Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Nintendo Rolls out Fitness Product: Report

“Games maker Nintendo Co is planning to launch a new physical fitness product called Wii Fit for U.S. shipping in May, according to the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday. The Wii Fit will come with a weight-and-motion sensing device called the Wii Balance Board, according to the report.”

Lower PSA Values Found In Overweight And Obese Men, Even Before Diagnosis Of Prostate Cancer

“Men who are overweight or obese have lower concentrations of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in their blood than their normal-weight counterparts, according to a new study led by Duke University Medical Center researchers. The finding echoes earlier results on PSA concentrations found in obese and overweight men with prostate cancer and highlights the need to reconsider PSA threshold values for heavier patients, and to encourage those patients to get serious about losing weight. The prevalence of obesity in the United States has doubled in the past 15 years," Price said. ‘Our study demonstrates yet another health danger that obesity poses. One in three Americans is obese, and a man who is 5'11" and weighs 215 pounds is considered obese. The best advice clinicians can give their patients is to adopt healthier lifestyles, said Stephen Freedland, M.D., a urologist at Duke and the study's senior author. ‘We tell patients to exercise three or four times a week, eat a healthier diet, high in vegetables and fruits, and keep getting screened,’ he said. However, to compensate for the lower PSA values, Freedland also recommends lowering the PSA threshold that is considered abnormal for obese men. ‘If we don't do that, we may be missing cancers in obese men, which could lead to delayed diagnosis and poorer outcomes."

Curves Joins Olivia Newton-John to ''Get Physical'' and Fight Cancer

“Curves International, Inc., the world’s largest fitness club franchisor, today announced that it is joining Australian superstar Olivia Newton-John in the fight against cancer as a presenting sponsor of The Great Walk to Beijing 2008. Curves has pledged a minimum $1 million contribution toward the Walk—a fundraiser that will benefit the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Centre Appeal. Curves founder Diane Heavin will join Olivia on the three-week Walk. Olivia and Diane will be joined by other celebrities, sports heroes, business leaders, corporate partners and cancer survivors as they trek 142 miles (228 km) over some of the oldest and steepest portions of the Great Wall of China. The Walk begins April 7 and ends with a triumphal entry into Beijing on April 29.”

24 Hour Fitness Partners With Derek Jeter to Launch Signature Sports Clubs in New York City

“24 Hour Fitness Worldwide, the largest privately owned U.S. fitness chain and leading health club pioneer, announced a partnership with New York icon and Yankees' captain Derek Jeter to open its first health club in New York City. The signature sports club, which will be called 24 Hour Fitness -- Derek Jeter, will open in late June 2008 at 225 Fifth Avenue, on the corner of 26th Street at Madison Square Park. There will be a pre-sale for memberships beginning today at the future site of the club, online at or by calling 800-224-0240. 24 Hour Fitness -- Derek Jeter at Madison Square Park will occupy 28,000 square feet and will offer members a full service gym with numerous amenities including an extensive line of cardio equipment and free weights; sauna; group exercise classes; personal training; locker room and laundry service; pro shop with wide assortment of fitness apparel; Starbucks coffee and XM Satellite Radio.”

Nautilus, Inc. Announces Agreement to Sell Pearl Izumi USA to Shimano American Corporation

Child Obesity Seen As Fueled By Spanish Language TV Ads

“Spanish language television is bombarding children with so many fast-food commercials that it may be fueling the rising obesity epidemic among Latino youth, according to research led by pediatricians from the Johns Hopkins Children's Center. Latino children, who make up one-fifth of the U.S. child population, also have the highest obesity and overweight rates of all ethnic groups. A report on the study, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, was released online ahead of print in the Journal of Pediatrics. ‘While we cannot blame overweight and obesity solely on TV commercials, there is solid evidence that children exposed to such messages tend to have unhealthy diets and to be overweight,’ says study lead investigator Darcy Thompson, M.D., M.P.H., a pediatrician at Hopkins Children's.”

