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Sports and exercise medicine – how to change the health of a nation
Obesity/inactivity and its associated significant resulting morbidity continues to escalate globally, despite extensive interventions and strategies over the last 30 years. The economic costs are high, reaching far beyond the immediate cost of delivered health care. The resulting conditions affect almost every system in the body, yet few specialists focus on the root cause. Sports and exercise medicine specialists are ideally placed to tackle this problem in a holistic way that could provide sustained improvement for generations to come; even those with established pathology could benefit. The evidence for sports and exercise medicine improving cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity (adult and adolescent), osteoarthritis/degenerative joint disease, mortality rates, mental health and even cancer is presented here. The pathway to becoming a sports and exercise medicine practitioner is detailed to encourage health-care planners to introduce this specialty into their national health-care system.
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