Download IHRSA 2015 Brochure


IHRSA Advocate

The IHRSA Advocate is your guide to knowing and understanding the policies that influence daily health club operations. We analyze the action, so you know when to take your own.

For more timely relevant news about advocacy issues affecting the industry, and your bottom-line, subscribe to​ the bi-weekly (member-only) IHRSA Advocate newsletter

Search by Topic:


Entries in Public Health (5)


Obama Administration says Obesity Remains Priority

In an interview last week with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (scroll to the 3rdarticle), Assistant Secretary of Health Howard Koh indicated that obesity prevention would remain an important priority during the president’s second term.

Referring to obesity as one of “the most challenging public health issues of our time,” Assistant Secretary Koh pointed to a number of areas where the Administration would remain active on this issue over the next four years, including an upcoming review of the federal government’s physical activity guidelines later this year, as well as an expansion of the Let’s Move! campaign.


United States of Obesity: How States Are Grappling with Cost

The STOP Obesity Alliance recently issued a bulletin on what U.S. states are doing to combat the cost of obesity. In the report, the Alliance identifies several trends, including legislation to enhance community infrastructure to increase access to exercise and consolidate obesity reduction efforts.

According to the Alliance’s report: 

  • Public health organizations are beginning to recognize that utilizing families in childhood obesity solutions is critical because of strong links between parent and child obesity.
  • There is a great need for consolidating obesity efforts. Most states have created some version of a coalition or task force, but these smaller groups tend to fragment and slow progress.
  • Majority of bills introduced to address obesity emphasized creating more supportive environments for healthy choices. “Of the obesity bills that passed, the majority focused on prevention, including creating healthy food environments, improving school nutrition, supporting local agriculture, and encouraging physical activity through creating safe neighborhoods and improved access to existing infrastructure,” said the report.

Read the full report here (PDF).


Older Adults Need More Healthy Lifestyle Education

According to Aetna Health, a new Canadian study made a disconcerting finding: It is rare for an older adult diagnosed with a chronic disease to change his or her lifestyle habits. It is troubling because, as the study’s authors wrote, “for people with a chronic illness, adopting a healthier lifestyle, such as smoking cessation, increased physical activity, eliminating heavy alcohol consumption and improving diet, can extend longevity ... and enhance quality of life.”

Click to read more ...


Op-Ed on Importance of Progress in Public Health

In an op-ed in the Huffington Post, David Katz, M.D., Director of the Yale Prevention Research Center says that exercise and nutrition are key to lowering health care costs: “If all of us were simply to make better use of our feet, our forks, and our fingers—if we were to be physically active every day, eat a nearly optimal diet, and avoid tobacco—fully 80 percent of the chronic disease burden that plagues modern society could be eliminated,” he writes. But, Dr. Katz also acknowledges that getting Americans to change their lifestyles is often difficult. Therefore, Katz says, we should view small advances in public health as a big deal. 

Read more…


Powerful House Committee Votes to Repeal Prevention Funding

Despite the House Committee on Energy and Commerce’s vote to repeal the Prevention and Public Health Fund, White House officials are saying a repeal will certainly encounter push back if the measure reaches the President’s desk. The White House said in an official statement that if repeal legislation comes across the President’s desk, “senior advisors would recommend a veto.”

Click to read more ...