Location: Indiana, United States

I became a Professor Emeritus after serving 29 years as a recreational therapy faculty member at Indiana University. I'm a long-time Hoosier, having grown up in Hanover, Indiana. My RT practitioner work was in psych/mental health. After completing my Ph.D. at the University of Illinois, my first faculty position was at the University of North Texas. RT has been a wonderful profession for me as I have had the opportunity to serve as an author and national leader.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Shouldn't RTs be Concerned about Obesity?

I recently read a column written by the president of the American Psychological Association (APA) titled “Addressing the obesity epidemic: Don’t blame the victim.” The article talked about how two-thirds of Americans are overweight and one-third can be considered obese – displaying the being overweight in the United States is the “new normal.” The column focused on how psychologists need to address public policy and the factors that create an overweight population.

As I read the words of the APA president, I could not but help think about what we in recreational therapy are doing -- or not doing -- to combat the problem of obesity. Where are the RT programs directed at obesity? Why aren’t RT researchers examining how RTs can help clients with weight problems? Where is ATRA in terms of calling attention to the problem of obesity, providing practitioners with suggestions for intervention strategies, and affecting public policy?

What say you?


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