Salud America! Members Speak Up for Equity in Physical Activity Guidelines

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You have spoken up big-time for healthy physical activity!

In fact, Salud America! network members provided 73% (203) of the 278 public comments made during the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ comment period to help shape the next edition of its Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. Public comments will be considered alongside a new report released by the Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee.

The guidelines haven’t been updated since 2008.

Salud America! members’ big participation in the public comment period will likely play an important role in ensuring the equity in the new Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans,” said Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez, director of Salud America! and leader of the Institute for Health Promotion Research at UT Health San Antonio.

The Importance of Public Input on Physical Activity

With only 70% of Latinos reporting safe places to play vs. 82.5% of non-Latino whites, it is important that the guidelines consider the social and environmental challenges faced by underserved communities.

Schools with high minority populations had fewer facilities for physical activity and tend to provide fewer programs that promote healthy eating and active living, according to a recent Salud America! research review.

If not addressed, children from such minority communities, who already suffer inequities, are likely to continue facing challenges in meeting the current recommended levels of physical activity.

Additional Recommendations

Other physical activity recommendations and public comments, including those shared by the National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity, include:

  • Research to determine what messaging strategies resonate best with different segments of the population;
  • Ways to decrease long periods of sedentary behavior;
  • Specific recommendations around increasing the frequency and duration of physical activity and decreasing screen time among 3-5-year-olds;
  • Reemphasizing the importance of some physical activity vs. none; and
  • The need to provide an updated review on the role of technology in promoting physical activity, among various segments of the population.

For more action opportunities from Salud America! stay tuned to our Take Action page.

Learn more about the physical activity and mental health connection here.

By The Numbers By The Numbers

40

percent

of Latino kids participate in preschool programs vs. 53% of white kids.

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