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Weight Management Trends in the U.S.


Attention: There is an updated edition available for this report.

A diverse range of American consumers are increasingly focused on weight loss and weight maintenance within a broadening context of personal health and lifestyle issues. Almost 70% of adults and almost 32% of school-age children and adolescents are either overweight or obese, according to the latest government statistics. And some studies project that if current trends continue, 37% of U.S. adults will be classified as obese by 2013 and 43% by 2018.

With such new and ever-more-alarming statistics about adult and childhood obesity feeding the headlines almost daily, what are today’s weight loss regimens and weight maintenance mindsets? What roles do calories, portion control, and satiety play, with or without the benefit of weight management programs, fitness club memberships and “active lifestyles”? What are the most salient cohorts of weight management consumers, and which combinations of foods and beverages, weight management programs, and diet aids appeal most specifically to them? Which media and marketing messages resonate for these cohorts, and in what contexts?

This all-new report from Packaged Facts examines not just who the weight management cohorts are, but the all-important “why’s” behind the choices and purchases they make, and where those choices will take the market through 2015, identifying the issues and trends affecting the weight management marketplace. Focusing on consumer lifestyle trends through customized analysis of Experian Simmons data, the report examines consumers’ weight management strategies, goals and attitudes toward foods and beverages; use of over-the-counter diet aids, weight management programs, and exercise; retail channel and foodservice preferences; and media usage and responsiveness, both traditional and social. The report also examines the competitive strategies of key players, new product and ingredient trends, and marketing and advertising positioning, all within the context of the medical, social, economic, and psychographic drivers of consumer behavior.

Additional data sources include the latest government statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Information Resources, Inc.’s InfoScan Review for the mass-market channel; and Datamonitor’s Product Launch Analytics data tracking new product introductions.

Read an excerpt from this report below.


Market Insights: A Selection From The Report


Top Claims on New Products Overall: Upscale, Natural, Single Serving

Packaged Facts’ analysis of Product Launch Analytics data show that “upscale,” “natural,” and “single serving” were by far the package tags marketers used most often in introducing new foods and beverages in the United States throughout the 2005-2009 period, with each of these claims/tags in the thousands. By comparison, the leading weight management claim, “low calories,” is in the 12th position in 2009, with 541 mentions, and “low fat” ranks No. 19 with 369 citings. Other weight management claims do not make it onto the top-20 claims/tags list. [Table 4-8]

Low Calories, Low Fat the Top Claims

Package claims/tags positioning new foods as being low in calories, followed by low in fat, were the top weight management claims/tags on new food and beverage products in 2009, although such introductions were lower than the previous year. “Low calorie” took the lead from “low-fat” in 2008; “low fat” was the leading weight management claim between 2005 and 2007.

“Low carbohydrates,” in third position (293 mentions) among weight management claims at the height of the Atkins craze in 2005, dropped precipitously the following year and since then has been near the bottom of the list. Only 69 mentions of new products with “low carbohydrates” positioning appeared in 2009. [Tables 4-9 and 4-10]

Consumer Attitudes/Opinions Toward Foodservice

Weight management consumers are also more likely than consumers in general to enjoy dining out as a leisure activity—more than two-thirds of WL consumers and 65% of WM consumers enjoy dining out, vs. 57% of all consumers—for indexes of 120 and 115, respectively. Because they are watching their diet, it is not surprising that approximately 64% of WL and WM consumers like the trend toward healthier fast food (indexes 128 and 126), although WM consumers are far less likely than average to agree that fast food fits their busy lifestyle (index 75, or 25% below the norm) or that they prefer fast food to home cooking (index 83, or 17% below average). WL consumers, meanwhile, are less likely than average to agree that eating fast food helps them stay within their financial budget. [Table 5-3]

In the News


Weight Management Makes Big Impression on Increasingly Health Conscious Americans

New York, April 12, 2010With two-thirds of U.S. adults and almost one-third of children and adolescents overweight or obese, a diverse range of consumers are increasingly focused on weight loss and weight maintenance within a broadening context of personal health and lifestyle issues, according to Weight Management Trends in the U.S. by market research publisher Packaged Facts.
The shift toward weight management and healthy habits as priorities at the forefront of consumer consciousness are expected to gain momentum as the nation slips further into a semblance of economic relief from the fiscal ravaging of the recession.

