Fight together against the global obesity epidemic

Numerous studies have shown that obesity worsens the state of health of people with COVID 19. Fighting a sedentary lifestyle, a scourge that rages around the world and promoting a healthy lifestyle have therefore become priorities and fitness instructors are going to play a crucial role.  An article by Phillip Mills.

“If you are thin, you will be fine!” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said after being hospitalized from COVID-19. Her advice for resisting the virus: “Don’t be fat in your fifties. “

Awkward language aside, Boris is right. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention –  CDC –  those most at risk are older people with diabetes and obesity. A recent study carried out in the United Kingdom in fact found that obesity increases the risk of dying from COVID-19 by 40%. Another study in New York on over 4,000 people found obesity to be the most important factor after age in suffering from complications from the disease.

On social networks, this message circulated a lot: “quarantine 15! “- the 7 kilos of quarantine – in reference to the number of pounds taken by the English during confinement. Even if this sentence is meant to be humorous, it evokes a real problem. Indeed, in the United Kingdom, confinement has made two out of three people gain weight. In the United States, a survey of 1,000 WebMD readers  shows that nearly half of women and almost a quarter of men have gained weight “because of the confinement.”

In 2007 Jackie (my wife) and I published ‘Fighting Globesity: A Practical Guide to Personal Health and Global Sustainability’. In this book, we have detailed the enormous costs to individual health and to society as a whole caused by physical inactivity and poor eating habits.

13 years later, despite countless drive concepts and modes available on the market, we still have a long way to go. Considering the following American statistics:

Almost a third of Americans aged 17 to 24 cannot qualify for military service because they are obese.

Chronic disease is expected to cost the United States $ 42 billion  between 2016 and 2030.

75% of chronic disease is due to poor lifestyle choices such as inactivity and eating junk food.

These figures are a clear reminder that people need to move more than ever. Beyond the aesthetic and emotional benefits, physical exercise can be the difference between life and death.

In 2020, your role as a group fitness instructor is more crucial than ever. You are motivation experts and it is this motivation that will allow your members to return to group lessons and therefore, to stay in good health. Of course, people can train outside of clubs. But statistics show that on their own they lack motivation. Club members are on average 14 times more active than non-members.

And without a sufficient source of motivation, most remain on their couches consuming foods that are too fatty and too sweet, with the health problems that this entails, including very serious complications in the case of COVID-19.

I know that your club has been closed for a long time and for some still is. You may or may not be teaching online. Some are back at their clubs, navigating the new world of live lessons with the physical distancing measures the situation demands. It is a difficult time, and in the future there will be great challenges to overcome. But we see that when the clubs reopen, people are really happy to be going back to school. Here in New Zealand, our clubs are already at 85-90% of pre-COVID attendance.

Whether you’re teaching online, live, or waiting for your club to reopen, your role as a fitness instructor is more important than ever. You can improve people’s health, unite a community and contribute to their happiness by helping them to recover from this terrible phase of history. ”


Leave a Comment