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Health Club Management

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Do you have a strong opinion or disagree with somebody else’s views on the industry? If so, we’d love to hear from you – email: [email protected]

Published in Health Club Management 2014 issue 3

Media must convey more accurate perspective on diet

Debra Stuart
CEO, Premier Global

The recent ‘Fat vs Sugar’ programme on UK TV (Horizon, BBC2, 29 Jan) was certainly good TV, but I’m not sure it dealt with the issue of diet in a way that was helpful, or indeed very balanced.

Without knowing viewing figures, it was clearly packaged up to be accessible, so I’m sure will have been watched by a lot of people – which is why I was slightly disappointed that it wasn’t able to take a more rounded approach to the subject at hand. Of course the nutritional element is important (and particularly the not-wholly-made-clear distinction between natural fats and those found in processed foods) but there are all sorts of other contributory reasons that, in reality, get in the way of people being as healthy as they should be.

The programme didn’t make reference to the psychological reasons for eating the wrong foods (food addiction, comfort eating, etc) or indeed the economic barriers. Given the scale of the UK’s obesity problem, healthy eating clearly isn’t an easy problem to solve, and my worry is that the programme may have left people with a skewed view of what sort of diet will really help them achieve better health/weight loss – which can be extremely demoralising in the long run.

I’m sure the programme never claimed to be the answer to the UK’s dietary missteps, but I do wish the mainstream media would acknowledge that diet is a far wider, more socially complex issue than whether you prefer bacon or a chocolate bar. Otherwise, even interesting programmes like this become about as useful as the next fad diet telling us to eat celery and blancmange seven days a week.

A healthy balanced diet goes far beyond choosing between fat and sugar / photo: www.shutterstock.com/PaulShlykov
A healthy balanced diet goes far beyond choosing between fat and sugar/ photo: www.shutterstock.com/PaulShlykov

The leaving process is key to retention ‘battle’

Guy Griffiths
Director, GG Fit

What a great article by Mike Hill in HCM Jan 14 (p62), looking at why members leave health clubs. If operators act on this kind of research, we might get somewhere with the eternal retention battle.

The two key areas for me in this research were members’ first few visits, and the time after leaving.

Clubs’ desire to provide perceived value for money, coupled with industry recommendations to visit three times a week, set up many new members to fail before they’ve even started. A new exerciser might be aiming to visit once a week, which can already be a big step up. If the instructor says they need to come at least three times a week to see any results, this can destroy their motivation. Once a week is better than never; if we must encourage people to come more often, let’s wait until they’ve built up the habit.

When members leave, regardless of how difficult or easy you make it, you have a duty to find out why, then re-engage them. Most established clubs have 1.5 times as many ex-members as paying members, and 25 per cent would consider re-joining (Mintel, HCM Aug 13). Sending regular communications to ex-members is a no-brainer.

Clubs have a duty to find out why a member has left / shutterstock.com/Pavel L Photo and Video
Clubs have a duty to find out why a member has left/ shutterstock.com/Pavel L Photo and Video

Crash diets won’t aid long-term health and weight loss

Ben Pratt
Northern tutor manager, Premier Training

I was interested to read your news story on new research that suggests a short-term crash diet can reverse the effects of type 2 diabetes (HCM Feb 14, p15).

Early speculation on the results of such a dietary trial need to be treated with caution: nothing has been conclusively proven at this stage.

Crash diets such as this often attract attention as they only require a short period of focus and promise quick results. As such, their appeal extends beyond the study’s sample of type 2 diabetics to the many people who constantly struggle with their weight.

It’s vital that the correct messages are promoted in the press; it naeeds to be made clear that this sort of crash diet won’t support long-term health and weight loss.

This 800-calorie a day diet, studied by Newcastle University, is too far below the recommended daily calorific intake – 1,950 (women) and 2,450 (men) – that are advised for good health.