“Industry experts and Packaged Facts agree that healthy eating is a solid measure of consumer confidence,” says Don Montuori, publisher of Packaged Facts. “As the economy improves, consumers will once again focus on health and wellness priorities.”

Packaged Facts estimates the global weight loss and diet management market—including diet food and drinks, weight loss programs and services, weight loss drugs and natural therapies, and surgical interventions—reached $26 billion in 2009. Diet food and drinks—consisting of weight loss bars and snacks, drinks, frozen meals, and diet desserts—was the largest category, with $18 billion, or 73%, of total worldwide sales.

Developing foods and beverages that provide satiety, or hunger satisfaction, is projected to be one of the hottest trends in weight management. Such products contain ingredients that enhance feelings of pleasant fullness after eating, helping dieters prevent overeating and/or constant snacking between meals. And though “minus” formulations of foods and beverages—i.e., low-, no-, or reduced-calorie/fat/carbohydrates/sugar formulations—continue to dominate weight management products, there currently is a subtle shift toward tinkering with formulations to add functional ingredients that can help people lose and maintain weight. Many of these same functional ingredients are being used in dietary supplements and over-the-counter weight management drugs.

Beyond the toll obesity takes on an individual’s health, it also places a financial burden on the nation’s healthcare system. As a result, obesity has emerged as a political problem that federal, state, and local governments are attempting to legislate away. Perhaps the most ostentatious effort to date has been the Obama Administration’s Let’s Move program that targets the troubling trend of childhood obesity by bringing together several federal agencies to focus on improving nutrition and encouraging exercise.

Weight Management Trends in the U.S. examines not just who the weight management cohorts are, but the all-important “why’s” behind the choices and purchases they make, and where those choices will take the market through 2015, identifying the issues and trends affecting the weight management marketplace. Focusing on consumer lifestyle trends through customized analysis of Experian Simmons data, the report examines consumers’ weight management strategies, goals and attitudes toward foods and beverages; use of over-the-counter diet aids, weight management programs, and exercise; retail channel and foodservice preferences; and media usage and responsiveness, both traditional and social. The report also examines the competitive strategies of key players, new product and ingredient trends, and marketing and advertising positioning, all within the context of the medical, social, economic, and psychographic drivers of consumer behavior.

About Packaged Facts - Packaged Facts, a division of MarketResearch.com, publishes market intelligence on a wide range of consumer market topics, including consumer goods and retailing, foods and beverages, demographics, pet products and services, and financial products. Packaged Facts also offers a full range of custom research services.

Additional Materials


www.weightmanagementshow.comState of the market: After Atkins and beyond

WeightManagement2010 sponsored by FoodNavigator, delivered the first one-day virtual event on the latest trends and strategies in weight management for the food, beverage and dietary supplements industries.
Did you miss the LIVE event on demand? Luckily for those who missed the live event, the show is still available on demand until Thursday March 4th 2011. Access from here: www.weightmanagementshow.com

Inside, check out the 'State of the market: After Atkins and beyond' conference presented by Packaged Facts' VP Publishing, Don Montuori. The weight management market is estimated by some to be worth nearly $20bn. This presentation will chart the rise of the weight management sector, with special focus on dietary programs to achieve weight management, from Atkins to GI and Weight Watchers. Such programs have attracted big consumer followings, and some manufacturers are getting on board by producing ranges of reduced fat and reduced sugar foods. This session looks at understanding the success and failures of current programs and how to predict the next big thing.

