The Weight Loss Industry is a multi-billion dollar organization and has a 95-99% fail rate. Let that sink in. This is the only industry that keeps earning more money without actually providing a service that works. Despite so many weight loss options on the market, we continue to see a drastic increase in obesity rates across the U.S.

In fact, obesity rates in 2020 rose above 40% for the first time in history, ranking 42.4% of the adult population as obese. We are currently in a national obesity crisis and help from the Weight Loss Industry is proof that their gimmicks aren’t effective. Their dietary guidelines are all wrong (read The False Food Pyramid). The Move More/Eat Less approach also proved to be ineffective, as well as counting calories in and out, yet these methods are still being promoted knowing you’ll likely return to buy more weight loss products.

Juicing, cleansing, detoxing, and even plain starvation have been the marketing angle of the weight loss industry. Knowing these fail, that same industry is ready to sell you the next trend like meal replacement shakes and Atkins bars. The path continues until prescription pills and even weight loss surgery are on the table.

From diet drinks to fat burners, the weight loss industry continues to make more ‘promising products’, but as a whole, Americans are the heaviest we’ve ever been.

The Diet Industry earned $78 billion dollars in 2019 and another $71 billion in 2020. This industry focuses on creating diet trends, supplements, injections, meal replacements, fancy gym memberships, and more. The Weight Loss Industry, which is even bigger, includes the Diet Industry and offers health experts, surgical procedures, and even food & beverage manufacturers that create low-calorie sodas, energy drinks, and fat-free foods. This all makes up one big industry that made a whopping $192 Billion in 2019 and is projected to increase between $295-377 Billion a year by 2027. With all this money and power you would think this industry would make significant changes in our obesity rates, but it doesn’t even make a dent. The only thing they are good at is selling you is a scam. Tricking you into diets, butter bombs, and body wraps that don’t work is a sure way to guarantee a lifelong customer for the weight loss industry.

The Proof is in The Pudding

Heart disease, obesity, certain cancers, and Type 2 Diabetes are all linked to a poor diet, yet treatment for these diseases rarely involves a strict diet plan. Instead, the weight loss industry and its co-collaborators, Big Pharma, and the food industries create “easier” solutions to these debilitating diseases. Only their solutions fall short when it comes to making an impact because the underlying cause isn’t being managed. Continuing on the same diet high that’s high in processed foods causes elevated insulin levels, weight gain, hormonal imbalances, and inflammation which all lead to chronic disease.

Instead, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) continues to push dietary guidelines that promote weight-gaining and disease-provoking foods such as high carbohydrates, meat products, and dairy. It’s no surprise that these food groups also pull in the biggest profits for government agriculture so promoting them would ultimately put money back in their pockets and create lifelong customers for the Weight Loss Industry.

What Would Happen if we Actually Cured Obesity?

Chronic diseases like obesity and Type 2 Diabetes are preventable, and for this reason, I believe they are curable, we are just treating them wrong. What would happen in healthcare if we cured Type 2 Diabetes and Obesity? Obesity-related diseases cost the U.S. nearly $200 Billion a year. If obesity was cured, obesity-related diseases would also drastically improve. Meaning that money wouldn’t be shared with hospitals, clinics, insurance companies, device companies., and Big Pharma.

Prevention or curing obesity and obesity-related diseases, ultimately does not make money for healthcare industries or their stakeholders. This is why they are not focused on obesity prevention, but rather reactive costly treatments.

In nursing school, we are taught based on a perfect healthcare system, in an ideal world referred to as the ivory tower of nursing vs. the real-world nursing nightmare. In this ivory tower healthcare system, we would be focused on prevention and lifestyle interventions for the treatment of disease before medications are explored. Health insurance and drug companies wouldn’t dictate healthcare treatments like they do today. Ideally, obesity treatments would start with guided coaching on diet, sleep, mental health, and physical activity and progress slowly to achieve goals. Insurance companies would cover the costs of gym memberships and cooking classes for healthy balanced eating as opposed to just fad diets, pills, and surgery.

Unfortunately, this is not our current healthcare system and we must come down from the ivory tower, but we can still be hopeful for the future. I believe that bringing more awareness to what’s really going on behind the scenes in the food & beverage industries as well as healthcare will lead to more people taking control of their own health.

For more helpful weight loss tips check out Ditch The Diet for a deeper look at why “diets” don’t work.

Disclaimer: The information in this article is designed for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. This information should not be used to diagnose or treat any health conditions without consulting your healthcare provider. Information used is based on experience and opinion, not 100% evidence. Always consult with a health care practitioner before relying on any information in this article or on this website.