Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Chinese Fight Growing Girth With Weight Watchers, Soyjoy Bars

“After struggling for thousands of years to feed its population, China, with the world’s fastest growing major economy, faces the opposite problem: overeating. Losing extra weight and a “desire for a more healthy lifestyle” are also attracting customers for Zhongti Beili Health Club Co. Ltd., the joint venture between Bally and Beijing-based China Sports Industry Group Co., said deputy general manager Derek Xue in a telephone interview from Beijing. The company plans to double its chain of gyms to 28 by year-end, he said. China has about 3,000 health clubs, with about 3 million active members, estimates Marco Treggiari, managing director of the Chinese unit for Gambettola, Italy-based Technogym SpA. The equipment maker supplies about 400 gyms and 210 five-star hotels, and its sales will grow as much as 30 percent this year to $18 million, he said. Corporate clients are becoming an important source of that growth. Midland, Michigan-based Dow Chemical Co. has equipped a 2,600 square-meter sports facility in its Shanghai headquarters with the latest Technogym treadmills and step and weight machines, said Fiona Bao, medical director for North Asia Pacific at Dow.”


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