Dubbed “Actionable Solutions for Different Overweight Segments of the Population,” the study will have two objectives. The first will be to understand the different facets of overweight and obesity that combine to make up different attitudinal segments of overweight and obese consumers. The second will be to understand which tools are the most effective for each segment to make and to maintain changes to weight status.
Rather than simply collecting information about consumers, the study will cluster 100-1200 consumers from a variety of ethnic backgrounds into segments based on their different views and understanding of weight as an issue. The study respondents will be people who simply feel they need to lose weight. They may be of normal weight, overweight or obese.
According to Barbara Katz, president, HealthFocus, there are likely four facets that will define the consumer segments: motivation, emotional versus practical about weight loss, willingness to act, and ability and control.
Among the variables that will help define the consumer segments will be body mass index (BMI), motivation and weight loss goals, methods consumers are currently using and have used in the past to lose weight, activity levels, how educated they are on the role of nutrition in weight loss, and the level of their financial means. Other relevant information to be captured will focus on life stage and environmental factors such as age, whether or not they have children, type of job they have, stress levels, and health issues/risk factors.
Researchers will also tackle the emotional side of eating—why people eat for reasons other than being hungry, when this kind of eating most often occurs, how is that urge handled (including the foods most often consumed to satisfy the urge), and how engaged people are with food and food preparation.
In addition, the study will explore supplement usage, different exercise plans, the use of personal trainers and dietitians, support groups, group exercise, calorie tracking, online web support and other weight loss tools. It will take into account the varied and unique attributes among those who are overweight and determine which of these tools are best in helping each unique group.
Because each consumer segment’s concept of losing weight will vary, so too will their respective diet solutions. Ms. Katz said the actionable tools that will provide support, information, nutrition and exercise options for overweight consumers will be tailored to consider the ability of the consumer to afford the program, their willingness to exercise and their level of motivation (whether it’s support-based or independent in origin) as needed by the plan to succeed. Once the tools have been accessed, the researchers will apply the best-fitting weight loss tool to the appropriate consumer segment.
HealthFocus said it plans to kick off this study in the first quarter of 2012 and is currently accepting sponsorship from companies hoping to have their weight loss products and ingredients included as part of the evaluation.
For more information about taking part in the study, contact Barbara Katz at HealthFocus.