Fitness Census 2010: Special Report From Gold's Gym and Reveals 'Sizeable' Shift in the Shape of America

Eye-Popping Research Exposes a Decade of Flawed Fitness Fads, Supersized Meals and Fatter Pets

Apr 19, 2010, 10:28 ET from Gold's Gym

DALLAS, April 19 /PRNewswire/ -- In conjunction with this year's U.S. Census, Gold's Gym and have teamed up to assess how the state of the nation's health has changed since 2000.  The result?  A 2010 "Fitness Census" that paints a brutally honest portrait of our nation's health, our growing waistline and what the future holds for America in 2020.

While some of the findings are grim (lower life expectancy in the U.S., fatter pets and an increased fat intake equal to 2 sticks of butter per week, per person), the news isn't all bad. New fitness trends and technologies might pave the way to a healthier 2020. To help raise awareness for the 2010 Fitness Census and help consumers battle the bulge, Gold's Gym and have teamed up to create the "30 Days, 30 Ways" Fitness Calendar. This free interactive tool, available at, allows consumers to receive one eye-popping stat and one actionable fitness tip each day.    

"Even though there has been a tremendous amount of information released over the past 10 years that promotes the benefits of exercise and diet, the Fitness Census revealed a significant decline in our nation's health," said Robert Reames, Gold's Gym Fitness Institute. "The new millennium began with a decade of supersized meals, a dramatic reduction in physical activity and an obesity epidemic that continues to weigh down the nation. We hope this report raises awareness about the importance of fitness, and that the interactive calendar gives people some actionable steps they can use to stay active and get in shape. Our message is simple: Even a small amount of regular exercise can go a long way."

Here's a look at some additional astonishing statistics as revealed by the Fitness Census:

  • Two out of three adult Americans are now overweight or obese
  • A staggering one out of every three kids is overweight, with physical education in most schools disappearing
  • For the first time in 60 years, the average life expectancy of Americans born today may be less than their parents
  • There have been an estimated 8 million new cases of diabetes since the year 2000
  • 25% of America's pets are now overweight
  • In the past 10 years, the number of gastric bypass and other bariatric surgeries shot up nearly 600%, with 220,000 procedures done in 2009 alone. Total cost: $3.7 billion to $5.7 billion
  • While the economy continues to find its footing, fast food sales in the U.S. are up 15% in just five years
  • Since 2000, the amount of fat the average American consumes has increased by 180 grams (the equivalent of two sticks of butter) per week.  That's an extra 20 pounds of fat per year
  • Since 2000, the time an average eight- to 18-year-old spends playing video games has more than doubled
  • The men's "big and tall" clothing market generates $6 billion annually –  enough money to cover the deficit of California

In other findings, the Fitness Census took a look at some of the biggest diet and exercise trends of the past decade to see which ones really worked and which ones should stay in the past.  From Tae-Bo and instant abdominal devices to 100 calorie packs and video game fitness, the report shows that Americans turned to a variety of exercise trends to help stay in shape.  Looking forward, Gold's Gym Fitness Institute experts predict America's next big fitness trends, including Kangoo Jumps and Early Fitness Programs aimed more at kids, teens and tweens.

To kick start their fitness routine, Americans are invited to visit the interactive "30 Days and 30 Ways" calendar at In addition, consumers are encouraged to log on to to receive a free 7-day workout pass to any participating Gold's Gym in America.  

About Gold's Gym

Established in Venice, Calif. in 1965, Gold's Gym is the largest full service gym chain in the world with more than 700 locations in 43 states and 28 countries. Gold's Gym offers the latest equipment and services, including group exercise, personal training, cardiovascular equipment, group cycle, Pilates and yoga. With nearly 3.5 million members worldwide, Gold's Gym helps all kinds of people achieve their individual potential through fitness. For more information please visit or

SOURCE Gold's Gym