Tim and I have talked over the years many times about the fact that the PGA TOUR, and golfers and that particular sport angle is unique in that this is one of the sports where the fans actually get up and walk and follow the players, and there's exercise of all sorts.
It's such a wonderful opportunity to use this platform to make the case that there is a real upside to doing these sort of activities.
So we talked off and on over the years about various opportunities. When Tim called and said I have a new idea to theme a golf tournament in conjunction with the foundation, and connect it to a very high profile health care agenda summit, if you will, I said that makes a lot of sense and really gives us a platform to launch these concepts from.
We're pleased to be a part of it. We think it's going to take a while to carry this message, and that's why we have a long?term commitment here. We think there are a lot of opportunities for us to bring health and wellness agendas to the table here.
We're doing such things as partnering with folks out in the Coachella Valley, and putting in various parks and things, inter?generational parks, to encourage people to get outside, to move, this sort of thing.
We've been involved with the Tour for a number of years with pedometer programs at various tournaments where we have people use pedometers and measure their steps. Think in terms of calories burned, carbon offset, and all those sorts of things, connecting a number of agendas. We'll be doing more than that.
We have a wonderful launch pad here, I think, and all of these relationships will be part of this, too, to take a positive message and start working on the idea of behavior modification for everyone, being a key component for the long?term health of this nation. This is a good platform from which to do that.
We've had a relationship with a number of players in the past. We're encouraged that they're actively going to be engaged here. David Toms, Davis Love, Brett Quigley, Bo Van Pelt are people that we've worked with in the past, they'll be working with us here to carry this message on.
It's a wonderful opportunity with a great platform, in an environment where I think people can really connect the dots relative to getting up, getting out, moving, taking charge of their health, measuring, getting metrics, and making it better over time. So we're really pleased to be a part of it.
Q. Can you talk a little bit about what the Tuesday event will be?
PRESIDENT CLINTON: Well, we're putting it together now. But what we will attempt to do is to get as many people together like we do at the Clinton Global Initiative. They'll actually both tell us what they're doing, and make very specific commitments to do something else.
One thing, I wanted to wait for Tim and Mike to talk, but we're having all these fights down in Washington today about the budget. And the reason is that if you're a conservative, some of the choices that have to be made are unpalatable, and if you're a liberal, some of the choices you have to make are unpalatable. The one free choice we have is to become healthier.
If you look at what America is spending 17.5, give or take on health care, and no other major country, the Netherlands is 11.9, France is 11.8, Japan's still at 8.5. And one of the reasons Japan is at 8.5% in health care is the way they live. There are conservatively ?? that's $850 billion dollars, the difference between us and them.
At least $150 billion dollars of that $850, at least, is due to conditions related to diabetes which leads to frequency of heart attack and stroke and requires huge maintenance costs. It doesn't have anything to do with the way we finance health care or anything to do with the way we deliver health care. It's the burdens we put on the system.
So what we're going to try to do is I've been battling this for some years now, with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. What I've been amazed about is that every time you ask somebody, you don't have to call anybody a name, just ask them to help, it's amazing what happens.
People told me ?? I'll give you one example ?? we were on a fool's errand when we started this Alliance For a Healthier Generation. And I had called the soft drink people to come in here because kids were consuming an enormous percentage of daily calories from soft drinks they have at vending machines at school.
We reduced the caloric total of soft drink consumption by 88% in the schools and in over 90% of America's schools without a soft drink tax, without a law passing, without anything. Totally voluntary commitment because we got all the people involved, and from a business perspective, once everybody knew that his or her competitor was going to do the same thing, then nobody was at a competitive disadvantage. We put in flavored water. We put in smaller sizes. We put in more diet drinks. We did all kinds of stuff.
That is the kind of thing I hope will happen here. My goal on Tuesday is to get a lot of people who have done this, who know a lot more about the specifics than I do, to make specific commitments and see if we can leverage it up.
If one thing ?? this is one thing every American can do about America's budget deficit. This is one thing every American can do to make our country stronger if we change our lifestyles.
I mean, look at the difference. We're all thinking about the Japanese now because of the terrible thing they went through with the tsunami and the earthquake. One of the reasons they're going to be able to weather this is they spend about half what we do on health care. And part of it is in the system, (Inaudible) part of it is in all that, but a huge amount of it is just the way they organize their lives and live. So that's what we're going to try to get out of it Tuesday.
Q. Will there be healthy options at the food court? I mean, sports events don't generally have the healthiest foods. Can you talk about that?
COMMISSIONER FINCHEM: Well, that right there is the kind of thing that will happen. So we're talking about it at the Humana Challenge, and it makes sense. It's stuff that we'd want to do across the Tour.
And we were talking earlier. The average player walks 650 miles on the golf course a year. They play four rounds; they practice; they play Pro?Ams. So if we can get people walking and measuring walking, then we'll transplant it and do it all around the Tour. With Mike's help, put it on television all year long.
MIKE McCALLISTER: And we can encourage the healthy choices at the snack bar. We're hoping to have a lot of fun with those kind of things and doing exactly that sort of thing. In the Bob Hope Plaza, I think we're calling it, there is going to be an area for people to do biometrics.
Just going to have an overall themed agenda. What are your numbers? How do you take care of yourself? The fact that walking 18 holes is six miles or something like that. You can connect it to the activities of the week in a very interesting way. So we're going to have fun in a lot of ways.