Weight Management Trends & Behaviors: Beyond Dieting & Obesity

  • OVERVIEW
    • Catalyst
    • Summary
  • THE FUTURE DECODED
    • INTRODUCTION: Weight management is a major consumer priority and therefore an industry defining issue
      • Weight management is a multi-faceted issue that extends beyond diet and nutrition
      • Overweight and obesity prevalence has never been higher, although uncertainly exists about the best form of measuring this
      • Consumers generally believe in, and aspire towards, the notion of an "ideal weight"
      • Ultimately, the weight management market is subject to a number of conflicting drivers and inhibitors
    • 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
      • Weight management is still far more heavily associated with weight loss than maintaining or gaining weight
      • The emphasis on weight loss is reflected by consumers’ weight management food strategies
      • A worryingly high and growing proportion of overweight and obese individuals accounts for consumers’ ongoing preoccupation with weight loss
      • Age and gender differences are apparent in obesity/overweight prevalence data
      • A discernable segment of consumers admit to compromising their health and nutrition in order to achieve their weight goals
      • Despite being highly focused on weight loss, many factors inhibit consumers’ intentions
      • Weight loss intentions are complicated by the ‘goal conflict’ existing between health and indulgence
      • Key takeouts and implications: consumers are trying to lose weight, but evidently need more help to be able to do so healthily and effectively
    • INSIGHT: Consumers are more introspective about weight management and overall health, but this does not always lead to better outcomes
      • Consumers are highly attentive to their body weight and shape, but express high levels of dissatisfaction towards both
      • Consumers are not necessarily honest with themselves about their weight, even if they are attentive towards it
      • Consumers embrace weight management strategies in line with a heightened focus on their general health
      • High health attentiveness influences consumers to make conscious efforts to eat more healthily
      • The introspective consumer is more likely to explore how food affects health, particularly their weight
      • Introspectiveness towards food and health can be potentially detrimental to weight management goals when it leads to ‘food stress’, elevated guilt and induces novelty-led indulgence
      • A desire to improve physical appearance is the core motivator in staying on track with weight goals
      • Majorities of consumers are conscious of the relationship between diet and appearance
      • Key takeouts and implications: important disconnects are apparent between consumers’ attentiveness towards weight management issues and their expressed satisfaction
    • INSIGHT: Exercise rates are marginally growing albeit with consumers appearing less engaged with physical fitness than other aspects of wellbeing
      • Motivations for being physically active are heavily influenced by weight/appearance consciousness
      • Citizens who are highly attentive towards their physical fitness are still in the minority
      • Consumers find it difficult to put aside enough time to exercise in line with the recommended quotas
      • Despite obvious weight concerns, there is only a gradual increase in the amount of exercise being undertaken
      • Key takeouts and implications: exercise levels are not high enough to compensate for higher than recommended calorific intakes
    • INSIGHT: Weight management approaches vary in line with conflicting consumer priorities
      • Specific diet plans are becoming a more popular feature of consumers' weight management strategies, despite considerable uncertainty about the efficacy of the outcome
      • The appeal of weight management/‘diet products’ depends on positioning, but it is important to recognize that consumers want to hear more positive messages about healthier food and drinks
      • Most consumers consider themselves to be somewhat well informed when it comes to daily calorie intake
      • Consumers are generally more attentive to meal size than calorie counts
      • Attempts eat and drink smaller portions are widespread
      • Consumers are more influenced by fat content than calorie count when purchasing food and beverages
      • Reducing the urge to snack between meals, satiety is a weight management concept gaining momentum
      • Key takeouts and implications: the complexity of weight management is reflected by the plethora of approaches consumers adopt to meet their intentions
    • INSIGHT: Although less common, intentions to maintain and gain weight should not be overlooked in the weight management space
      • Globally, around one in 14 consumers is trying to gain weight and one in four is focused on maintaining weight
      • Weight maintenance is largely associated with sustaining a balanced diet, something most consumers feel somewhat informed about, but few feel very informed about
      • Weight gain is only necessary for the minority but is especially important for underweight children who may develop a number of health problems if this is not addressed
      • Key takeouts and implications: consumers feel as though they understand how to maintain or gain weight but it is important that they are encouraged to do so in a sensible and healthy way
    • INSIGHT: Consumers are highly untrusting towards the motives and credibility of the weight management industry