World Leaders Challenged To Agree A Global Pact On Obesity And Healthy Nutrition At AAAS Conference In Boston

“Obesity must be tackled in the same way as climate change with world leaders agreeing to vital steps to transform the environment that is making us fat, a leading international nutritional scientist warned. (Sunday Feb 17 2008) Speaking to the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Boston, Prof Philip James said that governments, industry and all sectors of society need to 'buy in' to the global strategies essential to combat the devastating health consequences of the obesity epidemic. There was a tremendous synergy between the measures and urgency needed to tackle climate change the focus of this year's World Health Day on April 7 and the pressing need to transform the environment for diet and physical activity.”

Teens, Parents May Not See a Weight Problem

“Many parents of children classified as overweight or even extremely overweight do not perceive their child as being excessively heavy, with some wrongly believing that their child is "about the right weight," new research suggests. In addition, if the parent fails to perceive a weight issue, odds are the child will also fail to see a problem. These findings are ‘important’ and ‘troublesome,’ the researchers say in their report in the medical journal Diabetes Care, because recognition that a child is overweight is a critical first step to making diet and lifestyle changes to promote weight loss. Dr. Asheley Cockrell Skinner of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and colleagues interviewed 104 adolescents with type 2 diabetes and their parents about perceptions of the adolescents' weight, diet and exercise habits.”

Portable Computer Devices Can Aid Exercise Programs

PDAs beeped reminders to participants, and they worked out longer, study shows
“Specially programmed personal digital assistants (PDAs) can help encourage middle-aged and older Americans to increase their physical activity levels, a Stanford University study says. The 37 study participants were randomly assigned to receive either traditional physical activity information handouts or a PDA loaded with a program that asked questions designed to help users set physical activity goals, track their activity, and get feedback on how well they were meeting their goals. The device automatically beeped once in the morning and once in the evening to remind users to review the questions. If a person didn't respond to the initial beep, the device beeped three additional times at 30-minute intervals. After eight weeks, the people with the PDAs had exercised about five hours a week, compared to two hours a week for those with the traditional handouts.”

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Fittest Companies in America

Fitness in the workplace is no longer a mere perk

Mens Fitness

Nautilus, Inc. Consolidates North American Direct Call Centers

Why So Many Children Are On The Road To Heart Disease

“We teach our children how to walk, talk and go to the bathroom, but do we teach them how to eat right? National statistics show that many of us do not. According to the American Obesity Association, an alarming 15.5 percent of children between the ages of six and 11 are considered obese, putting them on a collision course with the nation's biggest killer: heart disease. The power of preventing such a tragedy lies in the hands of parents, according to pediatric health experts. ‘Parents are the gatekeepers and the role models for their children's eating and exercise habits,’ says Marjorie Milici, M.D., pediatrician on the medical staff at Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas. ‘Chronic diseases, such as obesity, heart disease and cancer, which take decades to develop, have their roots in childhood, when exercise and eating behaviors are being learned,’ adds Dr. Milici.”

Medical News Today

Cybex Announces 2007 Results

Cybex International, Inc. (NASDAQ: CYBI), a leading manufacturer of premium exercise equipment for the commercial and consumer markets, today reported results for its fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2007. Net sales for the fourth quarter of 2007 increased by 16% to $44.5 million compared to $38.2 million for the corresponding 2006 period. This increase was driven by strong sales of both cardio and strength products and continued growth in the commercial equipment market. The Company reported net income for the fourth quarter of 2007 of $3.0 million, or $0.17 per diluted share, compared to net income of $2.8 million, or $0.16 per diluted share, reported for the fourth quarter of 2006. For the year ended December 31, 2007, net sales increased by 15% to $146.5 million compared to $126.9 million for 2006. Net income for the year ended December 31, 2007 was $9.8 million, or $0.55 per diluted share, compared to net income of $20.1 million, or $1.18 per diluted share for 2006. The 2007 results include the third quarter reduction in the tax valuation reserve which increased net income by $5.2 million, or $0.29 per diluted share. The 2006 results include a second quarter reduction in the tax valuation reserve, which increased 2006 net income by $14.4 million or $0.85 per diluted share.”

Business News Wire

Autopsies Forecast Surge in U.S. Heart Disease

“Autopsies of adults who died young of unnatural causes show many already had clogged arteries, U.S. and Canadian researchers said on Monday in a study that suggests heart disease may be on the upswing. The researchers said their findings suggest a four-decade-long trend of declines in heart disease may be about to come to a screeching halt. They studied autopsy reports from younger people in one Minnesota county who died from accidents, suicide and murder and found most had clogged arteries and more than 8 percent had significant disease. ‘What they observed was a bit shocking,’ said S. Jay Olshansky of the University of Illinois at Chicago, who wrote an editorial on the research, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. ‘It is the most definitive evidence I've seen suggesting that today's younger and middle-aged generations may be heading for an increase in their risks of heart disease,’ he said.”


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Heart Disease Diagnosis Rarely Prompts Diet Change

“A one-year follow-up study of patients with heart disease found that few are meeting recommendations for fruit, vegetable and fiber intake, and they were eating a ‘disturbing’ amount of trans fat, Dr. Yunsheng Ma and colleagues from the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester found. They surveyed 555 people about their eating habits one year after they had been diagnosed with heart disease using coronary angiography. All had suffered some type of cardiac event, such as heart attack, abnormal heart rhythm, or chest pain. And while public health guidelines recommend getting less than 0.5 percent of total calories from trans fat, people in the study consumed an average of 3.41 percent of their calories in trans fat form. Just half had exercised for at least 20 minutes at least once in the past three months. About 80 percent of people don't go to cardiac rehabilitation programs after having a heart attack, the researcher noted, and even if they do such programs often emphasize exercise over nutrition.”

Youth Movement: Childhood Obesity Study Uses Video Games

“When fifth-graders from Coolidge Elementary play video games at school, their teachers don't complain, they don't get detention and their parents are not notified. The students are taking part in a scientific study. Wearing accelerometers around their waists to measure body movements, the students play "Dance Dance Revolution” twice a week during their physical education class for eight weeks. The goal of the study designed by Dr. Casey Hester, a pediatrician at OU Children's Physicians, is to compare the body mass indexes, body compositions and physical activity levels of the children before and after participating in the study. With the incidence of childhood obesity increasing every year in America, any activity that gets kids off the couch and moving is a good thing, experts say. Since the 1970s, childhood obesity has increased from 5 percent to now 20 percent of children falling into the category of obese, said Dr. Kenneth Copeland, section chief of pediatric endocrinology and diabetes at the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine.”

Heart Disease Incidence May be on the Rise: Study

“Decades of decline in the incidence of heart disease may have come to an end, according to results of a long-term autopsy study conducted at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in Rochester, Minnesota. In fact, coronary artery disease (CAD) rates may even be climbing among young adults, the study investigators report in the Archives of Internal Medicine for February 11th. Since the mid-1960s, declines in heart disease mortality have been accompanied by reductions in the incidence of CAD and improved survival among persons with CAD. However, there are few data regarding trends in CAD over the last decade, when rates of obesity and diabetes have increased dramatically, Dr. Cynthia L. Leibson and colleagues note.”

Healthy Habits Key to Longer Life for Men

“Elderly men can improve their chances of having an even longer and healthier life by quitting smoking, controlling their weight, getting their blood pressure and blood glucose under control and exercising regularly, a study shows. But making such changes is, of course, easier said than done, Dr. Laurel B. Yates of Brigham and Women's Hospital, the study's lead author, admitted in an interview with Reuters Health. ‘Lifestyle factors are the hardest things to do -- it's much easier to take a pill,’ she said. Nevertheless, she added, the rewards will include not only longer life but healthier, well-functioning years at the end of that life.”

