36.5% and $147 billion. That is the obesity rate in the United States and the financial burden in healthcare costs due to all the chronic conditions related to obesity (1).
Ironically, the diet food industry and health club industry make $20 billion and $26 billion a year in revenue, respectively (2,3). The dietary supplement industry is also quite lucrative, with $32 billion in annual revenue (4).
Obviously, “just do it”, “drink this shake”, “pop this pill” are not working when more than 1/3 of the population continues to be obese. Instilling the mentality that an individual can achieve the goal of a healthy weight if he/she wants it badly enough places a great deal of responsibility on the individual to address a complex health issue that is made all the more difficult because of the stigma that follows it.
I sometimes question why I decided to take a more difficult path when the fitness industry I have been a part of for nearly a decade is already full of “experts” who have proven Googling skills rather than a research-based graduate degree. But I have to remember that this isn’t about working towards rock hard abs or a bikini-ready body by June, but rather finding real solutions to an epidemic that is the second leading cause of PREVENTABLE death in the U.S. after tobacco use (1).
We want a quick fix, and it isn’t a quick fix. Yet life demands so much from us each day and to be honest, it really is easier to just order a pizza.
- Adult Obesity Facts. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Website https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html. Updated September 1, 2016. Accessed April 23, 2017.
- ABC News Staff. 100 Million Dieters: $20 Billion – The Weight Loss Industry By the Numbers. ABCNews. May 8, 2012. http://abcnews.go.com/Health/100-million-dieters-20-billion-weight-loss-industry/story?id=16297197. Accessed April 23, 2017.
- Health Club Industry Overview. International Health, Racquet, and Sportsclub Association Website. http://www.ihrsa.org/about-the-industry. Updated June 30, 2016. Accessed April 23, 2017.
- Lariviere J. Nutritional Supplements Flexing Muscle As Growth Industry. Forbes Magazine. https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidlariviere/2013/04/18/nutritional-supplements-flexing-their-muscles-as-growth-industry/#3bf5e7c08845. Accessed April 23, 2017.