      • Consumers deem weight loss claims to be even less trustworthy than general health and nutritional claims, which are also perceived with considerable skepticism
      • Most consumers perceive the motivations of the overall weight loss industry, not just weight loss claims attached to products, to be untrustworthy
      • Gaining professional nutritionist accreditation may enhance credibility as these individuals are generally perceived as being more trustworthy than the industry overall
      • Functional products claiming to facilitate weight loss are regarded with a high degree of skepticism
      • Key takeouts and implications: consumer trust in the weight management sphere is low, which restricts the long-term market potential and, arguably, even the wellbeing of citizens
    • INSIGHT: The implications of alcohol consumption and weight are becoming more prominent consumer considerations
      • Health is having a more pervasive impact on alcoholic beverage choice
      • Drinkers do not feel well informed enough regarding the calorific content of alcohol
      • The possibility of weight gain via alcohol consumption is not something the majority of consumers are attentive towards, albeit with notable country nuances
      • Lack of awareness and attention may account for drinkers’ indifference to the idea of opting for lower alcohol beverages
      • Key takeouts and implications: health has some influence over consumers’ alcoholic drinks choices
  • ACTION POINTS
    • 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
  • APPENDIX
    • Supplementary data
    • Report methodology
    • Further reading and references
    • Ask the analyst
    • Datamonitor consulting
    • Disclaimer
  • TABLES
    • Table: Consumer survey: aggregated importance attached to “maintaining an ideal weight” across 20 countries, by age and gender, 2010
    • Table: Consumer survey: expressed weight management intentions, in 20 countries across Europe, Asia Pacific, the Americas, MENA, and South Africa, by country, 2010
    • Table: Consumer survey: weight management intentions across 20 countries, by age and gender, 2010
    • Table: Classification if citizens according to Body Mass Index (BMI): percentage of obese, overweight, normal weight and underweight individuals, in 20 countries across Asia Pacific, Europe, the Americas and the Middle East and Africa, by country, 2004–2014
    • Table: Consumer survey: agreement with the statement "I have compromised my health/nutrition in order to achieve my weight goals", in 20 countries across Asia Pacific, Europe, the Americas and the Middle East and Africa, by country, 2010
    • Table: Consumer survey: agreement with the statement "I have compromised my health/nutrition in order to achieve my weight goals" across 20 countries, by age and gender, 2010
    • Table: Consumer survey: agreement with the statement "I have compromised my health/nutrition in order to achieve my weight goals" across 20 countries, by age and gender, 2010
    • Table: Consumer survey: degree of self-reported attention to body weight and shape across 20 countries, by age and gender, 2010
    • Table: Consumer survey: degree of self-reported attention to general health across 20 countries, by age and gender, 2010
    • Table: Consumer survey: propensity to make conscious attempts to eat healthily, in 20 countries across Asia Pacific, Europe, the Americas and the Middle East and Africa, by country, 2009 and 2010
    • Table: Consumer survey: aggregated propensity to make conscious attempts to eat healthily across 20 countries, by age and gender, 2010
    • Table: Consumer survey: aggregated propensity to read up on/find out about maintaining good health across 20 countries, by age and gender, 2010
    • Table: Consumer survey: agreement with the statement “reading or hearing about the relationship between food and weight is of interest to me”, in 20 countries across Asia Pacific, Europe, the Americas and the Middle East and Africa, by country, 2009 and 2010
    • Table: Consumer survey: agreement with the statement “reading or hearing about the relationship between food and weight is of interest to me” across 20 countries, by age and gender, 2010
    • Table: Consumer survey: attentiveness towards physical attractiveness/appearance across 20 countries, by age and gender, 2010
    • Table: Consumer survey: agreement with the statement, “I am conscious of the link between diet and appearance”, in 20 countries across Asia Pacific, Europe, the Americas and the Middle East and Africa, by country, 2009 and 2010
    • Table: Consumer survey: agreement with the statement, “I am conscious of the link between diet and appearance” across 20 countries, by age and gender, 2010
    • Table: Consumer survey: degree of self-reported attention to physical fitness across 20 countries, by age and gender, 2010, by age and gender, 2010
    • Table: Consumer survey: aggregated self-reported propensity to ensure an adequate amount of exercise is undertaken each week, by age and gender, 2010
    • Table: Daily time spent undertaking moderate exercise (minutes), in 20 countries across Asia Pacific, Europe, the Americas and the Middle East and Africa, by country, 2004–2014
    • Table: Aggregated daily time spent undertaking moderate exercise (minutes), in Asia Pacific, Europe, the Americas and the Middle East and Africa, by region, age and gender, 2009
    • Table: Consumer survey: propensity to follow a specific diet plan, in 20 countries across Asia Pacific, Europe, the Americas and the Middle East and Africa, by country, 2009 and 2010
