Shocking Statistics of the Obesity Industry

As a hypnotherapist or weight loss coach, you're uniquely positioned to serve a large segment of the population who suffer from being overweight. With an ever-increasing number of people being diagnosed as obese, with weight-related health issues, or simply being unhappy with the extra pounds they have gained over the years, you can position yourself in a valuable and lucrative market. You are wise in choosing to learn more about the weight management industry.

While some people initially reduce weight while dieting, statistics indicate that within a short time, most people gain the weight back plus add more weight. They then buy the next diet book or try the latest fad diet and do it all again, and, in the end, gain even more weight. This keeps the diet industry booming.

But the truth is, DIETS DON'T WORK!

And allowing weight to yo-yo up and down is bad for one's health.

Alarming Statistics about Obesity

(Washington, DC – September 27, 2022) – State of Obesity 2022: Better Policies for a Healthier America found that four in ten American adults are obese, and obesity rates continue to climb nationwide and within population groups. 

According to the CDC, 41.9% of Americans are obese, and, as a nation, the trend toward obesity continues to rise. The CDC gives us the following information:

  • During the past 20 years, there has been a dramatic increase in obesity in the United States, and rates remain high. More than 60 million U.S. adults are now obese. Since 1980, overweight rates have doubled among children and tripled among adolescents, increasing the number of years they are exposed to the health risks of obesity.
  • Obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, Type-2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer, and are some of the leading causes of death. In 2008, medical costs associated with obesity were estimated at $147 billion ($173 billion in 2022); the medical charges paid by third parties for people who are obese were $1,429 higher than those of average weight.
  • People struggling with obesity average out-of-pocket expenditures of $2,505 more per annum in health-related costs than a person with average weight.
  • Obesity is already negatively impacting young people. Type-2 diabetes, once believed to affect only adults, is now being diagnosed among young people. In some communities, almost half of pediatric diabetes cases are Type-2; in the past, the total was close to zero. Although childhood-onset Type-2 diabetes is still rare, overweight children with this disease are at risk of suffering severe complications of diabetes as adults, such as kidney disease, blindness, and amputations. Sixty-one percent of overweight 5- to 10-year-olds already have at least one risk factor for heart disease, and 26% have two or more risk factors.
  • The primary behaviors causing the obesity epidemic are well-known and preventable: physical inactivity and unhealthy diet. Despite this knowledge, only 25% of U.S. adults and less than 25% of adolescents eat the recommended five or more servings of fruits and vegetables daily. More than 50% of American adults and one-third of young people, grades 9-12, do not get the recommended amount of physical activity to provide health benefits.
  • About 1 in 5 American children has obesity. Compared to children with healthy weight, children who are overweight or obese are at a higher risk for asthma, sleep apnea, bone and joint problems, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. Children with obesity are more likely to experience bullying, social isolation, depression, and lower self-esteem.

The weight management industry makes enormous profits yearly from our ever-growing (no pun intended) obesity crisis. According to IBIS World, the market size of the weight loss industry is $3.8 Billion. Marketdata, Inc., which analyzes twelve major segments of the U.S. diet industry, puts the annual total spent on weight-loss products and services at $78 billion in 2019. However, it declined by 21% during the pandemic.

According to a 393-page study by Marketdata entitled: The U.S. Weight Loss & Diet Control Market, the money is divided between ten major segments: diet drugs, diet books, exercise videos, diet soft drinks, artificial sweeteners, diet dinner entrees, meal replacements, health clubs, diet websites, commercial chains, hospital-, RD- and MD-based programs, kid's weight loss camps, and bariatric surgeries. Of these, in 2006, the most significant shares went to:

  • Diet soft drinks: 29.5 percent, worth $19 billion
  • Bariatric surgeries reached record levels with 177,000 procedures, representing a $4.4 billion market.
  • Prescription diet drugs: $459 million

• Among diet companies, market leaders are

  1. Weight Watchers: $1.2 billion
  2. NutriSystem: $568 million
  3. LA Weight Loss: $500 million
  4. Jenny Craig: $462 million
  5. Slim-Fast: $310 million
  6. Herbalife: $271 million

According to nutritionist, Margaret Reinhardt of Minneapolis, emerging American food trends are moving toward cheaper food, eating fast, and eating alone. Ominous road signs she sees are:

  • Fewer family meals and foods eaten together.
  • Fast, hot convenience foods are available in gas stations.
  • Decline to below 10% in household budget spent on food.
  • More all-you-can-eat and super-size servings at restaurants and take-out.
  • Over half of fast food goes out of drive-thru windows.
  • More food sold in single-serve packs means not sharing meals.
  • A liter of Coke costs less than a half-gallon of milk.

"Nutrition and health leaders must be prepared to acknowledge the (public's) desire to eat this way, and to temper it with wise and sensitive counseling, while supporting and encouraging the best eating habits of various cultures."  

~ Reinhardt, M., American Foodways, SNE Communicator, Fall 1997.

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