DALLAS, TX -- (Marketwired) -- 05/24/13 -- There has been much talk about the increasing rates of physical inactivity and childhood obesity in the US. It turns out that inactivity and obesity trends are also becoming a global problem. Recognizing this need, The Cooper Institute has signed a partnership agreement with the Hungarian School Sport Federation to establish a national platform for youth fitness assessment in Hungary. The new fitness test, which will be modeled after FITNESSGRAM®, will be administered to all school-aged children in Hungary, approximately 934,000 in 2,500 schools.
"This partnership presents a great opportunity to forge diplomatic ties in a way that will have a lasting impact on the future of both countries," said Kenneth H. Cooper, MD, MPH, Founder and Chairman Emeritus of The Cooper Institute. "We must ensure that all children are given the opportunity to lead healthier lives. Only then can they achieve their potential and impact their local communities, their countries, and the world."
The national youth fitness assessment will include professional development for teachers and assistance to implement the test. Data from a sampling of assessment results will be analyzed by FitnessGram Scientific Advisors Weimo Zhu, PhD, of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Gregory Welk, PhD, of Iowa State University, to draw a cross cultural comparison between the levels of fitness of Hungarian and U.S. children.
"I am honored that this research program will be implemented with the help of these international experts who are working tirelessly to encourage lifelong physical activity," said Gábor Balogh, Hungarian School Sport Federation President.
FitnessGram is a comprehensive educational, reporting, and promotional tool for physical fitness and physical activity assessment for children. It is administered to over 22 million youth annually in over 65,000 schools across the United States, and in 20 international locations, and is the official fitness assessment of the Presidential Youth Fitness Program.
"We are inspired by the trust and commitment extended to us by the Hungarian School Sport Federation and their commitment to youth health education," said Don Disney, Director of Youth Initiatives at The Cooper Institute. "In our 40 years of working with schools, teachers, administrators, and parents to make improvements in children's health, we have learned that collaboration makes a difference. We are thrilled to share our knowledge and expand our partnership across cultures."
About The Cooper Institute
Established in 1970 by Kenneth H. Cooper, MD, MPH, The Cooper Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated worldwide to preventive medicine research and education, housing one of the world's largest databases on exercise and health. Each year The Cooper Institute develops engaged learners in fitness and health with its courses and nationally accredited Personal Trainer Certification exam. The Cooper Institute offers web-based tools for schools to track and report on youth fitness and nutrition: FitnessGram® and NutriGram®. For more information, visit CooperInstitute.org.
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