GET HCM
magazine
Sign up for the FREE digital edition of HCM magazine and also get the HCM ezine and breaking news email alerts.
Not right now, thanksclose this window
JP Lennard
JP Lennard
JP Lennard
Follow Health Club Management on Twitter Like Health Club Management on Facebook Join the discussion with Health Club Management on LinkedIn Follow Health Club Management on Instagram
UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

Q&A: Get real

Social media influencers cause harm by raising unrealistic expectations of physical perfection, as Andrea Dearden explains

Published in Health Club Management 2022 issue 4
Andrea Dearden / David Lloyd Leisure
Andrea Dearden / David Lloyd Leisure
As health and fitness providers we have a responsibility to support people’s wellbeing

David Lloyd Clubs has launched a new pledge. What’s the purpose of it?
Our Wellness Pledge highlights how we as a brand are committed to encouraging the nation to focus on their wellness and feeling happy and healthy in their bodies, rather than just trying to lose weight. It also calls on the fitness industry to join us in advertising responsibly, avoid encouraging quick-fix solutions to weight loss and promote long-term healthy habits. We believe it’s an industry first.

What inspired this move?
Our Wellness Pledge was created following research we commissioned that showed 64 per cent of people admit they never see success from diet and fitness fads that promote a weight loss quick fix, with the average individual trying 17 new diets and spending £3,290 on health and fitness products, only to see them fail.

Our pledge, therefore, encourages the nation to say no to these fitness fads, and instead focus on making healthy choices that fit into their lifestyle so they’re happier and healthier in the longer term.

What outcomes are you seeking?
As an industry we know quick fixes not only don’t work, but can also damage people’s mental well as physical wellbeing, so we want to see more fitness brands behave responsibly and stop selling products that promise short-term results, but have limited long-term success.

As health and fitness providers we have a responsibility to support people’s wellbeing and should regulate ourselves to ensure that we all operate to the highest standards.

Tell us about the study that was done to evidence the need for this initiative
We conducted research in conjunction with 4Media, where a representative sample of 2,000 UK adults was asked a series of questions about their experiences with fitness quick fixes and weight loss marketing.

What were the other key findings?
The desire to lose weight has led to 41 per cent of the nation turning to diet and fitness fads. The most common diets tried were meal replacement shakes (18 per cent) and the 5-2 Diet (16 per cent). Fitness-specific options included the Abs Toning Belt, Ab Roller and Waist Trainer. These were shown to be anything but helpful, however, with success seen less than a third (31 per cent) of the time, leaving Brits feeling disappointed (42 per cent) and frustrated (31 per cent).

How are you feeding this insight back into your operations?
The insights gained from this research helped us to create the pledge, which in turn has been rolled out across the company. Some of the key actions we’ve undertaken include not working with influencers who promote rapid weight loss diets, not promoting unrealistic body standards in any of our advertising and marketing materials – or digitally enhancing any images to alter body shape – and not promoting our clubs as a short-term, rapid weight loss solution.

In clubs we’ve also trained all our fitness teams to coach members in developing long-term healthy habits, to empower them to be mentally and physically healthy. We’re also continuing to provide a wide range of activities and classes that feel inclusive and encourage people of all ages and fitness levels to be active.

Where do you stand more generally on the use of influencers?
Our research showed almost half of Brits feel that the use of celebrities or social media influencers to promote weight loss products is false advertising, as they don’t use the products themselves, while a further two-fifths agree that they promote unachievable goals to the public.

As a result, we’ve taken the stance within our Wellness Pledge to not work with any influencers who promote rapid weight loss diets, or any other unhealthy or potentially dangerous fitness quick fixes.

Why did you choose to work with Nadia Sawalha?
Nadia’s beliefs perfectly align with ours, in that fads often don’t work and can cause more harm than good. She also openly discusses the importance of healthy and sustainable fitness goals through her own personal journey, something which we champion. For these reasons we felt she was the ideal individual to work with on the launch of our campaign and Wellness Pledge.

What role does Holli Rubin play?
Holli Rubin is a psychotherapist, body image specialist and mental health practitioner. We worked with her on our campaign to get her expert input on why diet and fitness quick fixes can be dangerous and damaging, and why we should move towards a more moderate and balanced approach when thinking about the importance of exercise in everyday life.

She supported our research and Wellness Pledge and was able to share and discuss her experiences as an expert in body image (more: www.hollirubin.com).