    • Table: Consumer survey: propensity to follow a specific diet plan across 20 countries, by age and gender, 2010
    • Table: Consumer survey: agreement with the statement "dieting is an effective way of losing weight in the long-term", in 20 countries across Asia Pacific, Europe, the Americas and the Middle East and Africa, by country, 2010
    • Table: Consumer survey: agreement with the statement "dieting is an effective way of losing weight in the long-term" across 20 countries, by age and gender, 2010
    • Table: Consumer survey: agreement with the statement "I am more interested in hearing about what to eat, rather than what not to eat" across 20 countries, by age and gender, 2010
    • Table: Consumer survey: degree to which consumers across 20 countries feel informed about the amount of calories that should be consumed daily, by age and gender, 2010
    • Table: Consumer survey: degree of attentiveness towards the amount of calories consumed and the amount of food consumed across 20 countries, by age and gender, 2010
    • Table: Consumer survey: propensity eat and drink smaller portions, in 20 countries across Asia Pacific, Europe, the Americas and the Middle East and Africa, by country, 2009 and 2010
    • Table: Consumer survey: propensity eat and drink smaller portions across 20 countries, by age and gender, 2010
    • Table: Consumer survey: perceived influence of ‘low or reduced fat’ and ‘low or reduced calories’ claims, in 17 countries across Asia Pacific, Europe, the Americas and the Middle East and Africa, by country, 2009
    • Table: Consumer survey: proportion of consumers trying to maintain or gain weight, by country, 2010
    • Table: Consumer survey: degree to which consumers feel informed about what constitutes a balanced diet across 20 countries, by age and gender, 2010
    • Table: Consumer survey: degree of trust in the health and nutritional claims made by food and drink manufacturers, in 20 countries across Asia Pacific, Europe, the Americas and the Middle East and Africa, by country, 2008 and 2010
    • Table: Consumer survey: degree of trust in the ‘general health and nutritional claims’ and ‘weight loss claims’ made by food and drink manufacturers across 20 countries, by age and gender, 2010
    • Table: Consumer survey: degree of trust in the motivations of the weight loss industry across 20 countries, by age and gender, 2010
    • Table: Consumer survey: degree of trust in the recommendations from professional nutritionists about what to eat and drink, by age and gender, 2010
    • Table: Consumer survey: the extent to which drinkers feel well informed as to the number of calories in particular alcoholic drinks across 20 countries, by age and gender, 2010
    • Table: Consumer survey: attentiveness to potential weight gain from drinking alcohol, in 18 countries across Europe, Asia Pacific, the Americas, MENA, and South Africa, by country, 2010
    • Table: Consumer survey: Comparison of the percentage of global consumers who have opted for lower alcohol versions of favorite brands more often, by country, 2009 & 2010
    • Table: Consumer survey: propensity to opt for lower alcohol versions of favorite brands more often, by age and gender, 2010
    • Table: Product insight: total 'low alcohol' and 'low/no calorie' SKU launches globally, 2005–2009
    • Table: Number and percentage of obese, overweight, normal weight and underweight citizens in France, by age and gender, 2004–2014
    • Table: Number and percentage of obese, overweight, normal weight and underweight citizens in Germany, by age and gender, 2004–2014
    • Table: Number and percentage of obese, overweight, normal weight and underweight citizens in Italy, by age and gender, 2004–2014
    • Table: Number and percentage of obese, overweight, normal weight and underweight citizens in the Netherlands, by age and gender, 2004–2014
    • Table: Number and percentage of obese, overweight, normal weight and underweight citizens in Russia, by age and gender, 2004–2014
    • Table: Number and percentage of obese, overweight, normal weight and underweight citizens in Spain, by age and gender, 2004–2014
    • Table: Number and percentage of obese, overweight, normal weight and underweight citizens in Sweden, by age and gender, 2004–2014
    • Table: Number and percentage of obese, overweight, normal weight and underweight citizens in the UK, by age and gender, 2004–2014
    • Table: Number and percentage of obese, overweight, normal weight and underweight citizens in Brazil, by age and gender, 2004–2014
    • Table: Number and percentage of obese, overweight, normal weight and underweight citizens in Canada, by age and gender, 2004–2014
    • Table: Number and percentage of obese, overweight, normal weight and underweight citizens in the US, by age and gender, 2004–2014
    • Table: Number and percentage of obese, overweight, normal weight and underweight citizens in Australia, by age and gender, 2004–2014
    • Table: Number and percentage of obese, overweight, normal weight and underweight citizens in China, by age and gender, 2004–2014
    • Table: Number and percentage of obese, overweight, normal weight and underweight citizens in India, by age and gender, 2004–2014
    • Table: Number and percentage of obese, overweight, normal weight and underweight citizens in Japan, by age and gender, 2004–2014
    • Table: Number and percentage of obese, overweight, normal weight and underweight citizens in Singapore, by age and gender, 2004–2014
