Friday, June 3, 2011

Where Does It All Go?

Where is a good question, but the even bigger question is why?

The food industry spends around $2 billion a year advertising food to children. Maybe this is why cookies, cakes, pizza and soft drinks are the top sources of calories in the diets of children ages 2 through 18. Maybe this is why french fries and chips make up half of all the vegetables American children eat. Maybe this is why we have a childhood obesity problem—that turns into an adult obesity epidemic.

And now, consider what we spend to combat this spending as we spend even more to “get thin.” American consumers spent $61 billion last year to try new ways to lose weight. According to a recent report, The U.S. Weight Loss & Diet Control Market, that’s $200 for each man, woman and child in the U.S. Now, if you factor in that only 75 million of us are trying to lose weight, that makes it $800 per person.

We’re spending a lot—but that $61 billion diet industry pales in comparison to the $300 billion fast food industry. And while we’re spending all this money, our collective weight keeps going up. These are huge numbers, and think about what we could accomplish if we weren’t supporting a $61 billion diet industry and a $300 billion fast food industry. Imagine the impact this would have on our preventable chronic illnesses and the $1.9 trillion we’ll spend to treat them this year.

So, here are the takeaway questions . . . are we spending wisely? Why aren’t we changing our behaviors?

No comments: