Press Releases

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Senate has unanimously endorsed legislation by U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) to create a nonprofit, charitable foundation to raise private funds to support the work of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition. This new public-private partnership will allow the President’s Council to leverage private contributions to expand its focus on exercise and wellness, especially among young people, at no cost to taxpayers.

“The President’s Council operates on about $1.2 million a year, and that is not nearly enough to have any significant impact on the steady rise of childhood obesity,” Senator Warner said. “Today, about 17 percent of American children are considered obese, and one-in-three of them are overweight. This new foundation will allow the Council to have a broader reach and more impact in promoting physical activity, fitness and sports activities, especially among young people.”

S. 1275 moved through the Senate with bipartisan support and it is expected to be taken up by the House of Representatives before the 111th Congress adjourns.

The National Foundation on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition Establishment Act (S. 1275) will create a private foundation to partner with President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition to solicit, receive, and administer private contributions on the Council’s behalf. According to the President’s Council, physically inactive people are twice as likely as regularly active people to develop heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States, as well as diabetes and other preventable diseases.

“I applaud Senator Warner for his work on this important issue,” said Scott Blackmun, CEO of the U.S. Olympic Committee. “Sport plays a unique role in the health and wellness of our nation’s children and this Act, and the ability to raise and leverage private funding, will make a real difference in increasing physical fitness and promoting the mission of the President’s Council.”  

“Today, it is widely recognized that our country faces a serious obesity epidemic that is mostly preventable,” said Jeffrey Levi, Executive Director of Trust for America's Health, a leading non-profit health advocacy organization. “We must make healthier choices easier choices, especially when it comes to physical activity and eating nutritious foods.  The President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition is a great champion to carry that message and Senator Warner’s legislation will provide new resources to help improve the health of millions of Americans.”

The President’s Council, founded by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956 as the President’s Council on Youth Fitness, has been a leader in encouraging Americans to become more physically active.   President Obama changed the name and expanded the mission of the Council to include “nutrition” by Executive Order in June 2010.