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Warning Labels Set To Target Couch Potatoes

FRIDAY, FEB. 23, 1996

A group of sporting goods manufacturers said their products will soon carry a U.S. Surgeon General’s warning aimed at guilt-prone couch potatoes: Failure to exercise is bad for your health.

The Fitness Products Council, an association of 140 exercise equipment makers, said the labels will start showing up after the surgeon general’s office releases a report in June on physical fitness.

Exact wording has not been finalized, but one proposal reads: “The Surgeon General has determined that lack of physical activity is detrimental to your health.”

The label will reflect the findings of the study, but will have no official government endorsement.

Doctors recommend most people get at least 30 minutes a day of moderate exercise, such as a brisk walk, but only 20 percent of Americans do that, said Dr. Steve Blair, scientific-technical editor of the surgeon general’s report.

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