Sports Medicine Bulletin
Oct. 15, 2013

Q&A Commentary: The CDC's Role in Catalyzing Global Physical Activity Promotion
By Becky Lankenau, Dr.PH, M.S., RD, MPH, and Michael Pratt, M.D., MSPE, MPH
Viewpoints presented in SMB commentaries reflect opinions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect positions or policies of ACSM.

Becky Lankenau, Dr. PH, M.S., RD, MPH, is the retired Director of the former World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center for Physical Activity and Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). She has worked for more than 40 years in a broad spectrum of public health activities across multiple sectors and in 23 countries. In 2012, ACSM honored her with the Odyssey Award for outstanding individual achievement in global physical activity promotion. Dr. Lankenau now serves as a senior consultant on physical activity promotion, chronic disease prevention and health promotion.

Michael Pratt, M.D., M.S.P.E., M.P.H., is the Senior Advisor for Global Health in the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion at CDC. Previously he was the Chief of the Physical Activity and Health Branch, and led CDC’s World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Physical Activity and Health. He is the founder and director of the CDC International Courses on Physical Activity and Public Health. Dr. Pratt is an adjunct professor of public health at Emory University and in the schools of medicine and government at the University of Los Andes in Colombia. An ACSM Fellow, he received the 2013 Odyssey Award.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)/World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center for Physical Activity and Health (CDC/WHO CC) was founded 15 years ago. The Center, during its existence, worked to create partnerships, collaborations, high-level training programs and several other initiatives aimed at promoting physical activity for health on a global scale. Early on, ACSM became a key partner and has continued to help advance the work of the Center. SMB had the opportunity to interview the two lprincipal eaders of the Center, Drs. Lankenau and Pratt. In this commentary, they highlight the history and many achievements of the Center and how these foundations have created opportunities that can lead to effective utilization of physical activity to help ameliorate non-communicable disease across the globe.

SMB: What were the main issues and organizations that led to establishing the Collaborating Center for Physical Activity and Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC/WHO CC)?

Drs. Lankenau and Pratt: In 1996, the Physical Activity and Health Branch (PAHB) was established within what is now the CDC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity (DNPAO). The creation of this Branch brought together a critical mass of professionals with expertise in epidemiology, behavioral science, evaluation, exercise physiology and program development. Thus, CDC came to the attention of WHO as a potential center of excellence for promoting physical activity (PA) in a public health context. This broader mission was distinctly different from the sports medicine activities of the three other PA Collaborating Centers existing at that time. Cooperative agreements were established with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and WHO headquarters, the International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE), and the ACSM. This provided the infrastructure for collaborative projects on PA and public health.More

Tune In: Why Don't More Medical Schools Train Doctors about the Importance of Nutrition and Physical Activity? A Medical Education Forum

Fifty percent of Americans live with one or more chronic illnesses, and diet and physical activity are key risk factors for many. Health care professionals are uniquely positioned to change this trend through patient education. However, medical schools are not required to teach nutrition and physical activity education.

On Thursday, Oct. 17, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., ACSM, the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation will hold a special forum in Washington, DC. Participants will discuss the importance of including nutrition and physical activity in medical school curricula as part of prevention-oriented care.

The forum will highlight several innovative approaches taken by specific U.S. medical schools and include perspectives from insurers, licensing and certification boards, and community-based organizations.

Those unble to attend in person are invited to watch the webcast live here.More

ACSM Now Accepting Abstract Submissions for 61st Annual Meeting, 5th World Congress on Exercise is Medicine® and World Congress on the Role of Inflammation in Exercise, Health and Disease

ACSM's 61st Annual Meeting, 5th World Congress on Exercise is Medicine® and World Congress on the Role of Inflammation in Exercise, Health and Disease will be held May 27-31, 2014 in Orlando, Florida. The Program Committee is currently accepting abstract submissions for next year's Annual Meeting. Please visit this site to learn more or submit an abstract. Abstracts are due November 1, 2013 at 11:59 p.m. PST.More

Policy Corner: ACSM, National PTA and National Athletic Trainers' Association Officially Support USA Football's Head's up Football℠ Program

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), National PTA and the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) have partnered with USA Football and the NFL to advance youth and high school football player safety by officially supporting USA Football’s Heads Up FootballSM program. ACSM President William W. Dexter, M.D., FACSM, joined NATA and PTA executives as well as NFL Foundation Chairman and Cowboys executive vice president Charlotte Jones Anderson and USA Football Chairman Carl Peterson to make the announcement Oct. 8 in Washington, D.C.

The announcement came as several ACSM physicians, scientists and staff participated in an action-oriented conference on concussion in ice hockey at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. Proceeds from the summit will include a call to eliminate intentional injury in youth hockey.

Combined, ACSM, NATA and National PTA represent more than 85,000 medical professionals and millions of families, students, teachers, administrators and business and community leaders devoted to the health, safety and educational success of children and the promotion of family involvement in schools.