Men Who Are Continually Active At Work May Have Decreased Prostate Cancer Risk, Study Suggests

“Men with jobs that require them to be physically active may be getting benefits beyond salary and health insurance - they may be at a decreased risk of developing prostate cancer, according to a study at UCLA’s Jonsson Cancer Center. ‘The message from this study for today is that if you’re more active, you may be able to prevent this cancer from happening,” said Beate Ritz, a Jonsson Cancer Center researcher, an associate professor of epidemiology in the UCLA School of Public Health and the study’s senior author.* “If you have a desk job, do something physically active to counterbalance it.’”

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Born to Be Obese?

“The brain circuitry that controls appetite might be wired differently in some people, and that could predispose them to obesity, California researchers suggest.
The study was conducted in rats, not humans, and yet it could ultimately lead to novel obesity treatments, said Philip Smith, director of the Office of Obesity Research at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. ‘It is not just about drugs that modify short-term appetite,’ he said, ‘there may be drugs that stimulate development of the appropriate neural pathways. So, it is an exciting, but very early, time in this field.’ The study was published in the February issue of Cell Metabolism.”

Risk Of Chronic Disease Lowered By Whole Grain Diet

“Diets with high amounts of whole grains may help achieve significant weight loss, and also reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, according to a team of Penn State researchers at University Park and the College of Medicine. ‘Consumption of whole grains has been associated with a lower body weight and lower blood pressure,’ said co-author Penny Kris-Etherton, distinguished professor of nutritional sciences at Penn State. ‘We thought that incorporating whole grains into a heart-healthy weight loss diet may provide the same benefits to people at risk from chronic diseases.’”

Vida Fitness Unveils New Plan to Open New Location in Renaissance Washington, DC Hotel

“Vida Fitness, the creatively designed fitness center and spa in Verizon Center with an additional location opening in Logan Circle at the Metropole condominiums, announced today plans to launch another facility in the Renaissance Washington, DC Hotel at 999 9th Street, NW in the bustling Penn Quarter District across from the DC Convention Center. The luxurious 10,000-square-foot VIDA Fitness Renaissance will occupy the existing exercise area and incorporate its wellness services with the latest cutting-edge fitness programming, which includes its popular Zen Spa featuring a European steam room and sauna and endless pool. Members and guests will have the opportunity to enjoy a high-end day spa with state-of-the-art amenities, three full treatment rooms and spa concierge. Memberships including day passes will be offered to the general public and hotel guests will have full access to the new facility. Construction on the project begins immediately with an opening date in mid-June 2008.”

Study Of Obese Mice Finds Weight Training Melts Fat And Improves Metabolism

“When it comes to losing weight, pumping iron may be just as important as running on the treadmill, suggests a new study in the February issue of Cell Metabolism, a publication of Cell Press. Researchers used a genetic trick in obese mice that caused the mice's muscles to bulk up as though they had been lifting weights. The researchers found that the "genetically reprogrammed" mice lost fat and showed other signs of metabolic improvement throughout the body. What's more, those benefits were seen even though the mice continued eating a diet high in both fat and sugar and didn't increase their physical activity at all. ‘We've shown that type II muscle does more than allow you to pick up heavy objects,’ said Kenneth Walsh of Boston University School of Medicine. ‘It is also important in controlling whole-body metabolism.’”

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Nautilus, Inc. Revises Date of Conference Call for Fourth Quarter and Fiscal 2007 Results to February 13, 2008

Nautilus, Inc. Revises Date of Conference Call for Fourth Quarter and Fiscal 2007 Results to February 13, 2008

Mayor to Lead Action on Obesity and Physical Activity in London

“The Mayor of London has announced plans to establish a high-level Londonwide group to make sure London meets the Government’s target to reduce childhood obesity in the capital. The group will include co-ordinate action on sport, physical fitness, health and obesity across the capital and include partners from NHS London, Sport England, Youth Sport Trust, Transport for London, London 2012, London Food Board, and Government departments. The announcement coincides with the publication of the Mayor's draft Health Inequalities Strategy for consultation with the London Assembly, before full public consultation later this year.”

