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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

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Wednesday
Jun022010

DOL Changes Rule on 15-Year Old Lifeguards

As the school year ends and teens start heading to summer jobs, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has issued new child labor rules impacting 14 and 15-year olds. For health clubs, this means that 15-year-olds can now work as permitted lifeguards and swimming instructors, if properly trained and certified. 

The rules also clarify the Department’s long-standing position that anyone under the age of 16 cannot work as a dispatcher on an elevated water slide or as a lifeguard in a natural environment (lakes, river, oceans beaches, etc). 

Details on the rule change, which takes place on July 19, 2010, can be found online at the DOL website

Wednesday
May262010

FTC to Investigate Data Security of Photocopiers

For health clubs, this threat is of particular concern. Many facilities photocopy the driver’s license, bank statement, and other sensitive personal documents needed for membership contracts, billing, and personnel records. Software is available from photocopy manufacturers that will automatically delete files from the machine’s hard drive or encrypt the data.

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Wednesday
May262010

September to Become National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

September to Become National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month
The U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed a resolution to make September 2010 National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. The bill is currently awaiting signature from President Barack Obama. House Resolution 996 was introduced by Congresswoman Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio-11) and was co-sponsored by 110 House representatives.

Speaking on the House Floor, Rep. Fudge said, “Dedicating at least one month out of each year to bring awareness to this issue of childhood obesity will help maximize the effect of programming, messaging, and campaigns all aligned with the sole purpose of eradicating childhood obesity.”

Watch a video of Rep. Fudge speaking on the House Floor in support of House Resolution 996.

Wednesday
May192010

Physical Activity Guidelines Interpreted for Health Care Professionals

The article notes that in the future, federal health policy will likely place more of an emphasis on preventing chronic diseases than just on treatment of disease. Though it also acknowledges that current training for providers on how to counsel patients about physical activity is limited, training of future providers offers an opportunity to improve this area of medical education. For now, resources such as the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans will help medical and public health professionals respond effectively to the new expectations and opportunities.

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Wednesday
May122010

White House Task Force Releases Childhood Obesity Plan

The plan focuses on five key areas determined by the task force, they include: prenatal care, empowering parents with nutritional information and community support, getting healthier foods into schools, increasing access to healthy foods in neglected urban and rural neighborhoods, and making sure that all kids are physically active.

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Friday
May072010

First-Ever Comprehensive Obesity Legislation Introduced

The Healthy CHOICES Act is first-of-its kind legislation that provides a comprehensive approach to treating obesity, bringing together industry, government, and non-profits to address America's obesity epidemic. The legislation establishes BMI as a "vital sign"; expands obesity treatment and preventive services and coverage of medical nutrition therapy; provides grants to promote health in underserved communities and to train health professionals and health profession students; improves and increases access to nutrition and wellness programs; improves access to and opportunity for physical activity for adults and children; improves access to nutritional information and healthy foods; realigns transportation policy to help promote healthy lifestyles; and expands research and assessment tools on obesity.

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Wednesday
Apr282010

House Passes the FIT Kids Act

Last Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives debated and passed the Fitness Integrated with Teaching Kids Act (FIT Kids, H.R. 1585). The legislation, which amends elementary and secondary school regulations regarding physical activity, was introduced by Congressmen Ron Kind (D-Wis.) and Jay Inslee (D-Wash.), and had 113 co-sponsors in the House. The bill is now before the Senate, where supporters are calling on Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), who is the sponsor of the Senate version, to push for a vote.

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Wednesday
Apr142010

White House Holds Summit on Childhood Obesity

Participants at the summit were asked to present three to five ideas that could be considered by President Obama’s Childhood Obesity Task Force, which is currently developing an intra-agency plan to present to the President. The experts' advice and guidance would help the task force develop measurable benchmarks for fighting childhood obesity. The audience was particularly responsive to the suggestion of integration of short-bursts of activity into regular workplace and school routines.

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Wednesday
Apr072010

Frist, Booker to Vice Chair Partnership for a Healthier America

The Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA), the lead foundation in Michelle Obama’s fight against childhood obesity has two new honorary vice chairs. Late last week, the first lady announced that Dr. Bill Frist, the former Senate Majority Leader, and Cory Booker, the Mayor of Newark, New Jersey would be joining the work of the foundation, which seeks to serve as an independent, non-partisan organization that will mobilize the private sector, foundations, government officials, the media and others around the goals of the “Let’s Move” campaign.

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Wednesday
Mar312010

IHRSA Comments on Childhood Obesity Task Force

The Obama Administration is seeking ideas for the American people that can be used in the development of an action plan for the Let’s Move initiative. On behalf of the fitness industry, IHRSA submitted comments to the intra-agency Childhood Obesity Task Force. A partial summary of IHRSA’s comments on the four objectives of the Task Force is outlined below.

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