UAMS Expert on Geriatric Nutrition and Exercise Testifies Before Congressional Special Committee on Aging

By todd

LITTLE ROCK – It’s never too late to change a person’s lifestyle to lower costs and improve health, William J. Evans, Ph.D., director of the Nutrition, Metabolism and Exercise Laboratory at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) told a congressional committee today.


Attitudes about aging are changing in the United States, Evans told the Congressional Special Committee on Aging in Washington.


“New research has altered our ideas of what aging is,” he said. “For the first time in history, we can begin to separate what may be inevitable consequences of aging from how we live our lives.”


Evans is a professor of geriatric medicine, physiology and nutrition in the Donald W. Reynolds Department of Geriatrics at UAMS and a research scientist with the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System. He is a nationally-known advocate for senior nutrition and exercise and the author of Astrofit, a program for senior citizens and others based on the health and fitness program used by astronauts to reverse the effects of space travel.


He was invited to testify before the committee to discuss ways to prevent and affordably treat chronic diseases, saving Medicare dollars and helping seniors live healthier lives. U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln, who introduced Evans to the committee, said she was pleased that Evans was asked to share his research findings.

“I am tremendously proud of Dr. Evans and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, particularly the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging for the services they provide to Arkansas and our nation,” Lincoln said. “By 2025, one out of every four Arkansans will be 65 or older. Dr. Evans’ leadership in studying the ability of older men and women to improve strength, fitness, and health through exercise will enable us to promote healthy aging and reap significant savings to federal programs.”

Evans’ landmark studies have demonstrated the ability of older men and women to improve strength, fitness and health through exercise, even into the 10th decade of life.


In the next 25 years, federal spending for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid will equal what is now spent on the entire federal government and is a more critical problem than Social Security, officials at the Congressional Budget Office and the Government Accountability Office have said.


UAMS is the state’s only comprehensive academic health center, with five colleges, a graduate school, a medical center, five centers of excellence and a statewide network of regional centers. UAMS has about 2,200 students and 660 residents and is the state’s largest public employer with almost 9,000 employees. UAMS and its affiliates have an economic impact in Arkansas of $4.1 billion a year.


UAMS centers of excellence are the Arkansas Cancer Research Center, Harvey and Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy and Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute.