Weight Management Trends & Behaviors: Beyond Dieting & Obesity

Date: October 1, 2010
Pages: 195
US$ 3,450.00
Publisher: Datamonitor
Report type: Strategic Report
Delivery: E-mail Delivery (PDF)
ID: W3C257B61D2EN

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Weight Management Trends & Behaviors: Beyond Dieting & Obesity

Weight management is a core consumer and industry issue, especially in light of the high and growing prevalence of overweight/obese individuals worldwide. With the topic influencing consumer behavior and social policy, it is essential that the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry is seen to be making proactively positive contributions
  • Detailed insights and analysis on the drivers and inhibitors of weight management. Includes strategic conclusions and actionable recommendations
  • Country-specific data on obesity/overweight prevalence and quantitative insight about the relative importance consumers place on weight management
  • Gauge the health of the industry: ascertains consumer trust in the weight management industry and the implications for brand development
  • Covers 20 major markets across Europe, the Americas, Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Africa. Delivered as a full report and an abridged ppt. brief


Almost a quarter (24%) of consumers deem "maintaining an ideal weight" to be 'very important'. Approaching half (48%) also consider this to be an 'important' priority. Quite simply, majorities across the 20 countries covered believe in an "ideal weight", and that it is something to strive towards

Weight loss is by far the most pronounced weight management intention in spite of weight gain continuing to be the prevailing reality across countries. Across the 20 countries surveyed by Datamonitor in July/August 2010, nearly half (49%) felt that "trying to lose weight" best describes what they are doing about their weight

Much of a product's eventual success hinges on its credibility and how trustworthy its motives and claimed benefits are deemed. However, consumers are highly untrusting towards the motives and credibility of the weight management industry with weight loss' claims deemed even less trustworthy than 'general health and nutritional claims'

Reasons to Purchase
  • Consumer understanding: obtain an understanding of consumer attitudes and behaviors towards weight management with detailed, evidence-led insight
  • Market understanding: detailed country specific data outlining consumers' weight categorization and their weight management intentions & approaches
  • Ideation: gain inspiration for innovative formulations and positioning capitalizing consumers' desire for effective weight management products



INTRODUCTION: Weight management is a major consumer priority and therefore an industry defining issue15
TREND: Weight loss is by far the most pronounced weight management intention in spite of weight gain continuing to be the prevailing reality across countries
INSIGHT: Consumers are more introspective about weight management and overall health, but this does not always lead to better outcomes
INSIGHT: Exercise rates are marginally growing with consumers appearing less engaged with physical fitness than other aspects of wellbeing
INSIGHT: Weight management approaches vary in line with conflicting consumer priorities
INSIGHT: Although less common, intentions to maintain and gain weight should not be overlooked in the weight management space
INSIGHT: Consumers are highly untrusting towards the motives and credibility of the weight management industry
INSIGHT: The implications of alcohol consumption and weight are becoming more prominent consumer considerations


ACTION: Carefully determine where a product and brand fits on the health and indulgence continuum
ACTION: Provide consumers with salient education/information necessary to make informed decisions that form part of a reliable weight management strategy
ACTION: Ensure that trust-enhancing marketing tactics drive weight management marketing efforts
ACTION: Relentlessly follow ingredient trends and research developments to maximize product relevancy


Supplementary data
Report methodology
Further reading and references
Ask the analyst
Datamonitor consulting