    • Table: Number and percentage of obese, overweight, normal weight and underweight citizens in South Korea, by age and gender, 2004–2014
    • Table: Number and percentage of obese, overweight, normal weight and underweight citizens in Saudi Arabia, by age and gender, 2004–2014
    • Table: Number and percentage of obese, overweight, normal weight and underweight citizens in South Africa, by age and gender, 2004–2014
    • Table: Number and percentage of obese, overweight, normal weight and underweight citizens in the UAE, by age and gender, 2004–2014
    • Table: Number minutes per day spent exercising in France, by age and gender, 2004–2014
    • Table: Number minutes per day spent exercising in Germany, by age and gender, 2004–2014
    • Table: Number minutes per day spent exercising in Italy, by age and gender, 2004–2014
    • Table: Number minutes per day spent exercising in the Netherlands, by age and gender, 2004–2014
    • Table: Number minutes per day spent exercising in Russia, by age and gender, 2004–2014
    • Table: Number minutes per day spent exercising in Spain, by age and gender, 2004–2014
    • Table: Number minutes per day spent exercising in Sweden, by age and gender, 2004–2014
    • Table: Number minutes per day spent exercising in the UK, by age and gender, 2004–2014
    • Table: Number minutes per day spent exercising in Brazil, by age and gender, 2004–2014
    • Table: Number minutes per day spent exercising in Canada, by age and gender, 2004–2014
    • Table: Number minutes per day spent exercising in the US, by age and gender, 2004–2014
    • Table: Number minutes per day spent exercising in Australia, by age and gender, 2004–2014
    • Table: Number minutes per day spent exercising in China, by age and gender, 2004–2014
    • Table: Number minutes per day spent exercising in India, by age and gender, 2004–2014
    • Table: Number minutes per day spent exercising in Japan, by age and gender, 2004–2014
    • Table: Number minutes per day spent exercising in Singapore, by age and gender, 2004–2014
    • Table: Number minutes per day spent exercising in South Korea, by age and gender, 2004–2014
    • Table: Number minutes per day spent exercising in Saudi Arabia, by age and gender, 2004–2014
    • Table: Number minutes per day spent exercising in South Africa, by age and gender, 2004–2014
    • Table: Number minutes per day spent exercising in the UAE, by age and gender, 2004–2014
  • FIGURES
    • Figure: Weight management is a multi-faceted issue
    • Figure: Body Mass Index (BMI) is a commonly used measurement to assess weight boundaries
    • Figure: Approaching three-quarters of consumers across 20 countries deem maintaining an “ideal weight” to be important
    • Figure: The weight management market is shaped by a myriad of drivers and inhibitors
    • Figure: Weight management is still more heavily associated with weight loss than weight gain
    • Figure: A relatively high degree of consistency is apparent across countries regarding consumers’ weight management intentions, including the overarching inclination to lose weight
    • Figure: The emphasis on weight loss is reflected by consumers’ weight management food strategies
    • Figure: Obesity is hugely prevalent in the US, but far less so in parts of Asia
    • Figure: Obesity is growing faster in China than anywhere else worldwide, albeit from a low base
    • Figure: Women tend to encounter weight problems more so than men in many countries as evident in this global/regional snapshot
    • Figure: Obesity increases with age, but ongoing growth in childhood obesity is a major societal concern
    • Figure: Indian and Middle Eastern consumers are most likely to admit compromising their health/nutrition in order to manage their weight
    • Figure: Poorly-chosen marketing messages face considerable consumer backlash given the intensifying societal sensitivity to eating disorders
    • Figure: Despite being highly focused on weight loss, many factors inhibit consumers’ intentions
    • Figure: 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: Consumers are actively seeking food and drinks that are both tasty and enjoyable at the same time
    • Figure: Consumers are placing more emphasis on choosing healthy and tasty products simultaneously
    • Figure: Consumers are becoming more introspective about weight management and health more generally
    • Figure: Very few people across countries claim to be very satisfied with their body weight and shape
    • Figure: Only 20% of obese US consumers correctly identified themselves as being extremely overweight
    • Figure: Compared to body weight, satisfaction with general health is more in line with the attentiveness people show towards it
    • Figure: On average, consumers are making more conscious attempts to eat healthily in 2010 than in 2009
    • Figure: Europeans are the least likely to try and read up/find out about maintaining good general health
    • Figure: Around half of global consumers are interested in hearing the relationship between food and weight
    • Figure: 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: Orthorexia nervosa is a condition that reflects the ‘food stress’ that results from the intense interest in healthy eating
    • Figure: Personal branding is a manifestation of the pervasive influence of the ‘visual culture’ trend
    • Figure: Improved physical appearance is the top motivator driving weight loss intentions in the US
    • Figure: Physical appearance commands a high amount of attention for around half of global citizens, but notable country nuances are apparent