In the initial trial in 2011, the diet was maintained for two months; even then, participants described how difficult it was to adhere to due to constant hunger and bouts of fatigue. In the proposed follow-up trial, the diet will be carried out for up to 20 weeks to determine safety over a longer period of time.

The experts who ran the trial suggested such an extreme diet should only be applied under close medical supervision. However, there’s always a risk that the general public may try to copy such an approach on their own in their efforts to lose weight – and risk negatively affecting their health in the process.

Our advice to diabetic individuals is to reduce sugar and starchy carbohydrate intake, avoid processed foods where possible, and return to higher quality, nutrient-dense foods as a much more successful way to reduce and even improve their symptoms. This approach is underpinned by a significant body of scientific evidence that has been published in the last 10 to 15 years.

800-calorie-a-day diet: “Too far below the recommendations for good health” / photo: www.shutterstock.com
800-calorie-a-day diet: “Too far below the recommendations for good health”/ photo: www.shutterstock.com

Activity must be at the core of kids’ development

Jonathan Griffiths
UK marketing manager, Precor

Your recent news story on the lack of UK policy towards increasing children’s exercise levels (HCM Jan 14, p11) was an interesting read. With the government not taking the necessary steps to create a national strategy for activity, it seems that we as an industry need to take action and support local communities and the education sector in generating behavioural change in early years.

At the end of last year, Precor launched a whitepaper – Engaging Children and Young People in Physical Activity – in conjunction with ukactive, which showed that activity levels plummet between the ages of 10 and 15 years. This is the window we should be most worried about, as despite the fact that the positive effect of activity is clear both on physical and psychological wellness, schools are finding ways to incorporate it ever more challenging.

The whitepaper summarises the main challenges for key groups – such as girls, boys, obese children and disabled children – and then outlines suggestions on how to tackle the issues, making sure everyone has the opportunity to participate in a physical activity during the school day.
With kids’ obesity and physical inactivity levels rapidly rising, we cannot wait for the government to step in. The fitness industry can play a key role in ensuring our children grow up aware of the importance of being physically active. At Precor, we believe this should be at the core of every child’s development.

All kids must have a chance to be active during the school day / photo: www.shutterstock.com/Wallenrock
All kids must have a chance to be active during the school day/ photo: www.shutterstock.com/Wallenrock
http://www.leisureopportunities.com/images/HCM2014_3letters.gif
The 'Fat v Sugar' programme on the BBC made good TV, but was it yet another unbalanced view of dieting, asks Debra Stuart of Premier Global
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features

Write to reply

Do you have a strong opinion or disagree with somebody else’s views on the industry? If so, we’d love to hear from you – email: [email protected]

Published in Health Club Management 2014 issue 3

Media must convey more accurate perspective on diet

Debra Stuart
CEO, Premier Global

The recent ‘Fat vs Sugar’ programme on UK TV (Horizon, BBC2, 29 Jan) was certainly good TV, but I’m not sure it dealt with the issue of diet in a way that was helpful, or indeed very balanced.

Without knowing viewing figures, it was clearly packaged up to be accessible, so I’m sure will have been watched by a lot of people – which is why I was slightly disappointed that it wasn’t able to take a more rounded approach to the subject at hand. Of course the nutritional element is important (and particularly the not-wholly-made-clear distinction between natural fats and those found in processed foods) but there are all sorts of other contributory reasons that, in reality, get in the way of people being as healthy as they should be.

The programme didn’t make reference to the psychological reasons for eating the wrong foods (food addiction, comfort eating, etc) or indeed the economic barriers. Given the scale of the UK’s obesity problem, healthy eating clearly isn’t an easy problem to solve, and my worry is that the programme may have left people with a skewed view of what sort of diet will really help them achieve better health/weight loss – which can be extremely demoralising in the long run.

I’m sure the programme never claimed to be the answer to the UK’s dietary missteps, but I do wish the mainstream media would acknowledge that diet is a far wider, more socially complex issue than whether you prefer bacon or a chocolate bar. Otherwise, even interesting programmes like this become about as useful as the next fad diet telling us to eat celery and blancmange seven days a week.

