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News Release

Friday, April 27, 2007

Contact: OPHS Press Office
(202) 690-7694

HHS Secretary Announces Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee Members

HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt announced today the members of the advisory committee that will make recommendations pertaining to the development of the first federal guidelines to focus on physical activity.

The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans is to be issued in late 2008.  The report will provide science-based recommendations on the latest knowledge about activity and health, with depth and flexibility to target specific population subgroups, such as seniors, children, and persons with disabilities. Secretary Leavitt announced the initiative in October.

 “These experts have a broad array of knowledge of the health value of physical activity,” Secretary Leavitt said.  “I look forward to working with them to develop evidence-based guidelines on physical activity levels.”

The advisory committee will hold its first meeting June 28 and 29, 2007.  The committee will survey the history of physical activity guidelines in the U.S., and be introduced to the systematic evidence review process that will form the basis of the deliberations.  The committee will also examine and summarize research that can be used as the basis of the guidelines and make suggestions on what should be included.  The department will consider the research and the committee’s recommendations as it develops guidelines. 

Members of the Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee are:

Rod K. Dishman, Ph.D., professor of exercise science and director, Exercise Psychology Laboratory, Department of Kinesiology, University of Georgia, Athens, Ga.  Dr. Dishman is an expert in the area of mental health benefits of physical activity. Internationally recognized for his research on the determinants of physical activity and related neurobiological adaptations, Dr. Dishman has authored seminal reviews of the research literature, 125 refereed articles, 35 invited book chapters, three textbooks, and two edited books on exercise and public health. He was a contributing author of the Recommended Quality and Quantity of Exercise for Healthy Adults published in 1998 by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and Physical Activity and Health: a Report of the U.S. Surgeon General.

William Haskell, Ph.D., professor of medicine (active emeritus), Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, Calif., has been appointed as chair of the Committee.  Professor Haskell has spent 40 years researching the effects of habitual physical activity on health and performance, especially in chronic disease prevention, cardiac rehabilitation, and assessment of physical activity in free-living populations. He is an expert in physiology with extensive knowledge of current recommendations for adults. He has participated in committees that have developed guidelines for physical activity and health for the ACSM, American Heart Association (AHA), American College of Cardiology, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). He is actively involved in physical activity and health research and development and distribution of educational materials to health professionals and the public.

Edward Howley, Ph.D., professor emeritus, Department of Exercise, Sport, and Leisure Studies, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tenn.  Dr. Howley has 35 years of experience teaching and conducting research in exercise physiology and fitness. He is a past president of the ACSM and currently serves as editor-in-chief of the ACSM Health & Fitness Journal and as a member of the Science Board of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. Dr. Howley is an expert in metabolism and energy expenditure, fitness guidelines, and fitness assessment. He recently helped to develop the East Tennessee 2-Step Healthy Weight Initiative, a collaboration between the University of Tennessee, the Knox County Health Department and the East Tennessee Regional Health Office.

Wendy Kohrt, Ph.D., professor of medicine, Division of Geriatric Medicine, University of Colorado at Denver and Health  Sciences Center, Denver, Colo.  Dr. Kohrt has conducted clinical intervention studies toward understanding the health benefits of physical activity in older people for more than 20 years. Her research focuses on reducing risk for chronic diseases and conditions like osteoporosis, type 2 diabetes, abdominal obesity, and physical disability. She chaired the writing committee for the 2004 ACSM Position Stand on Physical Activity and Bone Health. Dr. Kohrt established the Investigations in Metabolism, Aging, Gender, and Exercise research group at the University of Colorado, which has the goal to be a national leader in aging research focused on the prevention of disease and the maintenance of functional independence in old age.

William Kraus, M.D., professor, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Department of Medicine, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, N.C.  Dr. Kraus is an attending cardiologist and researcher at Duke University Medical Center and serves as Medical Director for Cardiac Rehabilitation and Director for Clinical Research at the Duke University Center for Living. Dr. Kraus was the principal investigator on Studies of Targeted Risk Reduction Interventions through Defined Exercise, one of the first large, randomized, controlled trials to investigate the effects of different amounts and intensities of exercise on cardiovascular disease risk factors. He is currently leading another trial to examine the effects of resistance training alone, aerobic training alone and both together on cardiovascular disease risk factors. He is the vice chair of the Physical Activity Committee of the AHA Council on Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism.

I-Min Lee, M.D., Sc.D., associate professor of medicine, Harvard Medical School and Associate Professor of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Mass.  Dr. Lee provides expertise in the epidemiology of chronic diseases related to physical activity. Her research focuses on the role of physical activity in preventing disease, promoting health and well-being, and enhancing longevity. Dr. Lee has investigated the association of physical activity with risks of several chronic diseases, mechanisms through which physical activity reduces risk of cardiovascular disease, epidemiological methods for studies of physical activity and health, and public health questions of how much physical activity is required for health. She contributed to Physical Activity and Health: a Report of the U.S. Surgeon General, and served on the expert panel of the NIH Consensus Development Conference on Physical Activity and Cardiovascular Health.