    • Figure: There has been little change recently in the global consensus regarding the link between diet and appearance
    • Figure: Limited growth in time spent exercising is influenced by limited value/emphasis being placed on physical fitness by consumers
    • Figure: Americans primarily exercise with the intention of losing weight, whereas for Europeans this is less of a consideration
    • Figure: 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: Many consumers adopt a ‘debit-credit’ approach to diet and exercise, which is all about balance
    • Figure: Generally, consumers cannot claim to be making adequate efforts to get enough exercise a majority of the time
    • Figure: The emphasis on weight loss is reflected by consumers’ approaches to weight management
    • Figure: Weight management approaches vary in line with sometimes conflicting consumer priorities
    • Figure: Consumers were more likely to report following a specific diet plan in 2010 than they were in 2009
    • Figure: Consumers are divided as to the effectiveness of dieting as a means of long-term weight loss
    • Figure: Formal and organized weight management regimes have benefits for both consumers and manufacturers alike
    • Figure: 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: The demise of the ‘Atkins diet’ had a dramatic effect on 'low/no carb’ launches
    • Figure: Consumers respond better to positive messages: too often weight management products focus on what is being lost which is inherently negative
    • Figure: 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: 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: 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: There has been a sizeable increase in the percentage of consumers looking to employ portion control when eating and drinking in 2009-10
    • Figure: 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: Satiety reflects the language of the industry and not that of consumers
    • Figure: Products touting satiety benefits are appearing in new and interesting formats
    • Figure: Consumers claim to be interested in satiety but a large proportion are not actively buying products which claim such benefits
    • Figure: Although less common, intentions to maintain and gain weight should not be overlooked in the weight management space
    • Figure: The vast majority of consumers believe that they understand what constitutes a balanced diet
    • Figure: Skeptical Consumerism: there are four reasons why trust and ethos based branding are of increasing importance
    • Figure: Consumers are untrusting towards the motives and credibility of the weight management industry
    • Figure: Europeans tend to be less trusting in general health and nutritional claims made by manufacturers
    • Figure: With a few exceptions, consumers are inherently skeptical of food and beverages claiming weight loss benefits
    • Figure: Consumers are often exposed to negative media messages about the failings/limitations of weight management products
    • Figure: Fewer than a quarter of consumers believe in the motivations of the weight loss industry
    • Figure: Consumers believe recommendations from nutritionists to hold much more credence than claims from manufacturers within the weight loss industry
    • Figure: Only a tiny fraction of consumers completely trust food and beverage products that claim to assist in the burning of calories
    • Figure: Consumers do not consider skincare products touting weight loss credentials to be credible
    • Figure: Health has some influence over consumers’ alcoholic drinks choices
    • Figure: 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: Few drinkers consider themselves highly informed of the calorific content of alcoholic beverages
    • Figure: Just over one-in-four drinkers is attentive to the weight gain ramifications of drinking alcohol, although this outlook varies considerably by country
    • Figure: There has not been much change in drinkers tendency to opt for alcoholic beverages with a lower calorific content
    • Figure: 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: The desire for health AND indulgence leads to a continuum of product development platforms
    • Figure: The creation of mobile phone applications is one of the newest ways in which weight management companies are engaging with consumers
    • Figure: 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: Crowdsourced ideas, whereby consumers share information among themselves, has the potential to increase brand engagement for weight management offerings embracing this tactic
    • Figure: 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: Exclusivity agreements with reputable retailers can automatically add authenticity to an otherwise unknown weight management brand
    • Figure: Authenticity is strongly aligned with the need to create more compelling and distinctive brand auras to help achieve marketplace differentiation and added credibility
    • Figure: In recent years, a spate of campaigns have highlighted the relationship between animal farming and climate change
    • Figure: Three important commonalities represent the crossover between ethical/environmental consumerism and authenticity
    • Figure: Ingredients/formulation can be aligned with the wide range of consumer approaches to tackle weight management

Report

Published by
Datamonitor
Published on
04 Oct 2010
Product code
DMCM4760
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