[PNWHEALTH] Subject: SOPHE Testimony
Deanne.Boisvert at METROKC.GOV
Mon May 3 14:12:25 PDT 2004
From: Elaine Auld [mailto:eauld at sophe.org]
Sent: Friday, April 30, 2004 7:50 AM
Subject: SOPHE Testimony
Good Morning SOPHE Leaders:
Pls share the the attached press release regarding SOPHE's Testimony to the
House Labor, HHS-E Subcommittee w/ your colleagues and chapters. Am also
enclosing full testimony, which will appear on the web shortly.
This was a historic moment for SOPHE. I look forward to sharing further
details in Orlando!
April 30, 2004 CONTACT:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE PHONE: (202)
SOPHE Urges Congressional Support for the "War on Obesity"
Washington, DC - At an April 20th hearing of the United States
House of Representatives Committee on Appropriates Subcommittee on Labor,
Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies, Elaine Auld,
MPH, CHES, Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) Executive Director,
urged lawmakers to make the war on obesity a major funding priority for
fiscal year (FY) 2005.
"Expanded funding for the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention's (CDC) programs in nutrition and physical activity, school
health infrastructure, cardiovascular disease, and REACH 2010 is urgently
needed to stem the tide of the obesity epidemic, which now rivals tobacco as
the number one cause of U.S. morbidity and mortality," Auld said.
According to CDC, approximately 59 million adults are obese, and the
percentage of young people who are overweight has more than doubled in the
last 20 years to 15 percent. Obesity is also a primary risk factor in the
first and third of the leading causes of death, heart disease and stroke,
which disproportionately affect minority populations. The economic impact
of obesity is estimated at nearly $75 billion annually, and Medicare and
Medicaid finance about one-half of these expenses.
Auld called for Congress to translate available research into
program interventions at the state level by providing funds for:
* $75 million to establish CDC's Nutrition and Physical
Activity Programs in 47 states and territories that address education and
environmental modifications to promote healthy eating and physical activity;
* $36 million for CDC's Coordinated School Health Program,
which would fund up to 40 states for programs that link state education and
health departments to health education, physical activity, health services,
nutritious meals, parent involvement, faculty health promotion, counseling
services, and a safe school environment;
* $80 million for CDC's Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke
Prevention Program to fully implement CDC's Public Health Action Plan to
Prevent Heart Disease and Stroke in all 50 states; and
* $50 million for CDC's Racial and Ethnic Approaches to
Community Health (REACH) 2010 program to fund up to 80 community-driven
programs that address social determinants related to health disparities.
"There is considerable evidence-based documentation that health
education not only works but is also cost-effective," Auld emphasized during
SOPHE's first opportunity to testimony before Congress in 54 years. "The
issue before us is clear: either invest a little now, or pay a lot later."
A complete copy of SOPHE's written testimony is available at www.sophe.org
SOPHE is a non-profit organization founded in 1950 to improve the health of
the public through research, education, and policy change. The Society
represents some 4,500 researchers and practitioners trained in health
education and health promotion who work in federal, state, and local public
health agencies; schools and universities; medical care settings; community
agencies; worksites; and international settings. SOPHE members are at the
forefront of promoting healthy eating and physical activity, as they conduct
research and programs to fight the "War on Obesity" and the enormous costs
associated with it.
Addressing the Obesity Epidemic:
Expanding Funding for CDC Chronic Disease Programs in Fiscal
Presented to the
United State House of Representatives Committee on
Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education
and Related Agencies
M. Elaine Auld, MPH, CHES
Society for Public Health Education
750 First St, NE, Suite 901
eauld at sophe.org
Oral Testimony: April 20, 2004
Written Testimony: April 29, 2004
Good morning, Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee.
My name is Elaine Auld and as executive director of the Society for Public
Health Education - or SOPHE - I thank you for this invitation to speak to
you today. SOPHE represents some 4,500 scientists and practitioners trained
in health education and health promotion who work in federal, state and
local public health agencies, schools, universities, medical care settings,
voluntary agencies, and worksites. Founded in 1950, the Society is the only
independent, national professional organization focused exclusively on
health behavior and health education, and as such is at the forefront of
national prevention efforts in research, advocacy, and practice.