Weight Is Easier Gained Than Lost When Exercise Is Inconsistent

“Weight gain caused by inconsistent exercise cannot be lost by simply resuming a previous exercise routine, suggests a study published in the February 2008 issue Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, the official scientific journal of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). In an eight-year study of more than 40,000 runners, researcher Paul Williams, Ph.D., found that weight gain among men and women who decreased their running distances per week was significantly more than weight loss among men and women who increased their running distances per week by the same amount. ‘If you stop exercising with the intention of starting again later, you don't get to pick up where you left off,’ Thompson said. ‘You're likely to gain weight and get stuck with it unless you exercise a lot more. It's an ounce of prevention or a pound of cure, literally.’”

Matrix Fourth-Quarter Sales Increase 120 Percent in U.S. and 62 Percent Worldwide

“Matrix Fitness Systems, a leading global manufacturer of premium exercise equipment for commercial use, today announced its
U.S. sales for the fourth quarter ending Dec. 31, 2007, increased by 120 percent over the corresponding 2006 period, and worldwide sales grew by 62 percent for the same timeframe. Overall, Matrix’s 2007 domestic sales increased 102 percent, and global sales grew by 58 percent. This marks the third consecutive year that Matrix has attained triple-digit percentage growth in U.S. sales.‘Much of our domestic growth can be attributed to the addition of key personnel, expansion of our U.S. commercial sales team and forming key partnerships with our valued customers,’ said Chris Clawson, president, Matrix Fitness Systems. ‘The success of our innovative new products, including the Ascent Trainer, Incline Elliptical and the Hybrid Cycle, further fueled our phenomenal sales growth.’”

Monday, February 4, 2008

Experts Recommend Two Hours Physical Activity for Kids-Finland

“Children and teenagers should be doing physical activity at least one or two hours a day, according to a report compiled by various health and well-being experts. The report was submitted to Education Minister Sari Sarkomaa and Minister of Culture and Sport Stefan Wallin. The expert panel was compiled by the Young Finland Association, an organisation which promotes physical activity. The report also recommended that time children spend watching television or on the computer be limited to two hours a day. In fact, any sedentary periods of two hours or more should be avoided, they say. The panel of experts hope that legislators, schools, and homes will wake up to the harmful consequences of children's increasingly inactive lifestyle.”

Weighing Nearly 400 pounds, Man Walks off Half His Weight

“Novak, who was approaching his 40th birthday, made it through the football game. As he ate two double-cheeseburgers and a milkshake, he began to think about the limitations of obesity and how it was keeping him from living a full life. Novak said the extra weight kept him from riding bikes with his kids. He dreaded doing anything physical like mowing the grass, shoveling snow or just moving -- period. Novak says even sleeping became difficult. The next day, Novak devised his own game plan and started his weight-loss journey. He began simply by walking -- one mile a day and eating a low-carbohydrate diet of 15-30 grams a day. ‘I walked off my first 100 pounds,’ he says. ‘Walked it off, an hour a day. I lost 100 pounds in seven months.’ Novak continued to lose weight and as he built up his endurance he started jogging. Even though he had never belonged to a gym, he wanted to incorporate strength training. But the first time he went to the gym, he was intimidated by the loud music and weight lifters. He says he quickly "scampered" out and tried a few other places until he finally found a club where he felt comfortable.”

Obese Patients Wait Longer for Kidney Transplants

“Extremely obese adults in need of a kidney transplant appear to wait longer for a donor organ than their thinner counterparts do, a study has found. The findings, according to researchers, suggest there may be a bias in the way donor kidneys are allocated. Analyzing a decade's worth of national transplant data, researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore found that morbidly obese patients - those who are 100 or more pounds overweight- on the kidney transplant waiting list were 44 percent less likely to receive a donor organ as normal-weight patients. There was no similar disparity seen among overweight or mildly obese patients, the researchers report in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.”

