Published on: January 6, 2014by Kevin Coupe
Interesting confluence of health-related stories this morning…
• MoneyWatch has a story about an NPD Group survey saying that "the percentage of Americans who are dieting is at an all-time low": only 19 percent of Americans say they are dieting, down from 20 percent a year ago and from about 30 percent in 1991.
Two things are happening here, the story says. One is that people are transitioning from dieting to "healthier eating," behaving in a way that stresses eating organic foods or whole grains rather than focusing on denial. The other is that Americans have become more tolerant of being a few pounds overweight.
The shifts in behavior, of course, have business implications, since companies in the weight loss business are going to be hurt by consumer trends that move away from dieting. Which means that weight loss-driven business models are going to have to look for a different pitch to make to consumers.
• There also was a story on ChicagoGrid.com noting that "members of Sears’ loyalty program can earn points toward purchases at Sears and Kmart by logging into the Hoffman Estates-based retailer’s fitness site, FitStudio.com, and tracking their physical activity.
The Points for Progress program works with fitness apps and devices — the device must be a Fitbit or BodyMedia brand, both sold by Sears — and with Netpulse-enabled fitness equipment at more than 500 gyms in the U.S. and Canada.
• Finally, the Boston Globe this morning has a piece noting that at the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) this year, 300 out of 3,300 companies exhibiting - or 40 percent more than the 2013 CES - will be focused on "digital health," as companies "are unveiling wearable health and fitness monitors, sensors for the home and software to tie it all together, providing real-time data for consumers."
I'm not sure that Sears and Kmart can dig themselves out of the hole they are in though this initiative, but that's probably because the hole is so deep, not because the initiative isn't a good idea.
And, I'm pretty sure that there will be yet another hit diet book out next week or next month, which there always is, because (as Charles McCord used to say) the last one didn't work. We all love the promise of a quick-fix, the idea of a magic pill.
But it seems to me that this probably a good thing, as more people focus on broader health issues and perhaps less on yo-yo dieting that focuses on quick solutions to long-term issues.
- KC's View: