Obesity has reached epidemic proportions in this country and as allied health professionals we need to be proactive. The APTA Vision 2020 initiative has seen the importance in addressing this healthcare issue as shown in the DPT curriculum. This was done by including 'Health Promotion and Wellness' as a part of the DPT curriculum.
The APTA has indicated on their nutrition web page “nutrition is part of the professional scope of practice for physical therapists” (PTs). They describe the importance of this role by recommending PTs "screen for and provide information on diet and nutritional issues to patients, clients, and the community"—within the bounds of the PT's scope of practice.
The American Physical Therapy Association recognizes that physical therapists are uniquely qualified to assume leadership positions in efforts to prevent injury and disability, and fully supports the positive roles that physical therapists and physical therapy assistants play in the promotion of healthy lifestyles, wellness, and injury prevention. APTA envisions that by 2020 consumers "will have direct access to physical therapists in all environments for patient/client management, prevention, and wellness services."
Currently physical therapists are treating patients with orthopedic problems who are also overweight or obese. While therapists realize their patients' body weight is an issue, they may not feel comfortable treating this problem. Having Physicians' Choice for Weight Loss® in your clinic gives you the tools to safely, legally, and affectively treat this growing patient population by promoting a healthy lifestyle.
PHYSICAL FITNESS, WELLNESS, HEALTH AND PREVENTION DEFINITIONS
The following definitions of physical fitness, wellness and health apply to all APTA documents:
Physical Fitness: A dynamic physical state – comprising cardiovascular/pulmonary endurance,
muscle strength, power, endurance and flexibility; relaxation; and body composition – that allows optimal and efficient performance of daily and leisure activities.
Wellness: A multidimensional state of being, describing the existence of positive health in an individual as exemplified by quality of life and a sense of well-being.
Health: A dynamic ongoing life associated with freedom from disease, injury, and illness that also includes a positive component (wellness) that is associated with a quality of life and positive well-being.
Prevention: Actions directed to preventing illness and promoting health to reduce the need for secondary or tertiary health care.
APTA holds as ethically binding the principle that PTs “shall endeavor to address the health needs of society.” ~APTA