A $50,000 research prize to promote active health has been awarded to James Sallis, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Family and Preventive Medicine at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine. Sallis is a noted academic who is on a mission to use research to promote health, fitness, and active lifestyles.
The 2012 Bloomberg Manulife Prize for the Promotion of Active Health – the world's largest prize devoted to physical activity – is awarded annually by McGill University in Montreal, Canada, in association with Lawrence S. Bloomberg and Manulife Financial. The prize is given to a researcher “whose work promises to broaden our understanding of how physical activity, nutrition or psychosocial factors influence personal health and well-being.” Sallis will accept the award at special ceremonies in Toronto on January 21, 2013 and on January 23 on the McGill campus in Montreal.
Widely regarded as a leading expert in the field of policy and environmental influences on fitness, nutrition and obesity, Sallis has dedicated his career to health promotion through physical activity, and has been recognized with numerous honors and awards, including a Distinguished Service Award from the Society of Behavioral Medicine, the Vice Presidency of the American College of Sports Medicine, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition.
He is an outspoken advocate of evidence-based interventions, and to that end has led many large-scale research projects, including the Neighborhood Quality of Life Study, a study of neighborhood walkability and physical activity, which is the model for studies conducted around the world. He is also co-founder of SPARK (Sports, Play, and Active Recreation for Kids), which resulted in the development and implementation of highly effective physical activity programs for youth across North America.
Sallis is also the director of the Active Living Research Program, which aims to build the evidence base about how environments and policies shape physical activity, and subsequently use the evidence to inform policy change.