Governor’s Advisory Council on Physical Fitness
Summary of Achievement
Concern about the health of Texans, Governor Perry created the Governor’s Advisory Council on Physical Fitness (GACPF) in 2001 to advise him on matters related to physical fitness, sports, health and nutrition education, and exercise. At the suggestion of GACPF members, Governor Perry worked with legislators to pass funding for the development of local physical fitness councils. This legislation directed the Texas Department of State Health Services to annually make $400,000 in general revenue available to GACPF to provide grants to local mayors’ councils for the development and implementation of wellness and fitness programs in communities across the state.The Challenge
Since 1990, the Texas Department of Health has seen a dramatic increase in the prevalence of obesity. The statistics speak for themselves: From 1991 to 2007 the percent of overweight and obese adults in Texas rose from 46 to 66 percent. Furthermore, a report published by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts estimates that Texas businesses spend $3.3 billion on healthcare, absenteeism, decreased productivity, and disability related to obesity. These statistics are doubly alarming because being overweight or obese has been linked to an increased risk for certain diseases, such as hypertension, Type 2 diabetes, and a decreased life expectancy.Action / Initiative
Governor Perry found Texas’ health statistics alarming and realized no cohesive organization existed at the state level to promote fitness and health initiatives for the state. For that reason, he created the Governor’s Advisory Council on Physical Fitness to support physical activity and good nutrition for all Texans. The Council also advises the Governor on matters relating to health and nutrition education, physical fitness and sports, and encourages community efforts to increase opportunities for physical activity.
The GACPF made several recommendations to the Governor, including the implementation of evidence-based, worksite-wellness programs in private businesses, as well as state government and municipal agencies; the creation of quality physical education and activity programs in schools; and emphatic communication with mayors’ offices throughout Texas to encourage them create fitness councils.
The GACPF established requirements that applicants must meet for consideration of Mayors’ Physical Fitness Council Grants funding. In 2008, the GACPF awarded nine grants to cities for physical fitness programs. Through these local programs, key members of the community are brought together to identify local solutions tailored to address the specific needs of the area. It is the intent of GACPF members to work with these city offices to promote fitness and healthy living opportunities. The Council’s long term goal is for each city in Texas to actively promote healthy living which, in turn, will make Texas the most fit state in the nation.
04/23/2008 - Editorial
It’s Time for Texans to Pursue a Healthier Lifestyle
08/26/2005 - Appointment
Gov. Perry Appoints Three Individuals To Governor’s Advisory Council on Physical Fitness
Advisory Council on Physical Fitness