It’s no secret the “weight loss” market is a huge industry. Wikipedia reports that “between $33 billion and $55 billion is spent annually on weight loss products and services.” And this is not just a U.S. trend, but one seen in Western Europe ($1.4 billion in sales for 2009), Canada, and Australia. Weight loss has even gone prime time with the popular TV show “The Biggest Loser” where individuals and families compete for the greatest % body fat loss.
IBISworld, a market research company, made an interesting statement in their 2009 report on the weight loss industry. They said:
IBISWorld estimates that about 70 percent of American's dieting attempts are of a self-help nature. Although often short-lived, these diet fads are a positive trend for this sector as Americans ultimately turn to professionals to help them meet their weight loss goals.
Notice what they are saying. Most people try a weight loss program or diet on their own at home, but because these are “short-lived” the person seeks professional help. As professionals we must be asking ourselves if we should be in the weight loss industry as well.
Another fact to consider is that obesity (defined as BMI over 30) has become an epidemic in America. Obesity is the #1 cause of Type 2 diabetes and 55% of those who are obese will end up with diabetes according to the CDC. Heart disease and cancer are closely linked to obesity as well.
Done right, it can certainly help patients live a healthier life. In addition, your office can be seen as a holistic health clinic, not to mention bringing in a potential revenue increase. Also, it would not take much in to convince an overweight person they need a weight loss program because the media and their MDs have already done quite a bit of the work.
Taking everything into consideration, adding a weight loss program to your practice by year’s end could be a smart move.
I’ve kept this post short because I want it to be more of a discussion. Let’s here what you think.
If you’re already using a weight loss program in your office, comment below and tell us what you think are the pros and cons? If you’re not using a weight loss program in your office, what concerns are keeping you from doing it?
**UPDATE: We’ve had many comments that are simply advertisements for a weight loss product or service. These will be edited or deleted. No phone numbers, links, etc. will be allowed in the comments. This a discussion for chiropractors, not an opportunity to advertise products.**