The field of health education, which is some 100 years old,
uses sound science to plan, implement, and evaluate interventions that
enable individuals, groups, and communities to achieve personal,
environmental and social health. These interventions address both
infectious and chronic diseases, as well as risk communication with the
public. There is a robust, scientific evidence-base documenting not only
that various health education interventions work but that they are also
We thank you, Mr. Chairman and members of the Subcommittee,
for your support of increased funding for behavioral and social science
research programs at the National Institutes of Health over the past several
years. Such research is essential to understanding the complex dynamics of
how, why, and under what circumstances people and communities are motivated
to take action to improve their health - and what interventions are most
I am here today, however, with an urgent plea for Congress
to restore proposed cuts to the FY 2005 budget of the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC). The proposed 2.8 percent reduction comes at
critical time when our nation's safety and security is at stake, and is in
sharp contrast to the professional judgement of CDC Director Dr. Julie
Gerberding. At the request of Senator Specter in 2003, Dr. Gerberding
provided a statement of professional judgment that $15 billion was needed
for the CDC by the year 2008. SOPHE, along with the CDC Coalition, which
consists of more than 100 health-related organizations across the nation,
strongly supports funding the agency at this level.
SOPHE also urges this subcommittee to provide $1.6 billion
in FY 2005 for CDC's National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and
Health Promotion. More than 90 million Americans live with chronic diseases
such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and arthritis-related disabilities.
While chronic health problems cause seven out of ten deaths every year in
the United States, they are also some of the most preventable conditions.
Yet, approximately 95 percent of the $1.4 trillion spent on health in the
United States goes directly to medical services, while approximately 5
percent is allocated to disease prevention and health promotion.
In the field of health education, there is perhaps no more
meaningful adage than, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."
This reference to "pounds" is especially fitting given SOPHE's concern over
the growing epidemic of overweight and obesity. The cost of obesity-related
disease is estimated at nearly $75 billion in 2003 dollars, and Medicare and
Medicaid finance about half of these expenses.
Recently, an article by CDC scientists in the Journal of the
American Medical Association, indicated that physical inactivity and poor
nutrition - both directly linked to overweight and obesity - closely rival
tobacco as the number one cause of morbidity and mortality. Today,
approximately 59 million adults are obese. The rate of obesity among
Hispanics has doubled in the past 10 years from 12 to 24 percent, while the
rate among African American adults is nearly 30 percent. In my native state
of Ohio, for example, 69 percent of males and 49 percent of females are
reportedly overweight. Eighty-four percent of Ohio men and 76 percent of
women reported eating fewer than five servings of fruits and vegetables per
day. Together, physical inactivity and unhealthy eating are responsible for
at least 300,000 deaths annually. We cannot stabilize, let alone reverse,
this epidemic of obesity unless concentrated resources are directed to
reducing key risk factors such as physical inactivity and unhealthy eating.
The good news is that programs in CDC's Division of
Nutrition and Physical Activity have solutions within our grasp. Through
these efforts, state health departments promote healthy eating and physical
activity by working with diverse partners such as schools, health care
providers, faith-based and community organizations, transportation agencies,
parks, businesses, developers, urban planners, and town councils. CDC
funding serves as the catalyst for partners to identify environmental and
population-based health solutions. The current funding level that the
President proposes to maintain next year at $45 million simply does not size
up to the magnitude of the epidemic we are facing. SOPHE urges this
subcommittee to support an appropriation of $75 million in FY 2005 to
establish Nutrition and Physical Activity comprehensive programs in 47
states and territories. Funding at the $75 million level would support up
to 32 state programs at the capacity-building level and up to 15 at a higher
basic implementation level.
SOPHE is especially concerned that the percentage of
overweight youth has more than doubled in the last 20 years. Fifteen percent
of children and adolescents are overweight and more than half of these
children have at least one cardiovascular disease risk factor, such as
elevated cholesterol or high blood pressure. Almost 80 percent of young
people do not eat the recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables
each day. Daily participation in high school physical education classes
dropped from 42 percent in 1991 to 32 percent in 2001. Patterns of poor
nutrition, lack of physical activity, and other behaviors such as alcohol
and tobacco use established during youth often continue into adulthood and
contribute markedly to costly, chronic conditions.
