Despite the obesity epidemic, Americans are focused on their health, and on their weight in particular. Maintaining a proper weight is considered an important way to maintain a healthy, balanced lifestyle by more than three-quarters of adults. Yet, while a healthy weight is considered important, only 20 percent were very satisfied with their current weight, and more than 52 percent exhibited a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or more, indicating they are overweight or obese, according to the annual Health & Wellness Trends Survey from the Natural Marketing Institute (NMI). Despite this dissatisfaction and the clear negative health implications of excess weight, only about three in 10 reported they are currently managing their weight, down from 47 percent in 2010. And of those, more are motivated by appearance versus health reasons (25 percent vs. 19 percent, respectively).
When thinking about weight management, diet is generally top of mind. In addition to ingredients in “regular" foods that have weight loss properties, nearly four in 10 have consumed a food or beverage manufactured and marketed specifically for weight loss, and a similar proportion are interested in products that claim a weight management benefit. These targeted products often make it easier for consumers, as conflicting and changing messages can confuse them and make choices difficult: e.g., carbs are the problem/carbs are fine, low fat is crucial/“good fats" are important.
Beyond food and ingredients, consumers also rely on supplements to aid in their weight management efforts. About four in 10 reported they would use a supplement to manage or prevent weight issues, and 9 percent have done or currently do so. But like other weight management approaches, effectiveness is key.
Learn more about the market for weight management foods and supplements as well as marketing tips, ingredient research and regulatory happenings in INSIDER’s Weight Management Digital Magazine.
Maryellen Molyneaux ([email protected]) is a managing partner at the Natural Marketing Institute (NMI, nmisolutions.com), a strategic consulting, market research, and business development firm specializing in the health, wellness and sustainability marketplace.