Fitness and exercise news from around the world

* In a newly released study titled The U.S. Weight Loss and Diet Control Market, Marketdata Enterprises notes that the overall $32 billion U.S. weight-loss market grew 5.9 percent in 1999-and predicts strong growth for 2000. Among the study's major findings: The number of Web-based services for weight loss has exploded; mail order and multi-level marketing companies and infomercials are generating huge sales of diet products and programs; the do-it-yourself trend is popular again, with dieters turning to over-the-counter diet products; and 8.5 million prescriptions were written for weight-loss drugs such as Xenical.

Marketdata estimates that there are now 51 million American dieters, and as the above findings indicate, many of them are not relying on health clubs for weight-loss solutions. Now is the time for your club to establish and/or market weight loss for members and prospects.

* A study from the Wyndham Hotels & Resorts and New York University Center for Hospitality, Tourism and Travel Administra-tion found that half of women who travel on business exercise a similar amount when on the road as at home. The study also noted that the more a woman traveled, the more likely she was to exercise.

According to the study, 11 percent of the female business travelers who exercised used a hotel-affiliated commercial gym or health club. With that in mind, has your club partnered with a local hotel? If not, you could be missing out on an opportunity to sell temporary passes to avid exercisers looking to stay healthy on the road.