Food is big business currently. The shocking rise in the number of obese adults and children is great for the food industry. They love it when we eat more.
People who have a Body Mass Index (BMI) equal to or greater than 30 are classified as obese. BMI is calculated by dividing your weight in kilograms by your height in meters squared. It’s fairly easy to assess the BMI in adults but slightly trickier in children as you also then have to take age into account.
Around 25 percent of all adults and 20 percent of 15 years old in the US are now obese. The overall trend is set to rise even further in the next decade.
These figures have created a mini-boom for low-calorie healthy food alternatives. The food industry-main aims are to ply us with cheap, unhealthy, high-fat food and then market more expensive low-calorie alternatives! You can now even buy pet food for overweight cats and dogs.
Vending machines selling high-calorie fizzy drinks are springing up everywhere whilst chip shops and fast food takeaways are raking in the profits supplying cheap and nasty food quickly. Some children would like to eat healthily but temptation is everywhere.
Banning unhealthy foods in schools is unlikely to work unless you also stop the children leaving schools for their lunch! Most schools have within walking distance shops and fast food outlets that have seen their trade increase as children shun the move towards healthier meals in schools.
The race has begun to find a miracle pill that would stop us from eating too much and help us to switch our hunger off. Many pharmaceutical companies claim that they are now close to finding a safe drug that helps us to burn more calories and stop the body from storing fat.
Does genetics have a part to play? Can you imagine if a company found fat genes that they could then patent and remove from babies in the womb? Big business indeed!
Sales of drugs to counteract the side effects of obesity (like diabetes) are also exploding. Overweight people struggle with a lot of weight-related illnesses and the pharmaceutical giants have a pill for almost all know side effects of obesity!
The impact of obesity on small business owners is significant due to lost productivity and higher rates of absenteeism. How business deals with obesity is going to be very interesting in the years to come.
Businesses that can market products and services to this expanding marketplace will do well. Entrepreneurs who can find ways to make the lives of obese people easier and more fun rather than just trying to get them to lose weight will enjoy the fruits of their labor.