  • Executive Summary
    • Introduction
      • Scope of Report
      • Report Methodology
      • The Scale of Obesity
      • 39% of Adults Are Managing Weight
      • Two Consumer Categories
      • The Economic Costs of Obesity
      • The Politics of Obesity
      • Obesity by the Numbers
      • Childhood Obesity Increasing
      • Three Weight Management Components: Diet, Exercise and Behavior Modification
      • Exercise
      • Behavior Modification
      • Types of Weight Management Programs
      • Non-Clinical Programs
      • Clinical Programs
      • Type of Diets
      • Exchange Diets
      • Prepackaged Meal and Liquid Formula Diets
      • Fad Diets
      • Prescription Drugs
      • Over-the-Counter Diet Aids
      • U.S. Retail Sales
      • Opportunities in Weight Management
      • Trends in Weight Management Products and Programs
      • Satiety and Body Shaping Are Hot Topics
      • Weight Management Ingredients
      • Targeting Men
      • Obama: Let's Move
      • The Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation
      • New Dietary Guidelines Due in Fall 2010
      • Labeling Goes Front and Center
      • Re-Examining Serving Size
      • Food and Beverage Marketers
      • Weight Management Program and Club Marketers
      • Over-the-Counter Pharmaceutical Marketers
      • WL/WM Consumers Developing Healthy Eating Habits
      • Consumer Shopping Behavior
        • Table Consumer Shopping Behavior: All Consumers vs. Weight Loss and Weight Maintenance Consumers, 2009 (percent and index of U.S. adults)
      • Consumer Attitudes/Behavior Toward Shopping
      • Consumer Attitudes/Opinions Toward Foodservice
      • Internet Has Changed How Consumers Spend Free Time
      • Weight Management Consumers' Favorite Media
  • Highlights - Market Overview
  • Market Overview
    • Introduction
      • Scope of Report
      • Report Methodology
    • Overweight and Obesity in the U.S.
      • The Scale of Obesity
      • The Economic Costs of Obesity
      • The Politics of Obesity
      • Definitions of Overweight and Obesity
      • Body Mass Index
      • Obesity by the Numbers
        • Table Percentage of Adult Population Overweight or Obese, 1988-2008 (U.S. adults age 20 and over)
      • More Men Overweight; More Women Obese
        • Table Percentage of Adult Population Overweight or Obese: By Gender, 1988-2008 (U.S. adults age 20 and over)
      • Prevalence of Overweight and Obesity Higher Among Ethnic Minorities
        • Table Percentage of Adult Population Overweight or Obese by Ethnic Group, 2007-2008 (U.S. adults age 20 and over)
      • Obesity Epidemic Spreads to All U.S. States
      • Measuring Overweight and Obesity in Children
      • Childhood Obesity Increasing
        • Table Percentage of Children and Teens Who Are Obese, 1988-2008 (U.S. children and teens age 6-19)
      • Childhood Obesity Risk Higher Among Minorities
    • Causes and Complications of Overweight and Obesity
      • An Obesogenic Society
      • Increased Food Consumption
      • Is the Food Industry Partly at Fault?
      • Not Enough Exercise
        • Table Percentage of Population Getting Leisure-Time Physical Activity: 1988, 2004 and 2007 (U.S. adults age 18 and over)
      • Complex Socioeconomic Factors
      • Genetics
      • Complications of Overweight and Obesity
      • Diabetes
      • Cardiovascular Disease
      • Other Diseases
    • Weight Management
      • Three Components: Diet, Exercise and Behavior Modification
      • Diet
      • Exercise
      • Behavior Modification
      • Types of Weight Management Programs
      • Do-It-Yourself Diets
      • Non-Clinical Programs
      • Clinical Programs
      • Government Regulations
      • Type of Diets
      • Exchange Diets
      • Prepackaged Meal and Liquid Formula Diets
      • Fad Diets
      • Prescription Drugs
      • Over-the-Counter Diet Aids
    • Market Size and Composition
      • U.S. Retail Sales
    • Market Outlook
      • Opportunities in Weight Management
