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HARTFORD, Conn. (CBS) — Researchers at the University of Connecticut have found that tanning bed addictions can be encouraged by gyms.
The new study finds that people are more likely to be addicted to tanning beds when the method is offered at their gym.
The study surveyed 636 people who had used a tanning bed at least once. Nearly half of the gyms in the U.S. have tanning beds.
“By pairing exercise with tanning beds, gyms send the message that tanning is part of a healthy lifestyle. It is not,” explained Sherry Pagoto, a professor at the university and president of the Society of Behavioral Medicine.
Pagoto pointed out that gymgoers work out largely to look good and gyms offer tanning beds since that is another method people use to improve their looks.
However, people often forget that using a tanning bed increases exposure to ultraviolet light and can lead to melanoma.
“Indoor tanning is the same class of carcinogen as tobacco, radon, and arsenic,” says Pagoto.
The study also found that greater tanning was associated with more frequent exercise.