Figure 1: Weight management is a multi-faceted issue
Figure 2: Body Mass Index (BMI) is a commonly used measurement to assess weight boundaries16
Figure 3: Approaching three-quarters of consumers across 20 countries deem maintaining an “ideal weight” to be important
Figure 4: The weight management market is shaped by a myriad of drivers and inhibitors
Figure 5: Weight management is still more heavily associated with weight loss than weight gain
Figure 6: A relatively high degree of consistency is apparent across countries regarding consumers’ weight management intentions, including the overarching inclination to lose weight
Figure 7: The emphasis on weight loss is reflected by consumers’ weight management food strategies
Figure 8: Obesity is hugely prevalent in the US, but far less so in parts of Asia
Figure 9: Obesity is growing faster in China than anywhere else worldwide, albeit from a low base30
Figure 10: Women tend to encounter weight problems more so than men in many countries as evident in this global/regional snapshot
Figure 11: Obesity increases with age, but ongoing growth in childhood obesity is a major societal concern
Figure 12: Indian and Middle Eastern consumers are most likely to admit compromising their health/nutrition in order to manage their weight
Figure 13: Poorly-chosen marketing messages face considerable consumer backlash given the intensifying societal sensitivity to eating disorders
Figure 14: Despite being highly focused on weight loss, many factors inhibit consumers’ intentions
Figure 15: The powerful influence of sensory attributes—and the associated desire to indulge— makes it challenging for many consumers to achieve their weight management goals
Figure 16: Consumers are actively seeking food and drinks that are both tasty and enjoyable at the same time
Figure 17: Consumers are placing more emphasis on choosing healthy and tasty products simultaneously
Figure 18: Consumers are becoming more introspective about weight management and health more generally
Figure 19: Very few people across countries claim to be very satisfied with their body weight and shape
Figure 20: Only 20% of obese US consumers correctly identified themselves as being extremely overweight
Figure 21: Compared to body weight, satisfaction with general health is more in line with the attentiveness people show towards it
Figure 22: On average, consumers are making more conscious attempts to eat healthily in 2010 than in 2009
Figure 23: Europeans are the least likely to try and read up/find out about maintaining good general health
Figure 24: Around half of global consumers are interested in hearing the relationship between food and weight
Figure 25: Mapping the indulgence space: indulgence has multiple connotations in terms of impetus and occasion, all of which can potentially compromise consumers’ weight management goals
Figure 26: Orthorexia nervosa is a condition that reflects the ‘food stress’ that results from the intense interest in healthy eating
Figure 27: Personal branding is a manifestation of the pervasive influence of the ‘visual culture’ trend
Figure 28: Improved physical appearance is the top motivator driving weight loss intentions in the US
Figure 29: Physical appearance commands a high amount of attention for around half of global citizens, but notable country nuances are apparent
Figure 30: There has been little change recently in the global consensus regarding the link between diet and appearance
Figure 31: Limited growth in time spent exercising is influenced by limited value/emphasis being placed on physical fitness by consumers
Figure 32: Americans primarily exercise with the intention of losing weight, whereas for Europeans this is less of a consideration
Figure 33: Less than half of citizens across countries are highly attentive towards their own physical fitness, and even fewer express satisfaction with their level of physical fitness
Figure 34: Many consumers adopt a ‘debit-credit’ approach to diet and exercise, which is all about balance
Figure 35: Generally, consumers cannot claim to be making adequate efforts to get enough exercise a majority of the time
Figure 36: The emphasis on weight loss is reflected by consumers’ approaches to weight management
Figure 37: Weight management approaches vary in line with sometimes conflicting consumer priorities
Figure 38: Consumers were more likely to report following a specific diet plan in 2010 than they were in 2009
Figure 39: Consumers are divided as to the effectiveness of dieting as a means of long-term weight loss
Figure 40: Formal and organized weight management regimes have benefits for both consumers and manufacturers alike
Figure 41: In keeping with the wider FMCG industry, established weight management programs such as Jenny Craig may face an intensifying private label threat via retailer-branded schemes
Figure 42: The demise of the ‘Atkins diet’ had a dramatic effect on 'low/no carb’ launches
Figure 43: Consumers respond better to positive messages: too often weight management products focus on what is being lost which is inherently negative
Figure 44: Weight management is dictated by the continuum of healthy eating that has emerged, which also means that functional ingredients often work in synergy with dieting efforts
Figure 45: Majorities of consumers consider themselves to be at least ‘fairly well’ informed about the amount of calories to be consumed daily, but far fewer feel ‘very well informed’
Figure 46: Western consumers are less attentive than those from elsewhere when it comes to both the amount of food they consume and the amount of calories they consume
Figure 47: There has been a sizeable increase in the percentage of consumers looking to employ portion control when eating and drinking in 2009-10
Figure 48: A recent decline is apparent in the percentage of food and beverages touting ‘low’ or ‘no’ fat, while equivalent claims focusing on calories have remained broadly similar since 2002
Figure 49: Satiety reflects the language of the industry and not that of consumers
Figure 50: Products touting satiety benefits are appearing in new and interesting formats
Figure 51: Consumers claim to be interested in satiety but a large proportion are not actively buying products which claim such benefits
Figure 52: Although less common, intentions to maintain and gain weight should not be overlooked in the weight management space
Figure 53: The vast majority of consumers believe that they understand what constitutes a balanced diet
Figure 54: Skeptical Consumerism: there are four reasons why trust and ethos based branding are of increasing importance
Figure 55: Consumers are untrusting towards the motives and credibility of the weight management industry
Figure 56: Europeans tend to be less trusting in general health and nutritional claims made by manufacturers
Figure 57: With a few exceptions, consumers are inherently skeptical of food and beverages claiming weight loss benefits
Figure 58: Consumers are often exposed to negative media messages about the failings/limitations of weight management products
Figure 59: Fewer than a quarter of consumers believe in the motivations of the weight loss industry
Figure 60: Consumers believe recommendations from nutritionists to hold much more credence than claims from manufacturers within the weight loss industry
Figure 61: Only a tiny fraction of consumers completely trust food and beverage products that claim to assist in the burning of calories
Figure 62: Consumers do not consider skincare products touting weight loss credentials to be credible
Figure 63: Health has some influence over consumers’ alcoholic drinks choices
Figure 64: The long-term negative health implications of drinking alcohol is important to a large segment of drinkers in most countries, more so than the potential weight gain of drinking too much
Figure 65: Few drinkers consider themselves highly informed of the calorific content of alcoholic beverages
Figure 66: Just over one-in-four drinkers is attentive to the weight gain ramifications of drinking alcohol, although this outlook varies considerably by country
Figure 67: There has not been much change in drinkers tendency to opt for alcoholic beverages with a lower calorific content
Figure 68: Beers have tended to take on a 'light' positioning to convey better-for-you benefits, but without conveying the message that taste has been compromised, as can occur with 'low calorie' claims
Figure 69: The desire for health AND indulgence leads to a continuum of product development platforms
Figure 70: The creation of mobile phone applications is one of the newest ways in which weight management companies are engaging with consumers
Figure 71: Food ranking systems such as the NuVal system make it more imperative than ever that products are formulated to be as healthful as possible
Figure 72: Crowdsourced ideas, whereby consumers share information among themselves, has the potential to increase brand engagement for weight management offerings embracing this tactic
Figure 73: Professional nutritionists are deemed more credible than the overall weight loss industry, which suggests that they are potentially important in shaping more positive consumer expectations
Figure 74: Exclusivity agreements with reputable retailers can automatically add authenticity to an otherwise unknown weight management brand
Figure 75: Authenticity is strongly aligned with the need to create more compelling and distinctive brand auras to help achieve marketplace differentiation and added credibility
Figure 76: In recent years, a spate of campaigns have highlighted the relationship between animal farming and climate change
Figure 77: Three important commonalities represent the crossover between ethical/environmental consumerism and authenticity
Figure 78: Ingredients/formulation can be aligned with the wide range of consumer approaches to tackle weight management
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