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  • New CDC Obesity Map Shows Rates Remain High Everywhere

    And the most obese state is … well it's a tie, actually.

    Mississippi and West Virginia topped the list of states in rates of self-reported obesity, both with a 35.1% rate. At the low end of the scale, Colorado, with a 21.3% rate, was followed closely by Hawaii, which came in at 21.8%. The numbers are part of the annual US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's "Obesity Prevalence Maps" report, released this week.

    The report is based on responses to telephone surveys conducted in 2013 by the Behavioral Risk Factor Survey System (BRFSS), which collects data from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and 3 US territories.

    Among the findings:

    • The South had the highest prevalence of obesity (30.2%), with the Midwest not far behind (30.1%). The Northeast (26.5%) and West (24.9%) were lower.
    • Between 2011 and 2013, non-Hispanic blacks reported the highest prevalence of self-reported obesity (37.6%), followed by Hispanics (30.6%), and non-Hispanic whites (26.6%).

    When compared with statistics from 2012, the 2013 rates show a continued rise in obesity in the US, as outlined in the table below

    Self-Reported Obesity Prevalence

    < 20%




    > 35%

    # states in 2013






    # states in 2012






    APTA strongly supports the promotion of physical activity and its value in obesity prevention, maintaining a healthy weight, and assisting in weight loss. APTA has representatives on the board of the National Physical Activity Plan Alliance, and offers several resources on obesity, including continuing education on childhood obesity, and a prevention and wellness webpage that links to podcasts on the harmful effects of inactivity.

    Education Leadership Fellowship Opportunities Available

    New and emerging physical therapist (PT) and physical therapist assistant (PTA) academic, residency, and fellowship directors will once again have an opportunity to hone their leadership skills through a one-of-a-kind learning program now accepting applications.

    APTA's American Board of Physical Therapy Residency and Fellowship Education's (ABPTRFE) accredited Education Leadership Institute (ELI) Fellowship is a yearlong invitational learning experience designed to instruct early-career directors in facilitating change, thinking strategically, and engaging in efforts to advance the physical therapy profession. The program is a blended learning experience that combines online and onsite instruction with experienced mentorship.

    Applicants to the program are selected based on the strength of their applications and meeting all eligibility criteria. Application submission deadline is December 1, 2014, at 5:00 pm ET. To learn more about the program, visit the ELI webpage.

    ELI is a collaborative program with ABPTRFE, the American Council of Academic Physical Therapy, the APTA Education Section, the Physical Therapist Assistant Educators Special Interest Group, and APTA.

    Don't Forget World Physical Therapy Day September 8

    There's still time to gear up for World Physical Therapy Day on Monday, September 8—don't miss out!

    This year the theme is "Fit to Take Part," emphasizing the physical therapy’s role in helping people with long-term illnesses or disabilities fulfill their potential by maximizing movement and functional ability.

    To help physical therapists and physical therapist assistants get the word out, the World Confederation for Physical Therapy (WCPT) is offering a toolkit that includes designs for banners, stickers, and t-shirts, as well as press releases and informational booklets. New this year: several posters available in Spanish.

    APTA is a WCPT member organization.

    APTA's Honors and Awards Program Accepting Nominations

    Help your colleagues or students receive the recognition they deserve by nominating them for an APTA national honor or award.

    Each year APTA celebrates members' outstanding achievements in the areas of education, practice and service, publications, research, academic excellence, the Catherine Worthingham Fellows of APTA, the Mary McMillan Lecture, and the John H.P. Maley Lecture. Award recipients are recognized in June with a ceremony and reception at the NEXT Conference and Exposition.

    The 2015 call for nominations is now open and will close December 1, 2014. The electronic submission process is quick and easy; go to APTA's Honors and Awards page, and click on the specific honor, award, or scholarship to obtain guidelines, requirements, and a link to the online submission site.

    Lots of Free Webinars This Month

    September. 'Tis the season for football, yellowing goldenrod, chilly nights by a bonfire … and apparently, webinars. Lots of webinars. All free.

    Mark your calendars for the following online sessions—all but 1 provided by Healthy People —2020—to learn more about a range of health and prevention issues:

    September 9, 1:00–2:00 pm, ET  

    "Prevention and Population Health Education Across the Health Professions"

    This is an hour-long session on "the role that prevention and population health can play in advancing interprofessional education," brought to you by Healthy People 2020. Learn more and register here.

    September 10, 1:00 pm–2:00 pm, ET

    "US Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth"

    Learn more about the activity report card that has been described as a "wake-up call" for more emphasis on regular physical activity in the lives of young people. Sponsored by the National Physical Activity Plan. Learn more and register here.

    September 18, 12:00–1:00 pm, ET

    "Who's Leading the Leading Health Indicators? Webinar: Environmental Quality"

    A Healthy People 2020 presentation that provides a case study on how one organization is improving health by improving air quality in its community, and offers tips on resources on addressing this issue in your community. Learn more and register here.

    September 25, 12:30–2:00 pm, ET

    "Promoting and Measuring Well-Being and Health-Related Quality of Life"

    Learn how health-related quality of life and well-being outcomes are measured, and why they're important. Learn more and register here.

    September 29, 12:30–2:00 pm

    "Prevention, Treatment, and Care of Diabetes and Chronic Kidney Disease"

    This Healthy People 2020 review will address the organization's progress on objectives in advancing treatment and care of these diseases. Learn more and register here.

    After Record-Low Rates of Increase, Health Spending Likely to Rise by 6% Annually Over Next Decade

    After historically low rates of growth in the wake of the Great Recession, health care spending is projected to rise by 5.6% in 2014, and will likely see average growth rates of 6% 2015–2023, according to a new report from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published in Health Affairs.

    A gradually improving economy and aging baby boomers will serve as primary drivers in the increased spending, which will be offset to a degree by "slower growth in Medicare payment rates mandated by health law, cuts made to hospitals and doctors in the congressional budget-cutting efforts, and the increasing use of higher deductibles in private insurance plans," according to a report from Kaiser Health News.

    The CMS report received widespread coverage, and nearly as interesting as the report itself is a Kaiser Health News summary of how various news outlets chose to characterize the predictions as everything ranging from the numbers confirming that "a feared surge in spending isn't happening" (Politico) to the predictions describing "substantial increases over the next decade, expected to be driven by increased coverage due to the Affordable Care Act" (Fox News).