The American Council on Exercise (ACE) has released its annual fitness trends forecast for the coming year, with obesity awareness topping the list.

Citing data from the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, which indicates that the country’s obesity rate had seen its first small decline in more than three years, the association’s 2012 Fitness Trends to Watch report stated that the population is finally starting to take action toward the epidemic.

In a press release, Cedric X. Bryant, chief science officer at ACE, predicted that increased awareness of the health risks associated with obesity would drive a demand for more holistic health and well-being coaching from fitness professionals.

Other trends highlighted in the report include more community-based initiatives to offer fitness services and well-being education; the continued rise of technology’s role in fitness through social media, mobile apps and online programming; expanded programming for senior and youth markets; and greater employer support for wellness programs, including subsidized memberships to fitness facilities and health clubs.