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As the American waistline has continued to expand, more and more people are turning to fitness centers to help them lose weight. Statistics show that more than 60 percent of all Americans are overweight. A 2004 report by nonprofit research group RTI International and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that obesity costs the United States as much as $75 billion in medical expenditures annually. “With the cost of health care being what it is, people want to make it a priority to take care of themselves,” says Shirley Archer, an author, speaker, and health and wellness educator for the Health Improvement Program at Stanford University. Consequently, fitness-related franchises are rapidly growing to fill this niche.