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Acting Surgeon General speaks to walk participants

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Nice weather we're having, huh? But this is actually an important message that you need to remember. It's that, although at times, clouds move in, and rains come down, and perhaps there's thunder and lightning, we remain undaunted in our conviction regarding our health and the importance of how we maintain our bodies. So I'm happy to be back with you again. I was here a few years ago and I'm back now as the Acting Surgeon General of the United States. I keep saying, "No one ever likes the term "Acting'" in front of their title. But I actually feel empowered by it. Because what? The first three letters of the word "Acting" are "Act." That's an adjective that tells me that I've got to do something. And one of the messages that we're promulgating here today, looking at this beautiful gathering, and praising our partners here with Federal Occupational Health, with USAID, with (inaudible), with all of our groups gathered together. We put a daunting mission upon your shoulders. And that is that the future of our nation depends on the health of its population. We realize there are many factors out there that make our country better. Yes, it's the economy. Yes, it's being safe. Yes, it's being protected. But at the same time, we are nowhere unless our population is healthy. No matter where you stand on the Affordable Care Act, I'm not here talking politics. The reality is that we are changing as a nation We have underinsured and uninsured people who are now hopefully going to be accessing medical care But medical care for problems that are at the end point of one's life are problems that are potentially preventable. So many resources in this country, so much effort in this country are not health care. It's resources for sick care. And at gatherings like this the walk that we're going to be conducting, we'll see how it goes from a safety perspective, certainly under the coverage that we have here, the ability for us to move our bodies and to be able to (inaudible) If our nation's future depends on the health of the citizens in the federal workforce, This, in fact, is the answer. I keep saying, we're wonderful when it comes to sick care in this country. If you have diabetes in this point of your life I have, as a physician, incredible medication, incredible things I can do to help that individual. But the reality was: why did we get to the point of that person having diabetes? or cardiovascular disease, or having a stroke, or hypertension? We have to take a step back and say, "Was there some place in the pathway of that person's life that we could have prevented that?" The fact is there are many things. We need to be able to take care of our bodies. We need to monitor our weight. We need to eat healthy. We need to stay away from tobacco. We need to do moderation in everything we do We need to stay away from drugs. Yes, I'm here preaching to you. But the reality is it takes a preacher to tell you the body is a temple. The body needs to be out there, and it needs to be cherished. And we in the federal workforce should serve as an example to the rest of the citizens of this country that we can get our act together. It's never easy. Weight loss is never easy. Exercise is never easy. The idea of eating healthy is never easy. But it's part of the National Prevention Strategy, and under the leadership of the Surgeon General of the United States, we're begging you: FOLLOW US! Be an example for yourselves, for your coworkers, for your families. Those of you who have kids out there, raise your hands. You have a responsibility. Treat yourself well, and teach them how to treat themselves well, and we can get this done. As a nation, we can progress to being the healthiest nation on the planet. And not like we are right now... stuck somewhere in the middle. Where's the patriotism associated with health? Like every four years, we somehow send teams to the Olympics, and we wave the flag, saying: "Go represent us." It's time that we represented ourselves in the world of fitness and health. And the red, white and blue flies because we're doing something for the good of our nation. So once again, I'm honored I'm honored and humbled to be here as the Acting Surgeon General of the United States And I am here to ACT; not to lead you, but to walk with you. follow this, do this under (indaudible). We will be a better nation. We will be a better nation that deals with its health care issues, its sick care issues. And part of the responsibility starts with me. What have I done today for the betterment of my health? What have I taught my children for the betterment of their health? You realize... can we change the world? Obviously we can. 50 years ago, January 11, 1964, Surgeon General Luther Terry issued the first report on smoking in this country. A half-century ago. Have we solved the smoking problem? We haven't, But we've made incredible inroads. We've done incredible things. It used to be that 43 percent of the United States smoked. Look around you. Half of us would have smoked. We may have actually been talking about health and fitness 50 years ago, but with half of us puffing away and the other half who were smokers wouldn't say a word. And yet, in those 50 years, we have changed the world. We're down to 18 percent smokers. However, we still have almost a half-million people a year dying of smoking related diseases. So I dare say our social norms have changed. And if I pulled out a pack of cigarettes right now and lit up, there would be turmoil in the audience, and I gurarantee you, two hours from now, there would be a FORMER Acting Surgeon General of the United States. That's how the world has changed! So let's go change the social norms, not only with smoking. Let's change our social norms when it comes to fitness and health so that it becomes part of who we are as Americans, that this becomes a part of our obligation for the good of ourselves, our families, our community and our nation. Thank you so much. (Applause)

Video Details

Duration: 7 minutes and 6 seconds
Year: 2014
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: Damon Thompson
Director: Damon Thompson
Views: 41
Posted by: damon_t on May 28, 2014

Acting Surgeon General Boris Lushniak provides health advice to federal employees who join him for a May 2014 fitness walk at the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center in Washington DC.

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