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
Les Mills International
Les Mills International
Les Mills International
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

News

Government reveals new obesity strategy – but where's the bit about gyms?

We are calling on central Government to take a more joined-up approach and to link its new obesity strategy with public leisure facilities
– Mark Sesnan
Credit: GLL

Bans on meal deals, stricter rules on food advertising and printing calorie contents on menus are among the measures introduced in the government's new anti-obesity strategy – but there is little mentioning of gyms or exercise.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson revealed the new strategy – called Tackling obesity: empowering adults and children to live healthier lives – today (27 July).

All of the strategy's headline-grabbing measures are to do with making diets healthier – and include a ban on junk food adverts before 9pm, a review of the current traffic light labelling on food and consultation on whether to stop fast food adverts online altogether.

While there is no doubt that the measures, if implemented, will result in a radical change to the way food is marketed and advertised, the lack of detailed policy items relating to exercise and physical activity has been called "disappointing" and "counterintuitive" by some in the active leisure industry.

The only item that refers to exercise in a somewhat vague way is the pledge to give greater incentives for GPs to tackling excess weight – including the use of exercise referrals.

"Many GPs around the country can already refer people living with obesity to weight management services," the strategy reads.

"We will encourage local authorities to expand their provision and where these services are not available doctors can guide people to the free NHS 12-week plan, which we will develop and enhance over time drawing on new insights about what works."

In its response to the strategy, industry body ukactive called on the government to rethink its plans and to ensure physical activity has an "equal footing" with diet.

"We believe that this complex issue requires a cross-party, multi-agency strategy to be successful, extending far beyond the framework announced today," said ukactive CEO Huw Edwards.

"This strategy must place diet, mental health and physical activity on equal footing, backed by real investment, changes in taxation and regulatory reform for the physical activity sector that will help people to be more active.

"The are many facets of physical, mental, emotional, and social health that cannot be addressed through diet alone.

"Physical activity has a central role to play in obesity and weight management, as well as the overall improvement of health, happiness, quality of life, and economic prosperity.

"The Government has the opportunity, working with its agencies and the sector, to bring plans together in the coming weeks that harness the value of physical activity.

"We believe these plans should contain, as a minimum, four components.

"First, a new model to open school sport facilities as community hubs, during out-of-school times, for children and families. All main political parties should commit to taking this model to national scale as soon as possible, reaching more than 6,500 school facilities by 2022.

"Second, we feel that VAT relief and the continuation of the business rate holiday would help stimulate and revitalise our high streets and towns. In March, the chancellor announced a business rates holiday for the leisure sector for the rest of the financial year, and this measure should be extended beyond March 2021.

"A Workout from Work scheme, extending the Cycle to Work, should also be introduced, offering a wider array of opportunities and equipment, including fitness trackers and gym memberships. This would bring £240m in savings for the Treasury, through reduced NHS costs, improved workplace productivity, and reduced premature mortality.

"Lastly, we need to establish a more ambitious frontline preventative health system in which GPs can confidently use social prescribing services to offer patients physical activity to aid recovery and health in patients undergoing prehab, rehab or managing long-term health conditions."

Speaking to HCM, Mark Sesnan, CEO of leisure operator GLL, questioned the lack of a joined-up approach, which would directly involve leisure facilities.

"While I welcome the launch of the Government’s obesity strategy, it seems counter-intuitive, when community leisure centres, gyms and pools across the UK are facing the biggest crisis in their history.

“The sector needs urgent financial support, similar to the package offered to the arts, to ensure that we don’t lose these crucial community facilities, which should be central to the fight against obesity.

“Many may never reopen following the four-month lockdown as they are unable to recoup the losses incurred.

"This will leave local communities with nowhere to exercise in a safe and supervised environment, particularly in the winter months when it’s dark & cold outside.

“Of course it will be the poorest in society who will lose out the most. Because they don’t have the financial resources to pay for an expensive private gym or personal trainer. Yet all research points to a clear connection between poverty and obesity.

“We are calling on central Government to take a more joined up approach and to link its new obesity strategy with public leisure facilities.