At 24-Hour Clubs, You Make Your Own Hours

“For people itching to work out in the wee hours, a crop of new gyms is giving fitness-seekers unfettered access 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Alabama entrepreneurs are opening franchises that operate around the clock. Snap Fitness, a large Minnesota-based franchise, lists six Alabama locations on its Web site, with 11 more ‘coming soon.’ Anytime Fitness, another 24-hour fitness franchise headquartered in Minnesota, lists eight Alabama gyms, with 25 more on the way. Rosemary Lavery, a spokeswoman for the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association, said more than 1,000 24-hour health clubs are operating in the United States. The fitness industry is always evolving, Lavery said. The 24-hour model focuses on convenience and accessibility. Many 24-hour clubs locate near major manufacturing plants, universities or densely populated areas, she said. According to the association, the number of health clubs in Alabama has grown from 275 in 2000 to 399 as of September, an increase of 45 percent.”

Losin’ It

“Members at Inn Fitness are making their New Year’s resolutions a reality by participating in a nationwide eight-week weight loss competition called ‘I Lost It At the Club.’ ‘It’s not about just coming in and attacking their resolution, it’s about making their resolution a permanent part of their lifestyle,” said Dave Magliozzi, fitness director and coordinator of the competition. The program is run by the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA), an organization which hundreds of health clubs across the country are associated.”

Friday, February 1, 2008

For Students, New Gym Is an Exercise in Health

“Club 49, named after the number of the classroom it replaced, has 24 stationary bicycles, 20 elliptical trainers, exercise balls, four flat-screen TVs and six computers used to store and track students' progress. During school hours, students who couldn't pass a state fitness test use Club 49 instead of going to a regular PE class. After school, it's open to all students in San Marcos Middle's after-school program. All are trying to meet state standards in areas such as cardiovascular endurance, flexibility and upper-body strength. The state test also requires that a student's body-mass index, calculated using height and weight, is within a healthy range.”

Group Aid Improves Diet, May Cut Diabetes Risk In American Indian Women

“Even low-intensity group support helps motivate young American Indian women to hit the produce aisle, a new study suggests. After participating, these women reported upping their intake of fruits and vegetables a dietary change that can lower this population's increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The study targeted urban American Indian women, ages 18 to 40, because more than half of American Indians live in cities and they often have limited access to diabetes-prevention services, said lead author Janice Thompson, Ph.D., of the University of Bristol in England. In the study, published in the March issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, women learned about diet and exercise strategies in monthly, two-plus hour sessions with trained American Indian facilitators. Of 200 original participants, 135 stayed with the study for the entire 18 months.”

Obesity Prescription Numbers Pass One Million After Eightfold Increase In Eight Years- UK

“More than one million NHS prescription items were dispensed to treat obesity in England in 2006 - eight times the number dispensed in 1999. The number of items dispensed in primary care was 1.06 million in 2006, compared to 127,000 in 1999, a report for The Information Centre for health and social care (The IC) shows today (31 January 2008). The majority of these were for two drugs; Sibutramine and Orlistat. Sibutramine alters chemical messages to the brain that control feelings and thoughts about food, while the other, Orlistat, prevents some fat absorption in the intestine. The findings come from a compendium of statistics on obesity, physical activity and diet, published today alongside the Health Survey for England 2006.”

Minnesota's Obesity Could Cost an Extra $3.7 billion by 2020

“ If obesity in Minnesota continues to rise it could cost the state an additional $900 million annually by 2010, and $3.7 billion more annually by 2020. The information comes from a study released today by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota and the Minnesota Department of Health. Right now, roughly $10 billion is spent in Minnesota on healthcare for adults; 6 percent of the money goes toward obesity. According to the study, 23 percent of Minnesotans fall into the obese category now, and if left unchecked that number will rise to 31 percent by 2020.”

