This country is very objectively overweight, and to the sports and fitness industry this is a big problem and needs to be solved. That is why non-profit organizations are pushing legislation to assist in this dilemma. PHIT America is an organization that is attempting to push the PHIT Act as well as refund the PEP Program. Directly from their site, here is what they have this to say about the PHIT Act:
“The PHIT Act is legislation pending in Congress which will allow Americans to use Pre-Tax Medical Accounts to pay for physical activity expenses. The PHIT Act would encourage healthier lifestyles by reducing the costs of physical activity. Adults and their kids will receive an incentive to help Americans get fit which will help prevent healthcare costs related to the obesity and sedentary crisis.”
Basically it is funding at its most basic level for most things related to fitness and sports. You can be eligible for financial aid for things like health club memberships, a league fee for a sport, personal trainers, youth camps and a variety of other activities. The Personal Health Investment Today Act has its eyes set on improving the future both through educating children in the importance of fitness and having them engage in it. This is, also helping to hinder the obesity epidemic in our nation.
Large organizations and companies involved in this industry see the importance as well and are supporting the movement in big ways. Organizations have come together in different levels of involvement and investment to support the PHIT Act. Companies like Nike, Adidas, Reebok, Everlast, and many more can be found on their supporter’s page here.
Why Should I Care?
48% of all of U.S. high schools do not have PE programs, not because of the lack of funding but they do not exist in these schools. Around 68% of Americans are either overweight or obese, not to mention that in 2014, 87 million Americans were completely inactive. This means less money going into physical education programs, gyms, training, sport leagues, and just about everything the PHIT Act would help fund. It is a real problem that most people should care about, and if we do not support teaching our youth about this importance, then this problem will never be solved.
The obesity epidemic affects everyone, overweight or not. For example healthcare is more expensive due to the costs involved in obesity related costs, which according to the organization State of Obesity is somewhere between $147-210 billion annually. From the same article on State of Obesity:
“Annually, the average total health expenses for a child treated for obesity under Medicaid is $6,730, while the average health cost for all children covered by Medicaid is $2,446. The average total health expenses for a child treated for obesity under private insurance is $3,743, while the average health cost for all children covered by private insurance is $1,108.5”
So regardless if you have a child in school or work for a huge fitness corporation or even if you can’t relate to either, the current trend in obesity in this country is affecting everyone. The PHIT Act will assist in adjusting behaviours and lifestyles that lead to being overweight and will reinforce the importance of being physically active throughout your entire life.
It is important that everyone who cares about this supports it in any way you can, that does not require donating either. Please join us in supporting the PHIT Act and the movement PHIT America is leading to put an end to this epidemic. Below you can find some information on how to do so, clicking on the image will bring you to their Advocate Now page. #PHITAct
Here is their social media, website, and contact information: