Tax incentive for healthy behavior proposed by personal trainer

July 15, 2009
by Jessica Sipperley
Jackson Citizen Patriot

A Jackson gym owner is convinced to persuade state lawmakers that a tax deduction for fitness expenses might be the key to encourage people to exercise regularly.

Teresa Crippen is encouraging residents to ask lawmakers to support income-tax deductions for gym memberships and personal trainer costs. A tax incentive could lower the state's obesity numbers, said Crippen, the owner of Staying Fit 4 Life gym, 2301 Tyson St.

"Michigan has such an obesity rate, from children all the way up," said Crippen, a certified personal trainer. "I'm targeting adults, trying to get them to educate their children. I think (a tax deduction) would be huge."

According to a report by Trust for America's Health, Michigan's obesity rate is 30.6 percent for children ages 10-17, which ranks 26th nationally. For adults, it's 28.8 percent, which ranks ninth nationally.

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