If you're one of the 97 million dieters in the United States, you're likely familiar with the relentless battle to lose weight as well as its accompanying refrain: Eat less and exercise more. This ongoing struggle has fed the growth of diets from the doable to the dangerous, and exercise regimens from the reasonable to the ridiculous.
The growth of obesity in America is expanding as fast as our waistlines: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one-third of American adults are obese. That means that roughly 36 percent of the population has a body mass index (BMI) over 30, putting them at risk for heart disease, stroke, type-2 diabetes and various cancers.
As if that isn't bad enough, an obese person spends roughly 42 percent more in medical costs than does a person of healthy weight, putting an enormous strain on America's already-bloated health-care system. And they are spending billions on commercial weight-loss plans as well: In 2017 diet plans such as Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, Nutrisystem and others totaled $3.03 billion, according to Marketdata LLC, a market research firm that has been tracking the U.S. weight-loss market since 1989.
It's evident we're losing our battle with obesity: According to Marketdata's president, John LaRosa, "The number of active dieters is estimated to have fallen 10 percent since 2015, to 97 million, due to a growing-size acceptance movement and dieter fatigue. About 80 percent try to lose weight by themselves, but many fail, and the latest CDC statistics show that we are getting fatter, not thinner."