Today, I was reading some news about projected revenues for the Diet and Weight Loss Industry. It has just been reported that the North America Weight Loss/Obesity Management Market was worth $104 billion in the year 2012 and is expected to reach $139.5 billion by 2017. (This includes diet foods and beverages, supplements, fitness and surgical equipment, as well as weight loss services sold.) The U.S. is the largest consumer, followed by Canada.
No surprises here for me; just a great deal of sadness and frustration that the dollars spent keep rising, despite the failures we see with both dieting and bariatric/weight loss surgery. When does the truth about a “fantasy”, that’s rarely realized, come to light? When does desperation stop driving empty pursuits and outrageous spending?
Here’s the real driving truth…as long as there’s desperation to be thin, people will make and sell weight loss products and services that don’t work…and people will buy them. Couple that will a general misunderstanding about what drives emotional and binge eating (nope, not about willpower or appetite suppression!), and we have a weight loss market that will keep getting larger. Read more about the latest Weight Loss Market forecast in the Wall Street Journal.
Right after I read that press release, I came across this Wall Street Journal video about the power of the plus size consumer and a rise in the fashion industries interest in the Plus Size market. I’m having some trouble reconciling the two? Aren’t you?
Although it seems they are being dragged, begrudgingly, into the real world, the fashion industry is finally starting to recognize the buying power of both the average consumer; woman size 14-16 (laughingly referred to as the “plus size” by the fashion world), and those who are larger. Size 14 and up, “plus size” accounts for half of the buying consumers in the US.
So, the fashion industry is going after the substantial pocketbooks of the plus-size consumer, while simultaneously, a thriving weight loss industry is still trying to sell us everything it can to make us feel and be less.
As we know the greatest predictor of weight gain is a history of weight loss attempts (need proof…do you weight more today than you did when you went on your first diet?), I guess the weight loss industry is ensuring the success of the plus-size clothing market.
I just wish we could just have great plus size clothes without all the layers of failure heaped on top first!
Ellen Shuman is a pioneer in the field of Binge Eating Disorder; a Life Coach who specializes in helping people overcome emotional eating, compulsive eating, binge eating disorder, and food addiction. She is the founder of A Weigh Out & Acoria Binge Eating Disorder Treatment (1993-present), A Founding Member and Past President of BEDA; The Binge Eating Disorder Association (2011/2012), and Co-Founder of the Academy for Eating Disorders Special Interest Group on “Health at Every Size”. For information about Coaching Services, contact firstname.lastname@example.org, 513-321-4242.