Workout Wonder - How Geoff Dyer lifted Lifestyle Family Fitness to a new level by learning to let go

“Dyer says the company would continually receive data from the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association on how to be the most effective at retaining members. ‘In the fitness industry, member attrition or loss of members is something the industry has been fighting for years and years, and one of the key strategies to retaining members is to retain your employees first,’ Dyer says. ‘If we can get our employees to build relationships with our members, they will look forward to coming to work just as much as our members will look forward to coming to work out.’ Dyer says it’s simple face-to-face communication that keeps the relationship between the employee and the customer strong.”

Finding a Better You

“Bridget Harnack first joined Curves about six years ago to get in shape for her cousin's wedding. She enjoyed her time at the women's fitness club so much that she applied for a job. Now the manager at Janesville's Humes Road location, Harnack, 25, said the comfortable atmosphere is what attracts her and others to the club. ‘It doesn't matter what you're wearing, it doesn't matter if you have makeup on or how your hair looks, you just walk in the door,’ she said. Women's health clubs, such as Curves, have ‘grown tremendously over the years,’ said Rosemary Lavery of the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association. ‘They've tapped into a market that hadn't previously been health club goers,’ she said. Wisconsin has seen a 179 percent growth in the number of health clubs from 1996 to 2007, she said. As of September 2007, 610 health clubs operated in the state.”

Metabolic Syndrome on the Rise Among Obese Teens

“ A cluster of heart disease and diabetes risk factors known as the metabolic syndrome is becoming increasingly common in adolescents, paralleling the rise in teen obesity, a new study shows. Obese teens are now more likely to have the syndrome than they were just a few years ago. However, the prevalence varies widely - from 12.4 percent to 44.2 percent -- depending upon which definition of metabolic syndrome is used. The metabolic syndrome is seen almost exclusively in overweight kids, Dr. Stephen Cook of the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry in New York, the study's lead author, told Reuters Health.”

EU Health Chief Angers Industry over Labelling

“The European Union's health chief overcame intense industry pressure on Wednesday to propose stricter food labelling rules that aim to halt Europe's rising levels of obesity. Despite huge political opposition and lobbying by food and drink multinationals, EU Health Commissioner Markos Kyprianou forged ahead with plans to require companies to detail energy, sugar, salt, fat and saturates on the front of the packages. ‘Today's proposal aims to ensure that food labels carry the essential information in a clear and legible way, so that EU citizens are empowered to make balanced dietary choices,’ Kyprianou told a news conference. ‘Confusing, overloaded or misleading labels can be more of a hindrance than a help to the consumer," he said. According to the World Health Organisation, obesity has more than trebled in most EU countries since the 1980s with the number of obese or overweight children in the bloc rising from 14 million in 2005 to 22 million in 2007.”

Germans Grow Lazy and Overweight, Govt Study Finds

“Germans have grown lazy over the last two generations and that has contributed to a worrying increase in obesity rates, according to a government study published on Wednesday. ‘People are more idle than 40 years ago - they are desk-bound and lazy,’ said Marianne Eisinger-Watzl of the Federal Research Institute for Food and Nutrition study. ‘Food is more energy-dense and snacking is on the up.’ Two thirds of German men and 51 percent of women carry excess fat compared to 39 percent of men and 47 percent of women in the last national study done 20 years ago. One in five Germans are

Armstrong Foundation to Launch Fitness Networking Web Site

“The Lance Armstrong Foundation is getting into the online social-networking business with a Web site focusing on health and fitness issues. The for-profit site,, will launch later this year in a partnership with Demand Media Inc., an online media startup run by Richard Rosenblatt, the former head of The site will cover a range of health issues with blogs, chat rooms, videos and other tools visitors can use to interact and share their own content.”

Weight Loss by Diet or Exercise Benefits Heart

“Shedding excess pounds may restore some of the heart's youth, whether the weight loss comes from eating less or exercising more, the results of a small study suggests. Researchers found that among 25 healthy but overweight middle-aged adults, moderate weight loss appeared to restore some the heart's youthful elasticity -- making it easier for the heart to relax between contractions and refill with blood. It did not appear to matter whether the weight loss was achieved through diet changes or exercise, the researchers report in the American Journal of Physiology.”