A healthy balanced diet goes far beyond choosing between fat and sugar / photo: www.shutterstock.com/PaulShlykov
A healthy balanced diet goes far beyond choosing between fat and sugar/ photo: www.shutterstock.com/PaulShlykov

The leaving process is key to retention ‘battle’

Guy Griffiths
Director, GG Fit

What a great article by Mike Hill in HCM Jan 14 (p62), looking at why members leave health clubs. If operators act on this kind of research, we might get somewhere with the eternal retention battle.

The two key areas for me in this research were members’ first few visits, and the time after leaving.

Clubs’ desire to provide perceived value for money, coupled with industry recommendations to visit three times a week, set up many new members to fail before they’ve even started. A new exerciser might be aiming to visit once a week, which can already be a big step up. If the instructor says they need to come at least three times a week to see any results, this can destroy their motivation. Once a week is better than never; if we must encourage people to come more often, let’s wait until they’ve built up the habit.

When members leave, regardless of how difficult or easy you make it, you have a duty to find out why, then re-engage them. Most established clubs have 1.5 times as many ex-members as paying members, and 25 per cent would consider re-joining (Mintel, HCM Aug 13). Sending regular communications to ex-members is a no-brainer.

Clubs have a duty to find out why a member has left / shutterstock.com/Pavel L Photo and Video
Clubs have a duty to find out why a member has left/ shutterstock.com/Pavel L Photo and Video

Crash diets won’t aid long-term health and weight loss

Ben Pratt
Northern tutor manager, Premier Training

I was interested to read your news story on new research that suggests a short-term crash diet can reverse the effects of type 2 diabetes (HCM Feb 14, p15).

Early speculation on the results of such a dietary trial need to be treated with caution: nothing has been conclusively proven at this stage.

Crash diets such as this often attract attention as they only require a short period of focus and promise quick results. As such, their appeal extends beyond the study’s sample of type 2 diabetics to the many people who constantly struggle with their weight.

It’s vital that the correct messages are promoted in the press; it naeeds to be made clear that this sort of crash diet won’t support long-term health and weight loss.

This 800-calorie a day diet, studied by Newcastle University, is too far below the recommended daily calorific intake – 1,950 (women) and 2,450 (men) – that are advised for good health.

In the initial trial in 2011, the diet was maintained for two months; even then, participants described how difficult it was to adhere to due to constant hunger and bouts of fatigue. In the proposed follow-up trial, the diet will be carried out for up to 20 weeks to determine safety over a longer period of time.

The experts who ran the trial suggested such an extreme diet should only be applied under close medical supervision. However, there’s always a risk that the general public may try to copy such an approach on their own in their efforts to lose weight – and risk negatively affecting their health in the process.

Our advice to diabetic individuals is to reduce sugar and starchy carbohydrate intake, avoid processed foods where possible, and return to higher quality, nutrient-dense foods as a much more successful way to reduce and even improve their symptoms. This approach is underpinned by a significant body of scientific evidence that has been published in the last 10 to 15 years.

800-calorie-a-day diet: “Too far below the recommendations for good health” / photo: www.shutterstock.com
800-calorie-a-day diet: “Too far below the recommendations for good health”/ photo: www.shutterstock.com

Activity must be at the core of kids’ development

Jonathan Griffiths
UK marketing manager, Precor

Your recent news story on the lack of UK policy towards increasing children’s exercise levels (HCM Jan 14, p11) was an interesting read. With the government not taking the necessary steps to create a national strategy for activity, it seems that we as an industry need to take action and support local communities and the education sector in generating behavioural change in early years.

At the end of last year, Precor launched a whitepaper – Engaging Children and Young People in Physical Activity – in conjunction with ukactive, which showed that activity levels plummet between the ages of 10 and 15 years. This is the window we should be most worried about, as despite the fact that the positive effect of activity is clear both on physical and psychological wellness, schools are finding ways to incorporate it ever more challenging.