You’re calling on the industry to advertise responsibly. What bad practice have you observed, and what harm does this do?
Every January we’re deluged with quick-fix promises, with minimal regulation on standards and it falls to the larger operators and brands to take a stand.

It’s clear from our research that diet and fitness fads, and quick-fix weight loss products, have a damaging effect on both physical and mental health, with people left feeling frustrated, and unmotivated when these fads fail – as a result some even consider surgery to get the results they are looking for.

We want to encourage the nation to focus on being healthy and happy in a way that’s sustainable for life, and hope to inspire others in the industry to join us in supporting the nation to make these long-term changes.

If people want to join health and fitness clubs in order to lose weight, what is your advice to them?
We want to be clear that there is of course nothing wrong with wanting to lose weight, and in fact, the pandemic has highlighted to many of us the importance of maintaining a healthy weight, which has been a driver for more people to join health clubs. What we believe is wrong, and what we’re taking a stand against, is quick fix, unhealthy and unproven ways to do it, as this can be dangerous to mental and physical health.

The most effective and safe way to lose weight is to make long-term sustainable changes to diet and lifestyle. We encourage people to take the advice of a personal trainer who can work with them to achieve their goals safely and without unhealthy pressure.

How can we encourage people to look after their health every day, and avoid things such as the post-Christmas diet crisis?
We know that there’s increased pressure post-Christmas to lose weight fast, something which is often exacerbated by health and fitness marketing at this time.

We’d encourage people to find an exercise and nutritional programme that they enjoy and works for them and take it slowly. They should try and avoid feeling pressured and instead focus on making healthy and sustainable choices that fit into their lifestyle, so they’re happier and healthier in the long term.

