Just as no single factor can be blamed for these problems, there is no magic bullet solution either. However, more can be done on the part of the food industry to meet the needs, and demands, of consumers who in large percentages are looking for natural health and nutrition products that align with their wellness goals. For example, more than half of U.S. adults were trying to lose weight in 2015, with 86% motivated by concerns about health, 79% appearance and 63% aging, according to analysis from the Hartman Group.
Among those trying to lose weight, the most widely used tactics included: watching portion sizes (34%), controlling amount of food consumed (28%), avoiding late-night eating (27%), limiting junk food (25%), watching calories consumed (24%), eliminating or limiting snacks (21%) and minimizing sugar/sweets (21%). At the same time, Americans spend close to $2 billion annually on weight-loss supplements, according to Nutrition Business Journal.
While the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro this summer featured stellar competition and inspirational stories—as the games always do—there were plenty of faults and failings as well. Interestingly, public health groups criticized sponsors like Coca-Cola, Kellogg’s and McDonald’s, claiming the companies have used the games to promote unhealthy products. Malcolm Clark, coordinator of the Children’s Food Campaign in the U.K., called the Olympics a “carnival of junk food marketing.”
Just as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) seeks to build a better world through sport, companies in the health and wellness industry need to be committed to building a better world through food. The cycle in which people consume unhealthy products, get sick and then seek treatment from the drug industry is a significant strain on society, and the healthcare system can’t continue to support it indefinitely.