Nearly 2,800 youth football leagues representing approximately 600,000 players and 90,000 coaches across the U.S. have registered for Heads Up Football this season in a commitment to their children’s health and safety. The program is being piloted on the high school level this fall in 35 schools spanning 10 states.

Created by Indianapolis-based USA Football, Heads Up Football delivers coach certification, safer tackling techniques, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concussion recognition and response protocols and proper equipment fitting instruction. More

Designed to Move Update: ACSM as Leader and Collaborative Partner

ACSM’s leadership in the Designed to Move movement got a jolt of inspiration Monday when Nike representatives joined ACSM staff and immediate past president Janet Walberg Rankin, PhD, FACSM, for an all-day workshop at the National Center. Nike’s Caitlin Morris and Kelly Lau reviewed the DTM concept and outlined the company’s significant engagement as both a lead champion organization and through the Nike brand.

ACSM briefed the group on the college’s work to build Designed to Move, a growing community of public, private and civil-sector organizations dedicated to ending the epidemic of physical activity. Many members and youth sports leaders participated in DTM events during the ACSM Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, and the college has been active on many fronts to incorporate DTM across the spectrum of ACSM events, partnerships and communications.

Outcomes of the workshop include an array of tactics for ramping up short-term work, as well as brainstorming breakthrough strategies for ACSM’s role in leading the movement. The impact of Designed to Move is scaling up as more champion organizations sign on and operationalize the movement. Look for frequent updates about Designed to Move in future issues of SMB and at upcoming ACSM events and partnerships.

For additional information, visit

IAWHP Webinar: Building a Coordinated, Systematic and Comprehensive Approach to Workplace Health Promotion

The workplace is an important front on which ACSM promotes healthy, active lifestyles through collaboration with its affiliate society, the International Association for Worksite Health Promotion. Join us November 12 from 12:00 noon – 1:00 p.m. Eastern as Jason Lang provides the business case for worksite health promotion, including chronic disease burden and costs. He will discuss a comprehensive worksite health promotion model and framework including individual-level strategies, organizational/employer-level strategies, infrastructure and culture change. Employer tools and resources will be provided..

Jason Lang, MPH, MS
Team Lead, Workplace Health Programs
Division of Population Health
National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

$25 USD for IAWHP members & $40 USD for non-IAWHP/public members. This cost is per registered phone line/Internet connection. Multiple participants may join the webinar under a single registration.

Registration Deadline:
Registration ends at 11:59 p.m. Eastern US time Nov. 11.

Continuing Education Credits:
The program offers one ACSM CEC. Please note: There is NO LONGER an additional fee for the CEC. The credit is included in the registration fee. In addition, all participants at your site are eligible to receive the ACSM CEC.

Registrants may participate in one of two ways: The first viewing method is via a combination of webinar & teleconference. Access to the Internet and a phone line are required for this method. (Note: Phone access may not be available in all countries). The second viewing method is entirely through your computer. You may view the PowerPoint and listen to the presentation via your computer speakers or via a USB headset connected to your computer. After registering, access information will be provided to you no later than 48 hours before the webinar.

The International Association for Worksite Health Promotion, an ACSM Affiliate Society, is the first global association dedicated to advancing the global community of worksite health promotion practitioners through high-quality information, services, educational activities, personal and professional development and networking opportunities. For more information, visit

Register Online Today.More

Bright Lights, Big Bellies: The 5 Least-Fit Metropolitan Areas in the US
The Jersey Journal
It’s the list you hope your city is not on: the top five least fit cities in the U.S., complied by the American College of Sports Medicine in the annual American Fit Index™. Using data from the Centers for Disease Control and other public and private agencies, the nation’s largest cities are graded on a number of fitness factors including obesity rates, heart disease, and the physical activity level of its residents. Environmental factors, including healthcare access, availability of park and recreational facilities, scenic trails for walking and hiking, and fresh food markets, also play a role in how fit a city may or may not be. So here you have it, the cities you don’t want to live in if you’re trying to maintain an active and fit lifestyle, also known as the five least fit cities in the U.S.More

Criticism of High School Sports Raises Important Issues
Highland Community News
Athletics are as much a part of American high school culture as prom night and geometry. Yet, sports programs gone amok can sometimes lead to misplaced priorities and unbalanced budgets, as thoughtful journalist and author Amanda Ripley noted recently in The Atlantic. We agree with some of her concerns; however, evidence-based research shows a more well-rounded perspective of this sometimes heated issue.

Pointing out the egregious examples of problems in high school sports, without addressing the more prevalent benefits and successes, lacks helpful insights and neglects practical solutions to effectively increase constructive outcomes, or even achieve accurate assessment of benefit vs. cost. Are there instances of overspending on school sports or even cases where academics are languishing during football season?More