NMI's Trend #4: Weighty Issues: Adult and Childhood Obesity are Key Consumer Drivers

Harleysville, Pa. (August 2005) The Natural Marketing Institute (NMI), the leading provider of strategic consulting, consumer insights and market research services across various health and wellness industries, today expanded on one of the trends it has identified as having a significant impact on the health and wellness marketplace. This trend is the fourth in the series of NMI’s Top Ten Trends of 2005.

Trend #4: Weight Loss: Stability, Challenges and Apathy
According to NMI’s 2004 Health & Wellness Trends Database, weight-related issues are a key driver to a significant portion of American consumers. Fifty percent of all consumers control their weight for appearance while 43% manage their weight for their health. In total, almost 60% of U.S. adults are managing their weight for either reason.

According to NMI President Maryellen Molyneaux, “Despite the high percentage of consumers who are managing their weight for appearance or health, only one-fourth of the public claims to be following some kind of specific diet such as Atkins, Weight Watchers or South Beach. These findings, as well as other NMI data, imply that dieting is primarily a self-managed activity in which consumers use elements of the major diets and customize these to suit their own personal preferences.”

Childhood obesity is also a growing concern in the U.S. More than 15% of all children are obese – the highest level ever. Portion sizes are increasing while the level of physical activity among adolescents is decreasing. The impact of this is not just health-related – obese children are more likely to develop emotional and behavioral issues in their teenage years.

Other key findings include:

  • 30% of U.S. adults use weight loss weight products,
  • The credibility of weight loss products has declined from 76% in 2002 to 60% in 2004, possibly as a result of the ephedra ban and lack of product efficacy,
  • One in five consumers state that being up to 20% more than their ideal weight does not affect their overall health,
  • Cultural and societal factors, such as technology and suburban sprawl, are adding to the problem (across all age groups).

NMI’s 2005 Health & Wellness Trends Report TM (HWTR) contains a detailed chapter on Weight Management including information on weight loss methods, usage and success; popular diet usage; specific weight loss product usage; dieting to prevent specific diseases; and category entry drivers beyond weight. To review a table of contents or to order the report, please visit: http://www.nmisolutions.com/r_hwt_toc.html.

NMI’s Health & Wellness Trends DatabaseTM (HWTD) and other proprietary data sources can provide a wealth of insight for companies in the health and wellness marketplace. For more information on the HWTD or NMI’s other consumer databases, contact NMI or visit our website at http://www.nmisolutions.com.


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NMI is a strategic consulting, market research, and business development company specializing in the health, wellness, and sustainable marketplace. For more information on NMI’s research reports, proprietary databases and other services, visit NMI’s web site at www.NMIsolutions.com.
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