      • Trends in Weight Management Products and Programs
        • Table Trends in Weight Management Products and Services, 2005-2009 (percent of U.S. adults age 20 and over)
      • Satiety and Body Shaping Are Hot Topics
      • Focus on Weight Management Ingredients
      • Targeting Men
      • New Government and Private Sector Programs
      • The Obama Administration: Let's Move
      • Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation
      • New Dietary Guidelines Due in Fall 2010
      • Labeling Goes Front and Center
      • Re-Examining Serving Size
      • How Accurate Are Calorie Counts?
    • Major Competitors
      • Food and Beverage Marketers
      • Weight Management Program and Club Marketers
      • Over-the-Counter Pharmaceutical Marketers
  • Highlights - Consumer Overview
  • Consumer Overview
    • Experian Simmons Consumer Survey Findings
    • 39% of Adults Are Managing Weight
      • Two Consumer Categories
    • High Socioeconomic Status Characterizes Dieters
      • Table Selected High-Index Demographics of Weight Loss/Weight Maintenance Consumers, 2009
      • Table Demographic Overview of Weight Loss Consumers, 2009 (percent, number and index of U.S. adults)
      • Table Demographic Overview of Weight Maintenance Consumers, 2009 (percent, number and index of U.S. adults)
    • Consumer Attitudes Toward Health
      • Table Consumer Attitudes Toward Health: All Consumers vs. Weight Loss and Weight Maintenance Consumers, 2009 (percent and index of U.S. adults)
    • Consumer Dieting Patterns
      • Table Consumer Dieting Patterns: All Consumers vs. Weight Loss and Weight Maintenance Consumers, 2009 (U.S. adults, percent and index)
    • Dieting Behaviors Among Weight Loss Consumers
      • Table Selected High-Indexing Dieting Behaviors for Weight Loss Consumers, 2009 (index of U.S. adults)
    • Dieting Behaviors for Weight Maintenance Consumers
      • Table Selected High-Indexing Dieting Behaviors for Weight Maintenance Consumers, 2009 (index of U.S. adults)
    • Consumer Dieting Trends
      • Table Consumer Dieting Trends, 2005-2009 (percent)
    • Use of Non-Prescription Diet Products
    • Use of Weight Management Programs
      • Table Consumer Use of Non-Prescription Diet Products: All Consumers vs. Weight Loss and Weight Maintenance Consumers, 2009 (percent and index of U.S. adults)
      • Table Consumer Use of Weight Management Programs: All Consumers vs. Weight Loss and Weight Maintenance Consumers, 2009 (percent and index of U.S. adults)
    • Consumer Exercise Patterns
      • Weight Loss/Weight Maintenance Consumers More Apt to Exercise Than General Public
        • Table Consumer Exercise Patterns: All Consumers vs. Weight Loss and Weight Maintenance Consumers, 2009 (percent and index of U.S. adults)
      • Consumer Exercise Patterns by Place
        • Table Consumer Exercise Patterns by Place: All Consumers vs. Weight Loss and Weight Maintenance Consumers, 2009 (percent and index of U.S. adults)
      • Frequency of Exercise
        • Table Consumer Exercise Frequency: All Consumers vs. Weight Loss and Weight Maintenance Consumers, 2009 (percent and index of U.S. adults)
      • Types of Exercise Performed
        • Table Selected Types of Exercise in Past Year: All Consumers vs. Weight Loss and Weight Maintenance Consumers, 2009 (percent and index of U.S. adults)
      • "Food Lifestyle" Segmentations
        • Table Consumer Food Lifestyle Segments: All Consumers vs. Weight Loss and Weight Maintenance Consumers, 2009 (percent and index of U.S. adults)
      • Retail Shopping Segmentations
        • Table Retail Shopping Segmentations: All Consumers vs. Weight Loss and Weight Maintenance Consumers, 2009 (percent and index of U.S. adults)
    • The IFIC Food and Health Survey
      • International Food Information Council
      • Most Americans Concerned About Their Weight
      • Most Are Changing Diets to Improve Healthfulness
      • Weight Management Techniques
