weight management

Reducing Adulteration in Weight Management Products

The weight management category is a hot seller, but is also at a higher risk for adulteration due to expectations for quick fixes. Responsible industry works diligently to inform consumers on choosing clean products and help them understand adulterated products are not legal supplements.

About 108 million people are dieting in the United States, according to John LaRosa, research director for Marketdata Enterprises Inc., a market research publisher of the 2012 report, "The U.S. Weight Loss & Diet Control Market (12th edition)." The report estimated the total U.S. weight loss market grew 1.7 percent in 2012. Revenues were US $61.6 billion in 2012, and $60.6 billion in 2011 (up 3.8 percent from $58.4 billion in 2010). Revenues were forecasted to grow 2.6 percent in 2013.

Although market growth may be marginal, weight-management supplements remain a perennially popular and intriguing category among consumers. And in this particular category, consumers are more willing to try new products, based on the motivational belief that it will work for them and the desire to see results quickly. And here is exactly where the trust factor lives.

Break that trust factor in a weight-management supplement, and a supplement brand may do damage not only to the product and the entire brand, but potentially all supplements.

Products intentionally adulterated with drugs (such as sibutramine) are not dietary supplements and those who manufacture, market and sell these illegal products are actively dodging dietary supplement laws and regulations, emphasized Haley Chitty, director of communications for the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA).

Elan M. Sudberg, CEO, Alkemist Labs, said the major culprits in weight management are active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). "The big one is sibutramine, as it can be simply added in low quantities without notice," he said.

Get tips on reducing the risk of contamination in weight management products in the article “What's in Your Weight-Management Product?" in INSIDER’s Weight Management Digital Issue.

Lisa Schofield, owner of WorDesigns, is an industry veteran who focuses on promotional writing, copy editing and trade press relations. She has been assisting ingredient suppliers in their quest for industry "fame" for 10 years and prior to this, she was a long-time trade media editor.

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