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Health debate overlooks wellness programs

Cherry Hill Courier-Post, November 24, 2009

At least one-fourth of all U.S. adults are obese. About one in five smokes. Fewer than half get the recommended amount of physical activity. Despite Americans' poor lifestyle choices and the chronic problems they spawn, healthcare reform legislation that Congress is considering would do little to encourage people to live healthy lives, according to health experts. Advocates say Congress is missing an opportunity to expand medicine's focus beyond the diagnosis and treatment of illness. They say lawmakers should do more to boost efforts to prevent the onset of diseases by improving the mental and physical well-being of Americans.