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Dr. Greg Heath participates in National Institute of Medicine workshop

Gregory W. Heath, D.H.Sc., M.P.H., Guerry Professor and Head of the Department of Health and Human Performance at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and Director of Research at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine, has been involved in the presentation of scientific evidence to determine whether sufficient scientific evidence was available to serve as the basis of comprehensive National Guidelines for Physical Activity for the nation.

“I was asked to serve as a moderator for an Institute of Medicine Workshop on the Adequacy of Evidence for Physical Activity Guidelines Development,” Heath said.  “I was moderator and a speaker for Plenary Session #6 -- Special Considerations for Persons with Disabilities and Chronic Conditions.  The results of the workshop were presented to a special committee from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and presented to Secretary of Health and Human Services, Mike Leavitt.  He and his staff announced that HHS would go forward in developing National Guidelines for Physical Activity for the nation, similar to the National Nutrition Guidelines.”

A series of steps will lead to the development of the guidelines; the target release date of the guidelines is late 2008.  The Physical Activity Guidelines build on and extend the physical activity guideline within the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Heath also serves on the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Health.  The council is working to finalize the Tennessee Plan for Physical Activity, Fitness, and Health and to disseminate the document and recommendations throughout the state networks associated with physical activity promotion. 

“The next priority is to integrate into the Governor's program GetFitTN , which was recently launched.  We will be meeting with members of Governor Bredesen’s staff -- Susan Cooper, RN and others to coordinate this state-wide effort to promote physical activity,” Heath said.

Heath was formally the Lead Health Scientist with the Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  His training is in physiology, nutrition, and epidemiology.

A former Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer, Heath worked at CDC for over 20 years.  He has spent most of his professional career devoted to understanding and promoting physical activity and exercise for the enhancement of health and the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases.  He has published widely in the scientific literature.  Dr. Heath is a Fellow in the American College of Sports Medicine, and American Heart Association’s Councils on Epidemiology and Prevention and Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism.

November 3, 2006

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