Search “gym,” and “tanning,” on any social media app, and photos will pop up — photos of people in workout gear inside tanning beds, next to them, all touting the healthy glow they got after their workout.
Though the link between deadly skin cancer like melanoma and using tanning beds is well established, there’s a persisting myth that tanning using one of these beds is healthy. And new research shows gyms might be monetizing that myth, offering a potential deadly benefit to gym members.
The research, published in the Journal of the American Medical Society, looked at locations affiliated with the three largest gyms in the country: Planet Fitness, Gold’s Gym and Anytime Fitness. Sherry Pagoto, lead author and a professor at the University of Connecticut, said gyms recruit new members using tanning booths as an added perk. And consumers take advantage of that perk.
“Because, ‘why would my gym give me something that was unhealthy?’” Pagoto said. “You wouldn’t find a cigarette machine in a gym; that would be really bizarre and I think people would be outraged. But tanning beds have been ranked as the same level of carcinogen as cigarette.”
Just one tanning bed session increases …