David Lloyd has launched a Wellness Pledge to guide policy / Nikolas-jkd/ David Lloyd Leisure
David Lloyd has launched a Wellness Pledge to guide policy / Nikolas-jkd/ David Lloyd Leisure
DLL members are supported to adopt healthier habits / David Lloyd Leisure
DLL members are supported to adopt healthier habits / David Lloyd Leisure
Actress and presenter Nadia Sawalha is a pledge ambassador / shutterstock / Featureflash Photo Agency
Actress and presenter Nadia Sawalha is a pledge ambassador / shutterstock / Featureflash Photo Agency
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/2022/928306_664951.jpg
DLL is pushing back against social media ‘fitfluencers’ says Andrea Dearden
HCM magazine
Fuel the debate about issues and opportunities across the industry. We’d love to hear from you – [email protected]
HCM magazine
UK Active’s Alex Lucas explains the findings of a new report which shows how the fitness and leisure sector can help transform workforce activity levels in the new hybrid workplace
HCM magazine
New research from Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne has found that heart patients benefit from resistance training
HCM Magazine
Editor's letter
Deloitte’s research found the health and fitness industry has an overall impact on the global economy of US$91.22bn a year
HCM Magazine
Sponsored
Ben Hackney-Williams, head of content at Myzone, shares tools to drive positive change in 2022
HCM Magazine
Sponsored
Technogym’s latest connected equipment offers members personalised cardio training experiences with fresh content provided by expert instructors
HCM Magazine
Research
Do people get fitter working out in the gym or at home? Researcher Bryce Hastings explains the evidence when it comes to how they measure up
HCM Magazine
HCM People
Digital therapeutics could offer digital-first wellness ‘prescriptions’, digital ‘treatments’ and curated content to alter mood and improve wellbeing
HCM Magazine
Interview
The CEO of Women in Sport tells HCM about Big Sister, a new programme that’s working to overcome period poverty and get more girls active
HCM Magazine
Editor's letter
The sharp increase in energy prices has left some operators reeling, but there’s reason to be optimistic if we can learn from other sectors, while moving to a low carbon future
HCM Magazine
Latest News
A new open water swimming venue will has been launched in the heart of Canary ...
Latest News
Peter Roberts, former CEO and founder of Pure Gym, has invested in Another Round, a ...
Latest News
Fitness markets around the globe are demonstrating "reassuring signs of recovery" following the pandemic disruptions ...
Latest News
Mark Sesnan, CEO of GLL, has pushed back on Tower Hamlet Council’s decision to take ...
Latest News
Ohm Fitness, a new franchised studio concept, has opened its first location in Scottsdale, Arizona. ...
Latest News
Easton Leisure Centre in the UK has announced a 100 per cent reduction in heating ...
Latest News
The Gym Group saw its membership grow by 10 per cent during the first six ...
Latest News
Mindbody has announced that Fritz Lanman will become the company’s new CEO from 3 September ...
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: EGYM: A digital ecosystem that works for everyone
EGYM has been pioneering the connected gym floor for more than a decade, partnering with operators and other third-party integrations, to create a free-flowing training environment that places the member at the very centre of the experience.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Dr Paul Bedford and Andreas Paulsen to speak at Sibec Europe-UK
Questex’s Sibec Europe-UK, Europe’s leading hosted buyer event for the fitness industry, will take place on 27-30 September 2022 at the Anantara Vilamoura Algarve Resort, in Portugal.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Parkwood Leisure celebrates four award wins and named Outstanding Organisation of the Year at the 2022 ukactive Awards
It was a night to remember at the 2022 ukactive Awards for Parkwood Leisure, as the leisure facilities operator picked up four awards.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: New £42m Moorways Sports Village to open on 21 May
Everyone Active will open Moorways Sports Village to the public on Saturday 21 May with a grand opening weekend – in time for the half term holidays.
Video Gallery
Total Vibration Solutions / Floors 4 Gyms / TVS Sports Surfaces
Sport Alliance GmbH
Mindbody, Inc
Company profiles
Company profile: Keiser UK LTD
For more than four decades, Keiser has influenced the training of athletes, fitness enthusiasts and ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Zimmer MedizinSysteme GmbH
Imagine a short treatment combined with many positive and long-lasting effects that your customers will ...
Supplier Showcases
Supplier showcase - Pulse Fitness: trusted partner
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Featured press releases
Featured press releases: Everyone Active achieves £100,000 fundraising target for Macmillan Cancer Support
Leisure operator, Everyone Active has reached a milestone fundraising amount for national charity Macmillan Cancer Support.
Directory
Management software
Premier Software Solutions: Management software
Whole body cryotherapy
Zimmer MedizinSysteme GmbH / icelab: Whole body cryotherapy
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Architects/designers
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
On demand
Fitness On Demand: On demand
Skincare
Comfort Zone - Davines S.p.A: Skincare
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Lockers/interior design
Safe Space Lockers Ltd: Lockers/interior design
Salt therapy products
Himalayan Source: Salt therapy products
Fitness equipment
A Panatta Sport Srl: Fitness equipment
Property & Tenders
Pendine Sands, Carmarthenshire
Carmarthenshire County Council
Property & Tenders
Runcorn
Halton Borough Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
12-13 Sep 2022
Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Disney Springs® Resort, Lake Buena Vista, United States
Diary dates
21-21 Sep 2022
Various, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
25-28 Oct 2022
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
25-28 Oct 2022
Ibiza, Ibiza, Spain
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates
17-18 Mar 2023
Tobacco Dock, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates

features

Q&A: Get real

Social media influencers cause harm by raising unrealistic expectations of physical perfection, as Andrea Dearden explains

Published in Health Club Management 2022 issue 4
Andrea Dearden / David Lloyd Leisure
Andrea Dearden / David Lloyd Leisure
As health and fitness providers we have a responsibility to support people’s wellbeing

David Lloyd Clubs has launched a new pledge. What’s the purpose of it?
Our Wellness Pledge highlights how we as a brand are committed to encouraging the nation to focus on their wellness and feeling happy and healthy in their bodies, rather than just trying to lose weight. It also calls on the fitness industry to join us in advertising responsibly, avoid encouraging quick-fix solutions to weight loss and promote long-term healthy habits. We believe it’s an industry first.

What inspired this move?
Our Wellness Pledge was created following research we commissioned that showed 64 per cent of people admit they never see success from diet and fitness fads that promote a weight loss quick fix, with the average individual trying 17 new diets and spending £3,290 on health and fitness products, only to see them fail.

Our pledge, therefore, encourages the nation to say no to these fitness fads, and instead focus on making healthy choices that fit into their lifestyle so they’re happier and healthier in the longer term.

What outcomes are you seeking?
As an industry we know quick fixes not only don’t work, but can also damage people’s mental well as physical wellbeing, so we want to see more fitness brands behave responsibly and stop selling products that promise short-term results, but have limited long-term success.

As health and fitness providers we have a responsibility to support people’s wellbeing and should regulate ourselves to ensure that we all operate to the highest standards.

