Teaming up in the fight against obesity

December 22, 2010

The United States Professional Tennis Association and Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation commit to working together in 2011 to reduce childhood obesity. The USPTA’s Tennis — for the health of it! initiative, which started in 2008, promotes the great health benefits of playing tennis, and fits well with the goals of the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation to provide resources to encourage energy balance and reduce obesity, especially childhood obesity.

The sport of tennis and its tremendous health benefits (both physical and psychological) make it a key activity to help youth (and all age groups) achieve energy balance. While the gym and fitness classes are great for the gym enthusiasts, for those who prefer an outdoor activity/sport instead, tennis can serve that purpose as fun, easy exercise.

Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation also joins an artillery of heavy hitters already on board and committed to supporting USPTA in its efforts to promote Tennis – for the health of it! through Tennis Across America, which is the original grassroots lessons program in its 22nd year. The program is celebrated in May, which is also National Fitness Month.

“There is no doubt that tennis is one of the best activities when it comes to burning calories, enhancing brain development and improving one’s mental and physical health, and there is strong scientific evidence/studies behind it,” said Jack Groppel, USPTA Master Professional and vice president, and co-founder of Human Performance Institute. “We feel that by keeping Tennis – for the health of it! and tennis front and center, we can really help promote energy balance and make a difference in the battle against obesity in general – and specifically childhood obesity.”

The Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation, a CEO-led organization, is a national, multi-year effort designed to help reduce obesity — especially childhood obesity — by 2015. It’s a first-of-its kind coalition that brings together more than 130 retailers, food and beverage manufacturers, restaurants, sporting goods and insurance companies, trade associations and NGOs, and professional sports organizations. The Foundation promotes ways to help people achieve a healthy weight through energy balance — calories in and calories out. It focuses on three critical areas — the marketplace, the workplace and schools. For more information, visit

The main goals of USPTA’s Tennis — for the health of it! initiative are to make the general public aware of the tremendous health, fitness and psychological benefits of tennis and encourage people to get out and play the sport as a part of their regular fitness regimen. An activity such as tennis that is also social and fun can serve as a great alternative to gym workouts or as an additional activity in a fitness regimen. In addition, the USPTA and its members are the delivery force through which the public can receive these benefits through lessons and other tennis activities. For more information visit