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Kiwi Fitness Guru Leads Global Action

Kiwi Fitness Guru Leads Global Action On World Diabetes Day

PARIS, 13 November 2007
Representatives of the world health and fitness industry are meeting in Paris this week with leading experts like New Zealander, Phillip Mills who will be urging the worldwide industry to take a leadership role in tackling the ‘globesity epidemic’ that’s seeing millions world-wide affected by obesity related illness like diabetes and threatening health systems which could collapse under the weight of this epidemic.

Mr Mills and industry leaders attending the annual International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) conference are taking their message onto the streets of Paris on Wednesday 14 November in a fundraising walk to mark the first international World Diabetes Day highlighting the diabetes epidemic that now sees 246 million people living with the disease worldwide.

Phillip Mills is the founder of Les Mills International, a company that is now a world leader of group fitness programming franchised through more than 11,000 gyms globally. He has recently co-authored a book called ‘Fighting Globesity’ which links the impacts of health issues and epidemics like diabetes to the sustainability issues facing the planet.

Mr Mills says, “Type 2 diabetes is the classic obesity driven condition. It’s currently sucking up some USD$130 billion of annual health spending in the US alone. That’s twice the entire GDP of New Zealand.

“One of the biggest areas of expenditure in our societies lies in supporting health systems that are increasingly burdened by the cost of over consumption, inactive ageing and obesity. By taking a preventative approach to health through exercise and healthy diets, we free up societies resources for addressing pressing issues like global warming.”

“Like an overweight person, as a race we are simply consuming more than we can healthily maintain. This over-consumption is not only bad for our bodies, but also bad for our world,” he says.

“We are often over whelmed by the issues of global warming but are at a loss to know what to do. By more people making healthy choices such as regular exercise and by making an organic food choice they will be making a difference to global sustainability.”

Phillip Mills makes the link between regular exercise and eating healthy organic foods to improved personal wellbeing and as a valuable way for individuals to make a difference to the health of our world. “Not only will exercising more regularly and eating organic foods decrease the incidence of diabetes, it will help save the planet,” he says.

He’s calling on individuals to take personal responsibility for fitness and healthier eating to stop the globesity epidemic and believes the fitness industry is well placed to take ownership of the issues and to lead the change.

“Our industry must lead a global change to get the world’s population working on their own health and fitness for the health of the planet. Tackling the diabetes epidemic must be the first goal. By exercising regularly and taking ownership of personal health everyone can successfully contributed to the decline of obesity and related diseases such as diabetes in the world’s population,” he says.

The IHRSA is encouraging health clubs around the world to mark World Diabetes day by opening their doors for free sessions on November 14. Mills believes by doing this the industry is signalling its support and responsibility for helping solve the huge health problems facing the world.

Fitness professionals from across Europe who are in Paris for the conference will join the walk on Wednesday which goes from Le Meridien Etoile to the Arc de Triumphe, Trocadero and ends under the Eiffel Tower. All funds raised from the charity walk will be given to the designated charities of World Diabetes Day.

Click here for more details about the World Diabetes Day Walk

About Type 2 Diabetes

The International Diabetes Federation estimates there are now 246 million people living with diabetes.

Diabetes New Zealand reports that Type 2 diabetes is by far the most common form of diabetes. In New Zealand, The Ministry of Health estimates that 213,800 people have Type 2 diabetes. The numbers of people developing Type 2 diabetes is rapidly increasing. A Price Waterhouse Coopers’ analysis for Diabetes New Zealand predicts the disease and its complications will cost 15% of state health spending by 2021 or $1.78 billion annually, up from 3% currently.

Fighting Globesity by Phillip and Jackie Mills, M.D.

A practical guide to personal health and global sustainability

“Globesity is a term we use to describe the relationship that currently operates between personal fitness, national health systems and global sustainability. We believe it’s an important relationship and that if you understand it you’ll be empowered and motivated to take some simple actions, essential actions that will dramatically improve your life and make a powerful contribution to the health of our planet”.


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