Believe it or not, the percentage of the American population that wants to lose weight in this decade compared to last decade has noticeably declined. According to Gallup, the rate has dropped to 53% in the 2010’s from 59% in the 2000’s. This statistic becomes even more interesting when you consider that the adult obesity rate in the U.S. is at an all time high. In 2008 the rate of obesity clocked in at 25.5% of the adult population. In 2015 that number jumped to 28%. These trends mean that investors need to continue to keep an eye out for companies that are addressing the problem of type 2 diabetes and health services in general.
A population that is carrying around extra weight will experience greater health issues as they age. Whether we are talking about joint problems, such as knee replacements, because of the tole excess weight has borne upon their joints or health issues like the development of type 2 diabetes from unhealthy choices, the health industry will be relied upon to provide some form of relief.
Looking out into the future I would assume that this trend will shift. This will benefit fitness companies that are involved in the ‘Internet of things’. Think of Fitbit. As time progresses, more and more people will be familiar and comfortable with what we view now as more cutting edge technological devices. The desire to maintain a more healthy lifestyle and the understanding/acceptance of wearable technology will open opportunities for such companies.
The bottom line is that we already know we have a large section of the population that is moving into the elderly years (Baby Boomers). This will be associated with more health related needs to be addressed. For the time being, we see that the population as a whole is trending towards having a more relaxed stance on being overweight. Society’s problem just got bigger…literally.