Tell us about the study that was done to evidence the need for this initiative
We conducted research in conjunction with 4Media, where a representative sample of 2,000 UK adults was asked a series of questions about their experiences with fitness quick fixes and weight loss marketing.

What were the other key findings?
The desire to lose weight has led to 41 per cent of the nation turning to diet and fitness fads. The most common diets tried were meal replacement shakes (18 per cent) and the 5-2 Diet (16 per cent). Fitness-specific options included the Abs Toning Belt, Ab Roller and Waist Trainer. These were shown to be anything but helpful, however, with success seen less than a third (31 per cent) of the time, leaving Brits feeling disappointed (42 per cent) and frustrated (31 per cent).

How are you feeding this insight back into your operations?
The insights gained from this research helped us to create the pledge, which in turn has been rolled out across the company. Some of the key actions we’ve undertaken include not working with influencers who promote rapid weight loss diets, not promoting unrealistic body standards in any of our advertising and marketing materials – or digitally enhancing any images to alter body shape – and not promoting our clubs as a short-term, rapid weight loss solution.

In clubs we’ve also trained all our fitness teams to coach members in developing long-term healthy habits, to empower them to be mentally and physically healthy. We’re also continuing to provide a wide range of activities and classes that feel inclusive and encourage people of all ages and fitness levels to be active.

Where do you stand more generally on the use of influencers?
Our research showed almost half of Brits feel that the use of celebrities or social media influencers to promote weight loss products is false advertising, as they don’t use the products themselves, while a further two-fifths agree that they promote unachievable goals to the public.

As a result, we’ve taken the stance within our Wellness Pledge to not work with any influencers who promote rapid weight loss diets, or any other unhealthy or potentially dangerous fitness quick fixes.

Why did you choose to work with Nadia Sawalha?
Nadia’s beliefs perfectly align with ours, in that fads often don’t work and can cause more harm than good. She also openly discusses the importance of healthy and sustainable fitness goals through her own personal journey, something which we champion. For these reasons we felt she was the ideal individual to work with on the launch of our campaign and Wellness Pledge.

What role does Holli Rubin play?
Holli Rubin is a psychotherapist, body image specialist and mental health practitioner. We worked with her on our campaign to get her expert input on why diet and fitness quick fixes can be dangerous and damaging, and why we should move towards a more moderate and balanced approach when thinking about the importance of exercise in everyday life.

She supported our research and Wellness Pledge and was able to share and discuss her experiences as an expert in body image (more: www.hollirubin.com).

You’re calling on the industry to advertise responsibly. What bad practice have you observed, and what harm does this do?
Every January we’re deluged with quick-fix promises, with minimal regulation on standards and it falls to the larger operators and brands to take a stand.

It’s clear from our research that diet and fitness fads, and quick-fix weight loss products, have a damaging effect on both physical and mental health, with people left feeling frustrated, and unmotivated when these fads fail – as a result some even consider surgery to get the results they are looking for.

We want to encourage the nation to focus on being healthy and happy in a way that’s sustainable for life, and hope to inspire others in the industry to join us in supporting the nation to make these long-term changes.

If people want to join health and fitness clubs in order to lose weight, what is your advice to them?
We want to be clear that there is of course nothing wrong with wanting to lose weight, and in fact, the pandemic has highlighted to many of us the importance of maintaining a healthy weight, which has been a driver for more people to join health clubs. What we believe is wrong, and what we’re taking a stand against, is quick fix, unhealthy and unproven ways to do it, as this can be dangerous to mental and physical health.

The most effective and safe way to lose weight is to make long-term sustainable changes to diet and lifestyle. We encourage people to take the advice of a personal trainer who can work with them to achieve their goals safely and without unhealthy pressure.

How can we encourage people to look after their health every day, and avoid things such as the post-Christmas diet crisis?
We know that there’s increased pressure post-Christmas to lose weight fast, something which is often exacerbated by health and fitness marketing at this time.

We’d encourage people to find an exercise and nutritional programme that they enjoy and works for them and take it slowly. They should try and avoid feeling pressured and instead focus on making healthy and sustainable choices that fit into their lifestyle, so they’re happier and healthier in the long term.

