Monday, December 15, 2008

Unethical and Uniformed Fitness Pros Tick Me Off

I'm all for people making lots of money. I don't care if they just got lucky or had rich benefactors who invested in them or whatever. As long as their product or service is legal and ethical, more power to them.

My problem is with people making money through services or products that cheat or harm people, regardless of the legality. For example, I have a problem with ill-informed fitness trainers who still promote hours of cardio for fat loss or tell women to use light weights or they'll bulk up.

I proudly get hung up on the ethics of business. I refuse to offer or promote worthless or harmful merchandise or services to members, clients or readers of my newsletter or blog.

Yes, people want to lose weight but that doesn't justify preying on them by selling worthless fat burning drinks or pills. I realize that a tan is still prized by many over the pasty look but I'm not going to lie about the safety of tanning beds just to make a few bucks.

I have never understood fitness centers equipped with tanning beds. If we're supposedly promoting health and wellness, how does increasing someone's risk of skin cancer fit in?

Just for the record, if you believe the tanning industry line that tanning beds are safe, you're misinformed. They are not. As dermatologist Jeffrey Dover, M.D. writes in his book The Youth Equation: Take 10 Years Off Your Face, "If there's enough light in that box to tan you, there's enough to cause skin cancer and wrinkling."

People are getting skin cancer from the use of tanning beds. Anyone who tells you differently is either lying or terribly misinformed.

In 2002, researchers at Dartmouth Medical School found that people who participated in indoor tanning were 2 1/2 times as likely to get squamous cell carcinoma and 1 1/2 times as likely to develop basal cell carcinoma than people who didn't tan. A study from Norway and Sweden of regular (as infrequently as once a month) indoor tanners found that they had a 55% greater chance of developing melanoma than non-tanners.

Obviously, some people will do things regardless of the risks and that is absolutely their right. It's also the right of health club owners to promote tanning even though it's an unhealthy and potentially disfiguring (not to mention potentially fatal) behavior. That doesn't make it right.


Unknown said...

Misinformed? Then do some research here.

Unethical? What's up with those derms promoting toxic sunscreens?

Mickey said...

I wondered how long it would take for a tanning bed supporter to stop by. :-)