills while developing medical careers. Nayak explained that team members' passion for the game goes beyond their desire to remain competitive. "Research shows – and our professional experience bears out – that physical activity is essential for fitness and health," he said. "That activity can take many forms, from walking to calisthenics, active play or sport. For us, like millions worldwide, playing soccer is an enjoyable way to stay active that brings co-benefits like stress release and fostering teamwork."

For more information about the U.S. Medical Soccer Team, visit www.usmedicalsoccerteam.org. More

Opportunity for Continuing Education: National Dairy Council Webinar

Health and fitness professionals: you’re invited to participate in a FREE WEBINAR! The Power Team: Combining Protein and Resistance Exercise for Effective Results is being hosted by National Dairy Council® on Thursday, June 27 from 1:00 – 2:00 pm ET/12:00 – 1:00 pm CT. Space is limited – sign up today.

Webinar Description: While protein is becoming increasingly popular, consumers often aren’t aware of how much they need, when to consume protein for optimal results and how to find high-quality protein options. During this webinar, sports dietitians Leslie Bonci, MPH, RD, CSSD, LDN and Susan Kundrat, MS, RD, CSSD will discuss the state of protein intake among Americans, including current consumption patterns, recommendations for active adults, and the latest research on the powerful combination of high-quality protein and exercise. Learn how you can help your clients achieve their body composition goals through smart protein choices and exercise practices. Recommended menu plans, high-quality protein meal and snack ideas and simple recipes will be shared to help make it easy for your clients to add more protein power to their diet.

- This program has been approved by the Commission on Dietetic Registration for 1 CPEU

- This program has been approved by the American Council on Exercise for 1 CEC.

- NSCA Certification Executive Council approved 0.1 CEU for CSCS and NSCA‐CPT certificants who successfully complete this course.

Please contact Marlene Schmidt for more information. More

Cancer Patients Take Fight to the Gym
Minneapolis Star Tribune via The Ledger
Her face flushed, Rosemary Lamont sat on the gym floor one recent afternoon, listening to her trainer's impassioned commands.

"Sit up tall and lift that leg," the trainer coached, counting down the remaining seconds. "Five, four, three, two, one. Beautiful!"

Lamont smiled, exhaling loudly.

The 69-year-old woman is among legions of cancer patients adopting a new recovery strategy: They're abandoning their beds and hitting the gym. A growing body of evidence supports the idea that sweating is better than resting after cancer. The workouts both restore energy drained from cancer treatments and, in some cases, help prevent the disease's return. More

The Rise of the Minimalist Workout
The New York Times
In an article under his byline for Sports Illustrated in December 1960, "The Soft American," President-elect John F. Kennedy lamented the state of the nation's fitness. As president he exhorted citizens to plunge into activities like 50-mile hikes.

As anyone sitting quietly and reading this article probably knows, that message did not resonate with most Americans. And these days, a majority get no planned exercise at all.

So at the recent annual meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, one of the hottest topics was not how much exercise Americans should be completing, but how little.More