David Lloyd has launched a Wellness Pledge to guide policy / Nikolas-jkd/ David Lloyd Leisure
David Lloyd has launched a Wellness Pledge to guide policy / Nikolas-jkd/ David Lloyd Leisure
DLL members are supported to adopt healthier habits / David Lloyd Leisure
DLL members are supported to adopt healthier habits / David Lloyd Leisure
Actress and presenter Nadia Sawalha is a pledge ambassador / shutterstock / Featureflash Photo Agency
Actress and presenter Nadia Sawalha is a pledge ambassador / shutterstock / Featureflash Photo Agency
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/2022/928306_664951.jpg
DLL is pushing back against social media ‘fitfluencers’ says Andrea Dearden
Latest News
A new open water swimming venue will has been launched in the heart of Canary ...
Latest News
Peter Roberts, former CEO and founder of Pure Gym, has invested in Another Round, a ...
Latest News
Fitness markets around the globe are demonstrating "reassuring signs of recovery" following the pandemic disruptions ...
Latest News
Mark Sesnan, CEO of GLL, has pushed back on Tower Hamlet Council’s decision to take ...
Latest News
Ohm Fitness, a new franchised studio concept, has opened its first location in Scottsdale, Arizona. ...
Latest News
Easton Leisure Centre in the UK has announced a 100 per cent reduction in heating ...
Latest News
The Gym Group saw its membership grow by 10 per cent during the first six ...
Latest News
Mindbody has announced that Fritz Lanman will become the company’s new CEO from 3 September ...
Latest News
Parkour Generations has joined forces with Gymbox to bring parkour into the UK’s mainstream fitness ...
Latest News
Amazon has acquired primary healthcare organisation One Medical in a US$3.9bn deal that will see ...
Latest News
Nearly half (47 per cent) of men employed by fitness companies work in leadership roles ...
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: EGYM: A digital ecosystem that works for everyone
EGYM has been pioneering the connected gym floor for more than a decade, partnering with operators and other third-party integrations, to create a free-flowing training environment that places the member at the very centre of the experience.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Dr Paul Bedford and Andreas Paulsen to speak at Sibec Europe-UK
Questex’s Sibec Europe-UK, Europe’s leading hosted buyer event for the fitness industry, will take place on 27-30 September 2022 at the Anantara Vilamoura Algarve Resort, in Portugal.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Parkwood Leisure celebrates four award wins and named Outstanding Organisation of the Year at the 2022 ukactive Awards
It was a night to remember at the 2022 ukactive Awards for Parkwood Leisure, as the leisure facilities operator picked up four awards.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: New £42m Moorways Sports Village to open on 21 May
Everyone Active will open Moorways Sports Village to the public on Saturday 21 May with a grand opening weekend – in time for the half term holidays.
Video Gallery
Total Vibration Solutions / Floors 4 Gyms / TVS Sports Surfaces
Sport Alliance GmbH
Mindbody, Inc
Company profiles
Company profile: Keiser UK LTD
For more than four decades, Keiser has influenced the training of athletes, fitness enthusiasts and ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Zimmer MedizinSysteme GmbH
Imagine a short treatment combined with many positive and long-lasting effects that your customers will ...
Supplier Showcases
Supplier showcase - Pulse Fitness: trusted partner
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Featured press releases
Featured press releases: Everyone Active achieves £100,000 fundraising target for Macmillan Cancer Support
Leisure operator, Everyone Active has reached a milestone fundraising amount for national charity Macmillan Cancer Support.
Directory
Management software
Premier Software Solutions: Management software
Whole body cryotherapy
Zimmer MedizinSysteme GmbH / icelab: Whole body cryotherapy
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Architects/designers
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
On demand
Fitness On Demand: On demand
Skincare
Comfort Zone - Davines S.p.A: Skincare
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Lockers/interior design
Safe Space Lockers Ltd: Lockers/interior design
Salt therapy products
Himalayan Source: Salt therapy products
Fitness equipment
A Panatta Sport Srl: Fitness equipment
Property & Tenders
Pendine Sands, Carmarthenshire
Carmarthenshire County Council
Property & Tenders
Runcorn
Halton Borough Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
12-13 Sep 2022
Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Disney Springs® Resort, Lake Buena Vista, United States
Diary dates
21-21 Sep 2022
Various, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
25-28 Oct 2022
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
25-28 Oct 2022
Ibiza, Ibiza, Spain
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates
17-18 Mar 2023
Tobacco Dock, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
Search news, features & products:
Find a supplier:
JP Lennard
JP Lennard
Partner sites