      • Misunderstanding of Calories
      • Self-Perception vs. Reality
      • FDA 2008 U.S. Health and Diet Survey
      • Associated Press-iVillage Poll
  • Highlights - Food Trends and Preferences
  • Food Trends and Preferences
    • Methodology
      • Two Consumer Categories
    • WL/WM Consumers Developing Healthy Eating Habits
    • WL and WM Consumers: Breakfast Is Most Important Meal of the Day
      • Table Consumer Attitudes/Opinions Toward Food: All Consumers vs. Weight Loss and Weight Maintenance Consumers, 2009 (percent and index of U.S. adults)
      • Table Consumer Attitudes/Opinions Toward Meals: All Consumers vs. Weight Loss and Weight Maintenance Consumers, 2009 (percent and index of U.S. adults)
    • Weight Management and Snacks
    • Attitudes Toward Meal Preparation
      • Table Consumer Attitudes/Opinions Toward Snacks: All Consumers vs. Weight Loss and Weight Maintenance Consumers, 2009 (percent and index of U.S. adults)
      • Table Consumer Attitudes/Opinions Toward Meal Preparation: All Consumers vs. Weight Loss and Weight Maintenance Consumers, 2009 (percent and index of U.S. adults)
    • Market Size and Growth
      • Methodology for Sales Estimates
      • Mass-Market Sales Top $18.1 Billion
      • Coca-Cola, PepsiCo Are Leading Marketers
        • Table IRI-Tracked Sales of Selected Leading Weight Loss/Management Food and Beverage Segments and Brands vs. Total Category, 2009 (in millions of dollars)
      • FDA Definitions of Nutrient Content Claims
        • Table FDA Definitions of Nutrient Content Claims for Calories, Fat and Sugar
    • Competitive Trends
      • Major Food and Beverage Marketers
      • Weight Management Programs
      • eDiets.com, Inc.
      • Jenny Craig, Inc.
      • Nutrisystem, Inc.
      • Weight Watchers
    • Marketing Trends
      • Stevia Comes to the Fore as a Sweetener
      • Co-Branding, Joint Promotions, and Endorsements
    • New Product Introductions
      • Number of New Products with Weight Management Claims
        • Table Number of Food and Beverage New Product Reports with Weight Loss/ Management Claims, 2005-2009
      • Top Claims on New Products Overall: Upscale, Natural, Single Serving
        • Table Top 20 Product Claims/Tags in U.S. Food and Beverage New Product Reports by Number, 2005-2009 (number of reports)
      • Low Calories, Low Fat the Top Claims
        • Table Weight Loss/Management Claims: By Number of New Food and Beverage Reports, 2005-2009 (number of reports)
        • Table "Low" or "No" Weight Loss/Management Claims on New Food and Beverage Product Reports: Calories, Carbohydrates, Fat, Sugar, 2005 vs. 2009 (number and percent of total new product introductions)
      • Foods Dominate New Product Launches
        • Table Number of Weight Loss/Management New Product Reports: Food vs. Beverage, 2005-2009 (number of reports) Products 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
      • Snacks, Candy Lead 2009 Weight Management Food Launches
        • Table Top 15 Categories for New Weight Loss/Management Food Launches, 2005-2009 (number of reports)
      • Functional Drinks Top Weight Management Beverage Launches
        • Table Top 10 Categories for New Weight Loss/Management Beverage Launches, 2005-2009 (number of reports)
      • General Mills Leads Marketers in 2009 Product Introductions
        • Table Top 15 U.S. Marketers of Weight Loss/Management Foods and Beverages by Number of New Product Launches, 2005-2009 (number of Reports)
    • Marketing Positioning and New Product Introductions
      • Frozen and Shelf-Stable Meals
      • Beans, Grains, Cheese, Preserves, Sweeteners, Yogurt
      • Mixes, Breads, Cereal
      • Cheese
      • Preserves and Sweeteners
      • Yogurt
      • Snacks and Desserts
      • Granola Bars
      • Refrigerated and Frozen Desserts
      • Beverages
      • Chocolate Milk
      • Diet Soft Drinks
      • Powdered Drink Mixes
      • Sports and Functional Beverages
      • Specifically Targeting Weight Management
