SOURCE: GlobalFit

May 04, 2005 14:33 ET

GlobalFit Helps Fight Obesity Through Its Support of Landmark Legislation

PHILADELPHIA, PA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- May 4, 2005 -- GlobalFit, the nation's leading provider of employee and group fitness benefits, supports the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association's (IHRSA) campaign to fight obesity through a law that would allow for the favorable tax treatment of fitness club memberships.

"According to recent IHRSA studies, 82% of Americans say they would exercise regularly if their employer subsidized fitness club memberships," said Michael Cassady, GlobalFit President and CEO. "Passage of the Workforce Health Improvement Program (WHIP) Act would motivate millions of workers who don't have access to an onsite facility to head to the club of their choice and get fit."

The WHIP Act would allow employers to deduct the cost of fitness club memberships offered to employees, just as current law allows them to deduct the cost of onsite facilities. It also would exempt employees from paying income tax on employer-provided memberships. IHRSA is working to ensure that the WHIP Act (H.R.1634, S.772) is passed in the 109th Congress.

GlobalFit already has enlisted the aid of its clients -- more than 1,200 of the nation's top employers and insurers representing about 50 million potential health-club members -- as well as its nationwide network of more than 1,500 fitness clubs to help IHRSA secure passage of the WHIP Act. GlobalFit has asked clients to "Let Their Voices Be Heard" by writing members of Congress in support of the WHIP Act. Links from GlobalFit's website direct people to IHRSA's pre-written letters to Congress. "It's easy for our clients to show their support," said Cassady. "In a few clicks they can do something that will improve the health of Americans for years to come."

"GlobalFit salutes IHRSA in its efforts to fight obesity and improve the health of America's workforce through its support of the WHIP Act," Cassady said. "Congress should act quickly on this vital legislation."

IHRSA is a not-for-profit trade association representing health and fitness facilities, gyms, spas, sports clubs and suppliers worldwide. IHRSA is committed to taking a leadership role in advancing physical activity, which is critical to America's health and the battle against obesity and disease. IHRSA supports smart national initiatives to promote more active lifestyles and is working to pass laws that will help affect societal changes toward a more fit America.

Global Affiliates, Inc. (GlobalFit) is the nation's leading provider of employee and group fitness benefits. Founded in 1992 and headquartered in Philadelphia, GlobalFit offers a comprehensive range of fitness, health and wellness products and services including discount memberships to more than 1,500 fitness clubs in its nationwide network. For more information on GlobalFit and to show your support for the WHIP Act please visit

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