The whitepaper summarises the main challenges for key groups – such as girls, boys, obese children and disabled children – and then outlines suggestions on how to tackle the issues, making sure everyone has the opportunity to participate in a physical activity during the school day.
With kids’ obesity and physical inactivity levels rapidly rising, we cannot wait for the government to step in. The fitness industry can play a key role in ensuring our children grow up aware of the importance of being physically active. At Precor, we believe this should be at the core of every child’s development.

All kids must have a chance to be active during the school day / photo: www.shutterstock.com/Wallenrock
All kids must have a chance to be active during the school day/ photo: www.shutterstock.com/Wallenrock
http://www.leisureopportunities.com/images/HCM2014_3letters.gif
The 'Fat v Sugar' programme on the BBC made good TV, but was it yet another unbalanced view of dieting, asks Debra Stuart of Premier Global
Latest News
Rockwell Group have unveiled designs for luxury hospitality and wellness amenities at Manhattan's 550 Madison ...
Latest News
The Gym Group is set to continue its fast pace of growth in 2020, with ...
Latest News
A new product aimed at the ageing population is combining wearable fitness tech with artificial ...
Latest News
A three-year research project will look to provide the physical activity industry with a better ...
Latest News
The latest edition of the highly-successful This Girl Can Campaign has been celebrated for its ...
Latest News
The increasing popularity of streaming services and wireless earbuds – along with the introduction of ...
Latest News
Stuart Broster, chief executive of Anytime Fitness UK, will step down from his role in ...
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Digme Fitness has acquired Another Space – the boutique studio arm of premium health club ...
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Job search
POST YOUR JOB
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: WEXO: The definitive cross training solution
A new cross training concept has arrived, offering weightlifting, athletic, metabolic, and functional exercises in a circuit format.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Staycationers treated to whale of a time at newly expanded W Club
Holiday complex Whalesborough Cottages and Spa in Bude, North Cornwall, has enhanced its visitor experience by expanding its leisure facilities.
Video Gallery
Wattbike AtomX
Wattbike
Join our tribe. Become powered by Wattbike. Read more
More videos:
Company profiles
Company profile: Power Plate
Power Plate is a vibrating platform that enhances any movement to help you prepare faster, ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Matrix Fitness
At Matrix Fitness, our goal is to make innovative commercial fitness equipment that stands out ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Lockers/interior design
Crown Sports Lockers: Lockers/interior design
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Kemitron GmbH: Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Management software
GymSales: Management software
Audio visual
Hutchison Technologies: Audio visual
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Locking solutions
Monster Padlocks: Locking solutions
Whole body cryotherapy
Zimmer MedizinSysteme GmbH / icelab: Whole body cryotherapy
Direct debit solutions
Harlands Group: Direct debit solutions
Fitness software
Go Do.Fitness: Fitness software
Property & Tenders
Derby City Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
21-23 Jan 2020
Harrogate Convention Centre, Harrogate, United Kingdom
Diary dates
28-30 Jan 2020
Ericsson Exhibition Hall, Ricoh Arena, Coventry, United Kingdom
Diary dates
29-30 Jan 2020
Holiday Inn San Francisco-Golden Gateway, San Francisco, United States
Diary dates
20 Feb 2020
The Old Truman Brewery, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
23-25 Mar 2020
Hilton, Barcelona, Spain
Diary dates
25-26 Mar 2020
Eastwood Hall, Nottingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
26-29 Mar 2020
The Winter Gardens Blackpool, Blackpool , United Kingdom
Diary dates
19-24 Apr 2020
tbc, Beijing, China
Diary dates
04 Jun 2020
Marriott Forest of Arden Hotel & Country Club, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
10-27 Jun 2020
tbc, Pinggu, China
Diary dates
13 Jun 2020
Worldwide, Various,
Diary dates
17-18 Jun 2020
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
21-24 Sep 2020
Loews Coronado Bay Resort, Coronado, United States
Diary dates
30-31 Oct 2020
NEC, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
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