Essential Pittsburgh
2:38 pm
Tue September 3, 2013

The Diet Industry is Big Business

People who have lost and kept off 30 lbs or more suggest working out for 150 minutes per week.
Credit Lululemon Athletica / flickr

As obesity rates rise in the United States, so too do the amount of citizens annually attempting to diet. Rebecca Harris, Director of the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Chatham University, says studies show at any one time, America has an estimated 108 million people on diets.

She notes that most are women, most make four or five attempts per year to diet and an overwhelming majority are trying to lose weight by themselves, without a plan or program.

She says for those looking to break into the commercial dieting industry, there is plenty of opportunity, if you target your market correctly.

“Diet companies are going to have to find untapped niches…childhood obesity, the elderly and the male market,” explains Harris. Between “do-it-yourself” diets where consumers can find tips and programs online, self-guided books or “commercial weight-loss chains” such as Weight Watcher and Jenny Craig, the revenue in the weight loss industry is ever growing.