Unhealthy Eating Habits

Eating Habits of Americans and Marketing Strategy

There is no real need to look at obesity statistics, when a stroll through an American mall will do.

Women have higher obesity rates than men, according to the center for disease control.  More than one-third of women ages twenty through seventy four are obese.  Women are expected to be thin and beautiful, well men are forgiven for being heavy and bald.

In America, the average weight of a woman is 164 pounds.  This is a nearly twenty-five pound increase since 1960. (Women also grew an inch taller during this time, with the average height shifting from 5’3” to 5’4”.)  Few have examined the subject from a consumer-product point of view with a notable exception of the food and diet industries.

What’s driving this unfortunate trend?

The usual suspect – sedentary lifestyle combined with over-sized portioned unhealthy processed food.

American’s work more hours than any other population in the industrialized world. Logging nearly two thousand hours of work each year, most Americans find it difficult to find the time to exercise and to eat right.  When combined with women’s typically busy schedule, which often includes transporting kid, cooking, cleaning, shopping, and scheduling the cable installer, the outlook is pretty bleak. That the tide will reverse any time soon.  It is hard to imagine where she might be able to squeeze in some quality exercise and cooking time.

Our extreme eating habits and huge portions are driving us to spend ever more money to get the weight off. Between 33 billion and 55 billion is already spent annually on weight loss products and services.

Insight for Business

  • Plus-size women are becoming the norm in the United States.

The average American woman is a size 14, and the numbers aren’t expected to change anytime soon – though this realty is not reflected broadly in apparel offerings or media portrayals.  Women of all sizes want beautiful clothes, elegant bridal gowns, lovely prom dresses, fashionable shoes, and cool work-out gear.

  • Larger women will invest in make-up, nail and hair care products, because these are parts of the body not-affected by their weight.

This is one theory behind the explosion of nail salons across the country.  If someone has a hard time controlling her weight, she’ll take care of the parts of her body she can control – her hair, nails, and skin.  A purse or shoe will always fit, and one doesn’t need a potentially humiliated trip to the dressing room to try them on.

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