  • Highlights - Retail and Foodservice
  • Retail and Foodservice
    • Overview
      • Methodology
      • Two Consumer Categories
      • Consumer Shopping Behavior
      • Consumer Attitudes/Behavior Toward Shopping
        • Table Consumer Shopping Behavior: All Consumers vs. Weight Loss and Weight Maintenance Consumers, 2009 (percent and index of U.S. adults)
        • Table Consumer Attitudes/Behavior Toward Shopping: All Consumers vs. Weight Loss and Weight Maintenance Consumers, 2009 (percent and index of U.S. adults)
      • Consumer Attitudes/Opinions Toward Foodservice
        • Table Consumer Attitudes/Opinions Toward Foodservice: All Consumers vs. Weight Loss and Weight Maintenance Consumers, 2009 (percent and index of U.S. adults)
      • Consumer Visits to Restaurants
        • Table Consumer Visits to Selected Restaurants in the Past Month: All Consumers vs. Weight Loss and Weight Maintenance Consumers, 2009 (percent and index of U.S. adults)
      • Catalina Marketing Weight Management Study
    • Retail and Foodservice Trends
      • Retail Merchandising
      • Restaurant Calorie Counts Move into Focus
      • Will Calorie Postings Deter Obesity?
      • Chefs' Views of Weight Management
      • Restaurants Get on the Weight Management Bandwagon
      • Applebee's Rolls Out "Under 550 Calories" Menu
      • Bob Evans' "Fit from the Farm" Menu
      • Dunkin' Donuts
      • KFC's "Penny Per Calorie" 395-Calorie Promotion
      • Outback Steakhouse Adds 500-Calorie Entrees
      • Starbucks Adds Products for Calorie-Counting Consumers
      • Subway Continues its FreshFit Menu
      • Taco Bell's Drive-Thru Diet Menu
  • Highlights - Consumers and Media
  • Consumers and Media
    • Methodology
      • Two Consumer Categories
    • Internet Has Changed How Consumers Spend Free Time
      • Table Consumer Internet Use: All Consumers vs. Weight Loss and Weight Maintenance Consumers, 2009 (percent and index of U.S. adults)
    • Internet a Good Source of Product and Health Info
      • Table Consumer Internet Use Patterns: All Consumers vs. Weight Loss and Weight Maintenance Consumers, 2009 (percent and index of U.S. adults)
    • Weight Management Consumers' Favorite Media
    • Consumer Attitudes Toward Advertising
      • Table Consumer Internet Use vs. Other Media: All Consumers vs. Weight Loss and Weight Maintenance Consumers, 2009 (percent and index of U.S. adults)
      • Table Consumer Attitudes Toward Advertising: All Consumers vs. Weight Loss and Weight Maintenance Consumers, 2009 (percent and index of U.S. adults)
    • Advertising and Marketing Trends
      • Making Use of Websites and Social Media
      • Viral Videos
      • Fiber One Irrational Disbelief Syndrome
      • Healthy Choice's "Spokesperson Wanted" Campaign
      • Celebrity Spokespeople
      • Nutrisystem and Marie Osmond
      • Jenny Craig's Roster of Stars
      • Atkins Nutritionals and Courtney Thorne-Smith
      • Trop50 and Kyra Sedgwick
      • Dannon Light & Fit Yogurt and Heidi Klum
      • Jennie-O Turkey Store and "The Biggest Loser"
      • Subway Fast-Food Chain also Capitalizes on The Biggest Loser
      • Taco Bell Features a "Real Life" Fan
      • Competitive Swipes
      • Atkins Nutritionals
      • Curves for Women
      • Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig Fight it Out
      • Unique, Eyecatching Campaigns
      • Weight Watchers Momentum Quells the Hungry Monster
      • New Kellogg's Special K Campaign Uses a Soft Sell
      • Lean Cuisine's "Book of Truth" Campaign
      • Memorable Puns
      • Straightforward Product Ads
      • Alli
      • Healthy Choice Ad: Hard to Ignore?
      • Hostess 100 Calorie Cupcake Ad
      • Slim-Fast
      • Splenda Ad Targets Consumers Watching Sugar and Calories
      • Weight Watchers Cheese
      • Weight Watchers Smart Ones Frozen Foods
      • Dairy Industry Promotes Let's Move Campaign
  • Addresses of Selected Marketers

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