Dieters: The Skinny on Weight Conscious Consumers
No pun intended, but weight loss is a big concern throughout the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as many as 30 percent of Americans 20 years of age and older—some 60 million people—are obese. The percentage of overweight young people also has increased exponentially, tripling since 1980. Currently, 16 percent of teens aged 6 to 19 years are considered overweight. And, since being overweight or obese can lead to serious health problems, many Americans now actively are fighting the battle of the bulge.
The Scope of the Market
The market for weight-loss products decidedly is female. According to Julio Rodriguez, owner and president of Union City, N.J.-based list management and brokerage firm Bulls Eye Marketing Inc., which handles a number of diet-related lists, 66 percent of all dieters are female. In comparison, he notes, "on any given day, one in four men are on a diet." At least 51 million people in the United States are dieting to lose or control their weight, according to Rodriguez. And, two out of three people dieting are more likely to be found in rural rather than urban counties.
According to Scott Parker, vice president of marketing for Carlsbad, Calif.-based weight management company Jenny Craig Inc., within this female demographic, dieters "tend to be between the ages of 25 and 54, married, college educated and interested in losing 40 to 45 pounds." However, as household size increases, the likelihood that someone is dieting decreases, cites Rodriguez. After all, it's difficult to focus on dieting with a busy household full of kids.
Regardless of whether they're on the East or West Coast, in the city or the country, dieters spend as much as $2 billion on weight control products per year, according to Rodriguez. If you add on other types of diet products and services, such as meal replacement plans, the amount multiplies to approximately $34 billion, he says.