Fayette County

Holsinger tapped for fitness council

A University of Kentucky professor and former Kentucky Cabinet Secretary for Health and Family Services was appointed to the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports by President George W. Bush Tuesday.

Dr. James W. Holsinger was nominated by Bush in 2007 to become surgeon general, but the appointment was never confirmed by Congress. Democrats blocked Holsinger after questions were raised about his views on homosexuality.

Holsinger said Tuesday through a spokeswoman that he appreciated the appointment to the council.

"Clearly a major issue for Kentuckians and all Americans is our sedentary lifestyle which markedly contributes to the obesity epidemic," he said. "I look forward to the opportunity to continue my efforts at dealing with this major issue at a national level."

Holsinger was one of 16 people appointed to the council. Another nominee is figure skater Michelle Kwan.

Positions on the council are unpaid. According to the council's Web site, members meet once a year and make recommendations to the Cabinet for Health and Human Services on how to improve physical fitness.

Bush has not withdrawn Holsinger's nomination as surgeon general. However, it is unlikely Holsinger will be confirmed before Barack Obama is sworn in as president Jan. 20.