Increased “Quick-Fix” Fitness Trends a Result of Increased Obesity About one third of adults and one fifth of children and teens are obese (CDC). This rate has increased at alarmingly high rates over the past 25 years. Along with these increased obesity rates, people are realizing how unhealthy this particular lifestyle has become, and as an effect, have grown the fitness industry tremendously. You can’t watch a television show without seeing at least two commercials bragging about the latest “get-in-shape-fast” gadget invading your living room, or the fastest diet pill making its home in your medicine cabinet.
L. A. Fitness and 24-Hour Fitness locations have sprung up all over the country. People have turned to Zumba and personal trainers to whoop their butts into shape. However, even with all of these trends, Americans are spending over $40 billion on diet and weight loss plans and products, and those same people are spending years and years trying to get that “perfect shape. ” This is great news for the American economy, but discouraging news for those affected by obesity. Since 1985, obesity rates in the United States have more than doubled on average in each state, rising from a national average of 13% to 33%. CDC) This was a result of higher fat content in fast food and home prepared meals, lower amounts of physical activity and poor nutrition. Americans have had seemingly unlimited amounts of food, which leads to overeating (NIH). With the economy taking a turn for the worst over the past thirty years, stress levels and the amount of diagnosed depressed adults has increased as well, which has been shown to increase body fat levels as well. America became the “fat” country of the world, always being looked down upon by other nations for our health issues.
It became the American way, obesity was seen as just another part of America, along with baseball and warm, delicious (and not very healthy at that), apple pie. However, in the past ten years, Americans have become more conscious of their weight and health. With the internet being revolutionized every year since its conception, information has become more readily available to overweight and normal weight consumers alike. Blogs, websites, and databases were springing up every day. Studies were released to the public the same day they were published.
People finally saw how much obesity had increased over the years, and people were finally realizing that they were in fact a part of that percentage, and not pleasantly plump as they had previously thought. With all this information came just as much motivation to get out there and do something for themselves. With all of this determination came the need for more opportunities to get into shape and positively help their lives. (Scudder). Fitness centers and gyms appeared overnight, and more and more products were becoming introduced. The bowflex was revolutionized practically every year.
The fitness videos that Jane Fonda had made famous in the sixties and seventies were becoming more and more specific, with Abs Rippers and P90X videos becoming a part of our everyday vocabulary. Weight Watchers and Jennie Craig systems exploded into industry leaders, increasing revenue ten times over in ten years (Weight Watchers). People were becoming more willing to try the newest trend in the fitness industry. However, they were also looking for the quickest and cheapest ways to get great and amazing results promised by the manufacturers.
These sought after easy-routes-out have led to people buying multiple products and services, lending even more to the ever increasing interest in the fitness industry. Out of nowhere products like the shake weight and the thigh master were coming out, with promises of better toned legs and stronger arms with close to no hard work; and the obese population ate it up. What could be better than a great workout with no effort? It seemed like all the answers to life’s problems were being answered. Two million shake weights were sold in its first year of conception (Rovell).
At twenty dollars apiece, that’s $40 million of revenue (Rovell). The companies that produce these products have greatly increased their advertising. Since 1992, weight loss advertisements have “more than doubled and the number of separate and distinct advertisements tripled,” (FTC). In fact, 42% of 300 separately analyzed weight loss advertisements offered quick fix and effortless programs, while 64% also promise fast results. Weight Loss companies have obviously caught on to the fact that the obesity in America is looking for a quick fix.
Every year, new weight loss and weight management products are released offering fast and lasting results, and these are literally eaten up by the millions. America has become an obese country, with the mindset of little effort and lifetime results without the age-old saying of, “A little hard work goes a long way. ” This has led to companies getting rich with profits from products that rarely do more than give the purchaser a confidence boost until they buy their next item. Works Cited. Clinton Amos and Nancy Spears. Journal of Advertising. “Generating a Visceral Response: The Effects of Visceral Cues in weight Loss Advertising. 39. 3 (Fall 2010) p25. Word Count:7419. (Amos). Darren Rovell. “The Shake Weight Hits $40 Million In Sales. ” CNBC. com. CNBC. 20 Aug 2010. Web. 24 Oct 2011. (Rovell). Michael Scott Scudder. “Forecasting the next 5 years in the fitness industry: an industry expert examines how today’s socioeconomic climate will affect tomorrow’s business outlook. ” IDEA Health & Fitness Source. 20. 7 (July-August 2002) p79. Word Count: 4186. (Scudder). Current Trends in Weight-Loss Advertising. (Federal Update: Advertisement). Journal of the American Dietetic Association. 103. 2 (Feb. 2003) p152. Word Count:290. FTC). Weight Watchers Annual Financial Reports. Weight Watchers International, Inc. Website. http://www. weightwatchersinternational. com/phoenix. zhtml? c=130178&p=irol-reportsAnnual. (Weight Watchers). U. S. Obesity Trends. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Web. http://www. cdc. gov/obesity/data/trends. html. (CDC). “Eating at Fast-food Restaurants More than Twice Per Week is Associated with More Weight Gain and Insulin Resistance in Otherwise Healthy Young Adults. ” National Institutes of Health. Web. Nih. gov. http://www. nih. gov/news/pr/dec2004/nhlbi-30. htm. (NIH).