weight loss

The Business of Dieting


A little over indulgence this weekend and so many new diet supplement ads on TV it got me thinking about the market size of diet industry. Check out the counter from World-O-Meter for up to the second spending on weight loss programs in the US today.  Marketdata Enterprises is a research firm specializing in the diet market. In May they released the U.S. Weight Loss & Diet Control Market off-the-shelf report. The 412-page study is a complete analysis and forecast of the major segments of the U.S. diet market including diet drinks, foods, pills, and even diet books and exercise videos. According to Marketdata Enterprises, there are an estimated 75 million dieters in the US and those dieters spent $60.9 billion in 2010 --  up from $60.4 billion in 2009, and up 3.2% from $58.6 billion in 2008. The last 2 years have been dubbed the "value diet" years. With belts tightening both figuratively and literally, about 80% of all the dieters tried to lose weight on their own (the highest percentage to date).  They bought books, over the counter pills, and signed up for diet websites all in the effort to lose the pounds without losing their shirt.

Even with so many do-it-yourself dieters, sales of all commercial weight loss chains grew about 2% for the year. The 8 top chains grew at 3.3%. Adding the revenue from the big chains with all the small local commercial weight loss centers, Marketdata analysts forecast the market to be worth $3.14 billion.

The diet websites didn't do that well and most of them are not profitable and are moving to a user-free, ad-supported model. Not surprisingly the sites are expected to grow by 8% by 2014. I'm sure all the new weight loss apps will have to be added to this market before the next biennial report comes out.

For an overview of the report see the Marketdata press release. The entire report is available for $2,295  - order online at Marketdata Enterprises. What follows are Marketdata’s estimates for the major segments of the U.S. weight loss market ($ billions):

Marketdata Industry Estimates for Weight Loss