Anne McTiernan, M.D., Ph.D., director, Prevention Center, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Wash.  Dr. McTiernan is an expert on the association of physical activity and cancer risk, and the effect of exercise on biological precursors of cancer and other diseases. She is principal investigator of a National Cancer Institute-funded center that focuses on the mechanisms linking energy balance, physical activity, and obesity with cancer risk and prognosis, and has led several other studies assessing the effect of physical activity on cancer and obesity. She served on several advisory and guidelines committees, including the American Cancer Society Nutrition and Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee, Nutrition and Physical Activity for Cancer Survivors, Guidelines on Nutrition and Physical Activity for Cancer Prevention, and the ACSM Specialty Certification for Cancer Survivors. She was editor of the 2005 volume Cancer Prevention and Management Through Exercise and Weight Control, the first text to cover the role of physical activity and weight on cancer incidence and rehabilitation.

Miriam Nelson, Ph.D., director, John Hancock Center for Physical Activity and Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University, Boston, Mass., has been appointed as vice-chair of the committee.        Dr. Nelson is an expert in the relationship of physical activity to health in midlife and older populations, with an emphasis on women. She has directed and collaborated on studies examining the effects of strength training, endurance exercise, and balance training on reducing risks and symptoms of chronic disease and functional decline. Outcomes studied include bone health, arthritis, frailty, type 2 diabetes, and muscle loss. Dr. Nelson also has a strong educational and research background in nutrition, which will contribute to consideration of chronic diseases and conditions that are influenced by physical activity and nutrition.

Russell Pate, Ph.D., associate vice president for health sciences, Office of Research and Health Sciences and Professor, Department of Exercise Science, University of South Carolina, Columbia, S.C. Dr. Pate is an expert on the overall health implications of physical activity and youth physical activity. He has published over 170 scholarly papers and authored or edited five books. Dr. Pate coordinated the effort that led to the CDC/ACSM recommendations on Physical Activity and Public Health in 1995. He served on an Institute of Medicine panel to develop guidelines on the prevention of childhood obesity and on the 2005 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. He is a former member of the Science Board of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports and a former president of ACSM. He has held leadership positions with the National Coalition on Promoting Physical Activity, the American Academy of Kinesiology and Physical Education, and the American Heart Association. Dr. Pate ran three U.S. Olympic Trials marathons and twice finished in the top ten in the Boston Marathon.

Kenneth Powell, M.D., M.P.H., public health and epidemiologic consultant, Atlanta, Ga.              Dr. Powell is an expert on adverse events and injury risk and protection related to physical activity. He has been working in physical activity and public health with the CDC and Georgia state health department for more than 20 years. From 1999-2005, He was Chief of the Chronic Disease, Injury, and Environmental Epidemiology Section in the Georgia Division of Public Health. He planned, chaired and edited the papers from the first national workshop on the epidemiologic and public health aspects of physical activity and exercise in 1985. He authored over 50 scientific articles on physical activity, with many addressing injury prevention and risk of injury due to physical activity. Dr. Powell is a member of the Coordinating Team on Physical Activity for the Task Force on Community Preventive Services, Guide to Community Preventive Services.

Judith Regensteiner, Ph.D., professor, Department of Medicine, Section of Vascular Medicine, Divisions of General Internal Medicine and Cardiology, and director, Center for Women’s Health Research, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, Colo. Dr. Regensteiner is an expert in metabolic health considerations of diabetes and peripheral arterial disease. Her research focuses on the role of exercise and physical activity in preventing and treating diabetes. She also has an international reputation for research on the role of exercise training in preventing and treating peripheral arterial disease. In addition to research on older individuals, she has recently been studying exercise in adolescents with type 2 diabetes. She has received funding for completed and ongoing studies to assess exercise capacity, the effects of exercise training, and gender differences on cardiovascular function and peripheral arterial disease in persons with type 2 diabetes. She has authored over 100 scientific articles and presented over 60 invited lectures.

James Rimmer, Ph.D., professor and director, National Center on Physical Activity and Disability, Department of Disability and Human Development, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Ill. Dr. Rimmer has been developing and directing physical activity and health promotion programs for people with disabilities for 26 years. He has published over 85 manuscripts and book chapters and given over 100 invited presentations to national and international audiences on topics related to physical activity, health promotion, secondary conditions and disability. He directs two centers related to physical activity and disability, one funded by CDC and the other funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research. Dr. Rimmer was recently asked to serve as one of 15 experts on a National Academy of Sciences Aging and Longevity Initiative to represent people with disabilities.

Antronette Yancey, M.D., M.P.H., professor, Department of Health Services, University of California, Los Angeles School of Public Health, Los Angeles, Calif.  Dr. Yancey co-directs the UCLA School of Public Health Center to Eliminate Health Disparities. She served as Director of Public Health for Richmond, Virginia from 1996-98 and was the inaugural director of Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion in Los Angeles. In Los Angeles, Dr. Yancey created one of the first physical activity programs in a local health department. She specializes in the design, implementation and evaluation of community-based health promotion interventions, focusing on high risk, underserved communities and on prevention especially through physical activity. She has published extensively on changing social and cultural environments to promote physical activity; requirements for successful intervention research; and ways to recruit minority participants in chronic disease prevention trials and interventions.


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Last revised: January 08, 2008