"They are already at the heart of the community, offer a range of ways to keep physically active and have qualified fitness experts onsite.

“There really is no need to reinvent the wheel. Using the facilities and expertise that is already in place is a no brainer; it’ll be more effective, easier to implement and cheaper in the long run.”

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
Bans on meal deals, stricter rules on food advertising and printing calorie contents on menus are among the measures introduced in the government's new anti-obesity strategy – but there is little mentioning of gyms or exercise.
PTS,SAR,PAC,PLY,WAT,HAF,FIT,IND,PUB
2020/THUMB345978_487504_130225.jpg
Latest News
A new high-end workspace, designed for the use of personal trainers, coaches and other health ...
Latest News
VAT reform, adjustments in business rates and a fitness-led high street regeneration push could see ...
Latest News
Peloton has completed the merging of its commercial operations with Precor, the equipment brand it ...
Latest News
Half of UK adults aren't happy with their physical fitness levels, according to a study ...
Latest News
Temporary measures brought in to support businesses in the UK from insolvency during the pandemic ...
Latest News
Nadine Dorries has replaced Oliver Dowden as the Secretary of State for Digital, Media, Culture ...
Latest News
In a major move against the gym market, Apple has revealed a number of upgrades ...
Latest News
Physical activity professionals in England will soon be able to access free, one-to-one learning with ...
HCM Magazine
Sponsored
Les Mills is launching a new digital network called Les Mills Connect to help clubs build back better and emerge from the pandemic with a stronger business
HCM Magazine
HCM people
This partnership with F45 is an exciting business venture for me
HCM Magazine
Hybrid
The Gym Group has taken its digital hybrid strategy full circle, piloting in-gym workout pods and studios with its home workout delivery partner, Fiit. HCM talks to the team driving the project
HCM Magazine
Sponsored
Andy Janes and Jamie Whisken explain the vision behind R1SE Bournemouth, and why Technogym was their choice of partner in delivering their unique fusion boutique
HCM Magazine
Sponsored
Billed as the ‘2021 Experience Tour’, Egym has taken its connected gym floor experience on the road around the UK
HCM Magazine
Supplier launch
Life Fitness introduces Integrity SL, the next-generation LED console with intuitive functionality and digital connectivity
HCM Magazine
Insight
Dr Davina Deniszczyc talks us through the findings of the first Nuffield Healthier Nation Index, which has benchmarked activity levels and attitudes to exercise among the UK population
HCM Magazine
HCM magazine
Running booms when health clubs and gyms are closed. Could this enthusiasm result in treadmill training becoming the new spinning? Kath Hudson reports
HCM magazine
The appetite for health clubs is strong among consumers and investors – to take advantage of this, operators must figure out how to meet key challenges in operationally sustainable ways
HCM magazine
Booming membership sales, busy suburban clubs and members visiting during the working day. Operators are reporting it’s good to be back. Kath Hudson finds out what business has been like since the re-set button was pressed
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Active IQ Skills Hub helps fitness professionals boost skills in post-Covid market
Suffice to say that the pandemic has completely changed the way fitness professionals work and the way consumers work out – and therein lies opportunity.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Power Plate teams up with Myzone for a new exercise experience
Power Plate has teamed up with Myzone to provide its community with new class experiences and the opportunity to offer rewards based on effort, every time they move.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Everyone Active generates £342m in social value
Award-winning leisure operator Everyone Active generated £342million in social value at its sites across the country in 2019/20.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Being active helps Parkwood Leisure customers save the NHS £16m
Parkwood Leisure, one of the UK’s leading public leisure facilities operators, helped prevent more than 7,000 cases of stroke, dementia, depression and type 2 diabetes in 2019, saving the NHS £16 million, a new social value report has shown.
Company profiles
Company profile: Safe Space Lockers
Safe Space have over 25 years of experience in the UK leisure and fitness industry, ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Mindbody
Mindbody is the leading technology platform for the wellness industry, featuring an app that allows ...
Supplier Showcases
Supplier showcase - Gympass
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Exercise equipment
Power Plate: Exercise equipment
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Fitness equipment
Precor: Fitness equipment
Whole body cryotherapy
Art of Cryo: Whole body cryotherapy
Uniforms
Service Sport: Uniforms
Red Light Therapy
 Red Light Rising: Red Light Therapy
Architects/designers
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
Skincare
Sothys: Skincare
Independent service & maintenance
Servicesport UK Limited: Independent service & maintenance
Property & Tenders
Welwyn Garden City
Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council
Property & Tenders
Newport, Shropshire
Lilleshall Sports Academy
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
21-24 Sep 2021
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
13-14 Oct 2021
Online,
Diary dates
01-03 Feb 2022
Coventry Building Society Arena, Coventry, United Kingdom
Diary dates
07-10 Apr 2022
Exhibition Centre , Cologne, Germany
Diary dates
15-16 Jun 2022
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates

News

Government reveals new obesity strategy – but where's the bit about gyms?

We are calling on central Government to take a more joined-up approach and to link its new obesity strategy with public leisure facilities
– Mark Sesnan
Credit: GLL

Bans on meal deals, stricter rules on food advertising and printing calorie contents on menus are among the measures introduced in the government's new anti-obesity strategy – but there is little mentioning of gyms or exercise.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson revealed the new strategy – called Tackling obesity: empowering adults and children to live healthier lives – today (27 July).

All of the strategy's headline-grabbing measures are to do with making diets healthier – and include a ban on junk food adverts before 9pm, a review of the current traffic light labelling on food and consultation on whether to stop fast food adverts online altogether.

While there is no doubt that the measures, if implemented, will result in a radical change to the way food is marketed and advertised, the lack of detailed policy items relating to exercise and physical activity has been called "disappointing" and "counterintuitive" by some in the active leisure industry.

The only item that refers to exercise in a somewhat vague way is the pledge to give greater incentives for GPs to tackling excess weight – including the use of exercise referrals.

"Many GPs around the country can already refer people living with obesity to weight management services," the strategy reads.

"We will encourage local authorities to expand their provision and where these services are not available doctors can guide people to the free NHS 12-week plan, which we will develop and enhance over time drawing on new insights about what works."

In its response to the strategy, industry body ukactive called on the government to rethink its plans and to ensure physical activity has an "equal footing" with diet.

"We believe that this complex issue requires a cross-party, multi-agency strategy to be successful, extending far beyond the framework announced today," said ukactive CEO Huw Edwards.

"This strategy must place diet, mental health and physical activity on equal footing, backed by real investment, changes in taxation and regulatory reform for the physical activity sector that will help people to be more active.

"The are many facets of physical, mental, emotional, and social health that cannot be addressed through diet alone.

"Physical activity has a central role to play in obesity and weight management, as well as the overall improvement of health, happiness, quality of life, and economic prosperity.

"The Government has the opportunity, working with its agencies and the sector, to bring plans together in the coming weeks that harness the value of physical activity.

"We believe these plans should contain, as a minimum, four components.

"First, a new model to open school sport facilities as community hubs, during out-of-school times, for children and families. All main political parties should commit to taking this model to national scale as soon as possible, reaching more than 6,500 school facilities by 2022.

"Second, we feel that VAT relief and the continuation of the business rate holiday would help stimulate and revitalise our high streets and towns. In March, the chancellor announced a business rates holiday for the leisure sector for the rest of the financial year, and this measure should be extended beyond March 2021.

"A Workout from Work scheme, extending the Cycle to Work, should also be introduced, offering a wider array of opportunities and equipment, including fitness trackers and gym memberships. This would bring £240m in savings for the Treasury, through reduced NHS costs, improved workplace productivity, and reduced premature mortality.

"Lastly, we need to establish a more ambitious frontline preventative health system in which GPs can confidently use social prescribing services to offer patients physical activity to aid recovery and health in patients undergoing prehab, rehab or managing long-term health conditions."