Yet, CDC's Coordinated School Health Programs have been
shown to be cost-effective in improving children's health, behavior, and,
Mr. Chairman, their academic success. This funding builds bridges between
state education and public health departments to coordinate health
education, nutritious meals, physical education, counseling, health
services, healthy school environments, health promotion of faculty, and
parent and community involvement. Gallup polls show strong parental,
teacher, and public support for school health education. Today, only 23
states have CDC funding for Coordinated School Health Programs. If the
Administration's FY 2005 budget request of $15.7 million is enacted, 16
states that applied for funding will be unable to participate - including
Ohio, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Illinois, Maryland, Connecticut, and Texas. An
appropriation of $36
million is needed to support up to 40 states and to expand
resources to currently funded states.
Obesity is also a primary risk factor in cardiovascular
disease. Heart disease and stroke are the leading cause of death in the
United States, accounting for 40 percent of all deaths and affecting more
than 930,000 men and women each year. Every 29 seconds someone in the U.S.
suffers a coronary event and every 34 seconds a person dies due to such an
event. Cardiovascular diseases cost the nation an estimated $368 billion in
States funded by CDC's Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention
Programs, however, are stemming the tide. For example, in just one year,
Wisconsin's Cardiovascular Health Program increased by 10 percent the number
of patients with controlled high blood pressure in a broad group of health
maintenance organizations. Given the magnitude of cardiovascular disease,
SOPHE requests $80 million for CDC's Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention
Program to increase the number of funded states from 33 to 50 and to fully
implement CDC's Public Health Action Plan to Prevent Heart Disease and
Despite important health improvements, minority populations
are more likely than whites to die prematurely not only from cardiovascular
disease and stroke, but also diabetes, breast cancer, and other diseases.
SOPHE strongly urges an allocation of $50 million for CDC's Racial and
Ethnic Approaches to Community Health Program (REACH 2010) to eliminate
health disparities across urban and rural communities in the areas of
cardiovascular disease, immunizations, breast and cervical cancer screening
and management, diabetes, HIV infections/AIDS, and infant mortality.
Launched in 1999, REACH 2010 is unique because it works across public and
private sectors to conduct community-based prevention research and
demonstration projects that address social determinants of health.
Currently, REACH funds 40 projects throughout the country, and two
additional projects are funded by the California Endowment. The programs
work with health disparities experienced by African Americans, American
Indians, Alaska Natives, Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Pacific
Islanders. Approximately one-third of all programs are located in rural
parts of the country. For example, LA VIDA is a program to reduce the
impact of diabetes in a Hispanic population in southwestern New Mexico.
Persons of Hispanic origin in both Hidalgo and Luna counties are reached
through advertising campaigns and health promotion initiatives at various
agencies. The Chicago South Side Diabetes Community Action Project is
mobilizing the community concerning diabetes prevention and control as a
means of reducing diabetes mortality, complications and associated
disabilities among African Americans and Latinos. Culturally appropriate,
community-driven programs are critical for eliminating racial and ethnic
Finally, we urge the President and Congress to approve a 12
percent increase in the FY 2005 budget allocation for discretionary programs
in Function 550. Function 550 funds not only the CDC, but also the entire
U.S. Public Health Service. America relies on the Public Health Service to
prevent disease, advance medical knowledge, deliver key health care
services, ensure food safety, and train a diverse health and public health
workforce. A 12
percent increase ($56.4 billion in total) for Function 550
is vital to homeland health and security. Saving and safeguarding American
lives through prevention, treatment and cure of diseases only will be
achieved by making sufficient and sustained funding of public health
programs a national priority.
Mr. Chairman, the nation is at a critical juncture in
disease prevention and health promotion. We must address the problems of
obesity-related disease and other health issues by translating the available
research into strategic interventions at the grass roots level. The issue
before us is clear: invest a little now or pay a lot later.
Thank you for this opportunity to present our views to this
Subcommittee. We look forward to working with you to improve the health and
safety of all Americans.
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