Voices of the NPAP

Rhona S. Applebaum


Rhona S. Applebaum, PhD
Vice President and Chief Scientific & Regulatory Officer
The Coca-Cola Company



Which of the 8 Sectors are you involved in and why did you choose that particular sector?

Business and Industry. But the focus on the need for workplace wellness goes beyond this sector. All employers have an important role in helping to advance the health of their employees and the communities in which they operate. First and foremost, business and industry are important sectors in communities across the nation. Healthy communities are the foundation and the future for sustainable businesses—both from an employee and a consumer base. Healthy communities and healthy citizens equal healthy businesses—no doubt about it.

Success will require business and industry to work in alignment with all key stakeholders to develop opportunities and workable solutions to advance targeted public health goals. To this end, it is essential that public-private partnerships and collaborative efforts are supported and become a standard operating model to advance new ideas and empower consumers. I truly believe that by working together, we can – and must – identify and help implement practical solutions to help people, especially children, achieve active, balanced and healthy lifestyles.

What's most exciting to you about the U.S. having a National Physical Activity Plan?

At The Coca-Cola Company, we care about our employees and our consumers and are committed to helping promote active, healthy living for people of all ages. The National Physical Activity Plan (NPAP) is essential in helping to activate the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines which are designed to raise the public’s awareness on the importance of physical activity, with focus on how much physical activity each and every one of us need.  I view the NPAP as the roadmap, the blueprint, for the ‘how’ that underpins the ‘why and what’ of the Guidelines.  Taken together, it’s the perfect mix for maximizing the health of our Nation.

What will success of the NPAP look like to you in 3 years, 5 years? 10 years?

Physical activity is seen as vital to the health and well-being of everyone and incorporated into everyone’s lives—with opportunities to be active throughout the day—whether at school, in the workplace or at home.  I pretty much have the patience of a gnat—so for this ‘activity revolution’ to take hold I’d like it sooner rather than later—and with the Guidelines over 6 years young—I’d like this view of success to materialize as soon as possible.

So there you have it…a world where every person in every community is motivated, engaged and doing what they can to be active and healthy and where physical activity is viewed by all as the ‘magic pill’ for maximizing health!


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