Speaking to HCM, Mark Sesnan, CEO of leisure operator GLL, questioned the lack of a joined-up approach, which would directly involve leisure facilities.

"While I welcome the launch of the Government’s obesity strategy, it seems counter-intuitive, when community leisure centres, gyms and pools across the UK are facing the biggest crisis in their history.

“The sector needs urgent financial support, similar to the package offered to the arts, to ensure that we don’t lose these crucial community facilities, which should be central to the fight against obesity.

“Many may never reopen following the four-month lockdown as they are unable to recoup the losses incurred.

"This will leave local communities with nowhere to exercise in a safe and supervised environment, particularly in the winter months when it’s dark & cold outside.

“Of course it will be the poorest in society who will lose out the most. Because they don’t have the financial resources to pay for an expensive private gym or personal trainer. Yet all research points to a clear connection between poverty and obesity.

“We are calling on central Government to take a more joined up approach and to link its new obesity strategy with public leisure facilities.

"They are already at the heart of the community, offer a range of ways to keep physically active and have qualified fitness experts onsite.

“There really is no need to reinvent the wheel. Using the facilities and expertise that is already in place is a no brainer; it’ll be more effective, easier to implement and cheaper in the long run.”

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
Bans on meal deals, stricter rules on food advertising and printing calorie contents on menus are among the measures introduced in the government's new anti-obesity strategy – but there is little mentioning of gyms or exercise.
PTS,SAR,PAC,PLY,WAT,HAF,FIT,IND,PUB
2020/THUMB345978_487504_130225.jpg

News

A new high-end workspace, designed for the use of personal trainers, coaches and other health
VAT reform, adjustments in business rates and a fitness-led high street regeneration push could see
Peloton has completed the merging of its commercial operations with Precor, the equipment brand it
Half of UK adults aren't happy with their physical fitness levels, according to a study
Temporary measures brought in to support businesses in the UK from insolvency during the pandemic
Nadine Dorries has replaced Oliver Dowden as the Secretary of State for Digital, Media, Culture
Miha Bodytec GmbH
Miha Bodytec GmbH
Power Plate has teamed up with Myzone to provide its community with new class experiences
In a major move against the gym market, Apple has revealed a number of upgrades
Physical activity professionals in England will soon be able to access free, one-to-one learning with
Fitness equipment giant Nautilus has acquired VAY, a firm specialising in AI and motion technology.
An award celebrating outstanding individuals in the fitness sector is to be named in honour
David Lloyd Leisure (DLL) has reorganised its top team in order to expand its estate
Downtown Miami’s upcoming mixed-use development Legacy Hotel & Residences has signed a joint venture deal
Innovatise UK Ltd
Innovatise UK Ltd
The best in class of the physical activity sector have been revealed at the ukactive
Colin Waggett has revealed that the recent deal, which saw KSL Capital Partners acquire a
3d Leisure has acquired franchised studio operator Yourzone45 from Elms Fitness Group for an undisclosed
A new, one-day conference will create a platform for a debate on how the global
The Gym Group says it intends to exploit "the most favourable property market in its
New data from the ukactive Research Institute shows that for every 100,000 visits to UK
The basal metabolic rate at which a body burns calories peaks at a much earlier
Les Mills
Les Mills
As Surge expands its offer with the launch of a third dedicated Electronic Muscle Stimulation
Rainer Schaller's RSG Group has set 20 September as the opening date for its first
Fitness is the world's most popular physical activity and more than 50 per cent of
Life Fitness (UK) Ltd
Life Fitness (UK) Ltd
1 - 20 of 12,022
HCM Magazine
Sponsored
Les Mills is launching a new digital network called Les Mills Connect to help clubs build back better and emerge from the pandemic with a stronger business
HCM Magazine
HCM people
This partnership with F45 is an exciting business venture for me
HCM Magazine
Hybrid
The Gym Group has taken its digital hybrid strategy full circle, piloting in-gym workout pods and studios with its home workout delivery partner, Fiit. HCM talks to the team driving the project
HCM Magazine
Sponsored
Andy Janes and Jamie Whisken explain the vision behind R1SE Bournemouth, and why Technogym was their choice of partner in delivering their unique fusion boutique
HCM Magazine
Sponsored
Billed as the ‘2021 Experience Tour’, Egym has taken its connected gym floor experience on the road around the UK
HCM Magazine
Supplier launch
Life Fitness introduces Integrity SL, the next-generation LED console with intuitive functionality and digital connectivity
HCM Magazine
Insight
Dr Davina Deniszczyc talks us through the findings of the first Nuffield Healthier Nation Index, which has benchmarked activity levels and attitudes to exercise among the UK population
HCM Magazine
HCM magazine
Running booms when health clubs and gyms are closed. Could this enthusiasm result in treadmill training becoming the new spinning? Kath Hudson reports
HCM magazine
The appetite for health clubs is strong among consumers and investors – to take advantage of this, operators must figure out how to meet key challenges in operationally sustainable ways
HCM magazine
Booming membership sales, busy suburban clubs and members visiting during the working day. Operators are reporting it’s good to be back. Kath Hudson finds out what business has been like since the re-set button was pressed
HCM magazine
HCM People

Colin Waggett

CEO, Third Space
We first started talking to KSL over two years ago, so this was not a rushed partnership
HCM magazine
Changes to DNA which occur during exercise give protection against a wide range of diseases, according to new research from the Univesity of Copenhagen
HCM magazine
How have consumers responded to the end of lockdowns? Cesar Carvalho shares some bounceback numbers with HCM
HCM magazine
Fuel the debate about issues and opportunities across the industry. We’d love to hear from you – [email protected]
HCM magazine
Generations rarely have the opportunity to reset public opinion and effect behaviour change for good, but post-pandemic two unequal movements with a lot in common will be the focus of governments, says David Minton
HCM magazine
GLL is best known for running leisure facilities on behalf of local authorities across the UK, but a lesser-known part of its remit is its GLL Sport Foundation which supports Olympic hopefuls. Liz Terry finds out more
HCM magazine
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Active IQ Skills Hub helps fitness professionals boost skills in post-Covid market
Suffice to say that the pandemic has completely changed the way fitness professionals work and the way consumers work out – and therein lies opportunity.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Power Plate teams up with Myzone for a new exercise experience
Power Plate has teamed up with Myzone to provide its community with new class experiences and the opportunity to offer rewards based on effort, every time they move.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Everyone Active generates £342m in social value
Award-winning leisure operator Everyone Active generated £342million in social value at its sites across the country in 2019/20.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Being active helps Parkwood Leisure customers save the NHS £16m
Parkwood Leisure, one of the UK’s leading public leisure facilities operators, helped prevent more than 7,000 cases of stroke, dementia, depression and type 2 diabetes in 2019, saving the NHS £16 million, a new social value report has shown.
Company profiles
Company profile: Safe Space Lockers
Safe Space have over 25 years of experience in the UK leisure and fitness industry, ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Mindbody
Mindbody is the leading technology platform for the wellness industry, featuring an app that allows ...
Supplier Showcases
Supplier showcase - Gympass
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Exercise equipment
Power Plate: Exercise equipment
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Fitness equipment
Precor: Fitness equipment
Whole body cryotherapy
Art of Cryo: Whole body cryotherapy
Uniforms
Service Sport: Uniforms
Red Light Therapy
 Red Light Rising: Red Light Therapy
Architects/designers
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
Skincare
Sothys: Skincare
Independent service & maintenance
Servicesport UK Limited: Independent service & maintenance
Property & Tenders
Welwyn Garden City
Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council
Property & Tenders
Newport, Shropshire
Lilleshall Sports Academy
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
21-24 Sep 2021
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
13-14 Oct 2021
Online,
Diary dates
01-03 Feb 2022
Coventry Building Society Arena, Coventry, United Kingdom
Diary dates
07-10 Apr 2022
Exhibition Centre , Cologne, Germany
Diary dates
15-16 Jun 2022
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates
Search news, features & products:
Find a supplier:
Les Mills International
Les Mills International