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The U.S. Weight Loss & Diet Control Market (12th Edition)

Print or digital format. Also sold by individual chapters.

The U.S. weight loss market has entered a new phase of flat to low growth, constrained mainly by a weak economy and a shift to do-it-yourself plans by consumers. Yet, some competitors are doing very well, and many untapped niches exist. This is a completely revised and updated analysis of Marketdata's best-selling biennial study about the $61 billion U.S. weight loss market. This is the most comprehensive investigation of the U.S. weight loss market published by anyone worldwide.

Covered: dollar value & growth rates of the 10 major weight loss market segments (early 1980s to 2012, 2013 and 2016 forecasts), latest market trends and developments, status reports for: diet soft drinks, artificial sweeteners, health clubs, commercial diet center chains, mail order and multi-level marketing diet plans, OTC meal replacements and diet pills, diet websites & apps, diet food delivery services, medical programs (weight loss surgery, MDs, RDs, and nutritionist diet plans, hospitals/clinic programs, Rx diet drugs, bariatrician plans, VLCD programs), retail meal replacements and diet pills, low-calorie entrees and low-carb foods, diet books, exercise DVDs.

New: Chapter covering The Corporate B2B weight loss market.

New: results of latest surveys by the Calorie Control Council, Nutrition Business Journal, CDC, plus 110 dieter metrics from BestDietForMe.com online surveys (7-year data 2005-2012).

Also included: Top 30 competitors ranking, 24-year revenues of the market through past recessions, comprehensive dieter demographics, weight loss center franchising, and commercial centers' national operating ratios. Rankings & revenues of top 7 commercial chains, brand sales, and a Reference Directory.

Contains 30+ in-depth updated competitor profiles for: Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, NutriSystem, eDiets.com, LA Weight Loss, Herbalife, Slim-Fast, Diet Center, Physicians Weight Loss, HMR, Optifast, Medifast, Lindora Clinics, Atkins Nutritionals, Metabolic Research, Smart For Life, Medi-Weightloss, Centers for Medical Weight Loss, and many more.

Based on extensive primary & secondary research, management phone interviews, franchise FDDs, Census data, trade associations, stock analysts, SEC docs, more.

Table of Contents

Introduction, Scope, Methodology

Executive Overview($300)

  • Outlook for new 2103 diet season, discussion of rise of MLM firms, DIY trends, fastest-Growing products & companies
  • National cost of obesity, summary of market developments & trends of 2011-2012
  • Dieter demographics, reasons for increased obesity, most popular dieting methods, 2006-2010 $ size of market and its 9 segments, forecasts 2016 growth rates for segments
  • Historical market revenues $ size, by segment: 1989-2012
  • Cost of main types of diet programs, no. of dieters by type program
  • Table: Ranking of top diet companies (2008-2010 revenues)
  • Snapshot of major operating ratios of commercial weight loss centers
  • Market Segment Outlooks for 2012, 2013, 2016: commercial chains, diet soft drinks & artificial sweeteners, low-cal foods, meal replacements & appetite suppressants mkt., medical weight loss programs (hospitals & clinics, bariatric surgery, Rx diet drugs), status of diet food delivery market & weight loss websites
  • Highlights of ALL study chapters .

Dieter Demographics ($200)

  • Scope of the American obesity epidemic, number/percent obese, overweight, obesity rates By state, recent dieter trends (shift to do-it-yourself methods during recession)
  • Discussion: how many Americans diet, how often, why diets fail, methods used
  • 2013 predictions of top 5 diet trends, by Calorie Control Council, January diet surge
  • Typical dieter profile, by age, sex, income - number of diet attempts/year
  • Number of dieters by methods used - 2012 estimates
  • Dieter profiles by: BMI, budget, starting weight, preferred,diet plan location, type food desired, previous diet plans used, readiness, exercise plan desired, % needing psychological support, % with special foods needs (BestDietForMe.com - 2005-2012 data
  • Fad diets popular now: green coffee bean extract, HCG drops, Dukan Diet, etc.
  • Analysis of current & historical dieting trends, 10-year shifts in dieting methods
  • Table: State/regional obesity statistics: % of population, 1991-2011

Findings of Dieter Surveys/profiles by:

  • Calorie Control Council (2010 vs. 2007), no. of U.S. dieters & low-cal food/beverage users, top dieting methods used, low-cal food/beverage usage by kind, diet attempts

American Exercise Trends, Health Clubs & Weight Loss Programs ($250)

  • Status Report of U.S. Health Clubs Industry - no. of facilities, type clubs, number of club members, recent trends, Industry receipts: 1993-2016F, characteristics of club members, drop-out rates, members by type club, estd. share of clubs with diet programs.
  • ACE's top fitness trends for 2012, forecasts
  • 15 top participant sports -1995-2011, (NSGA), 2001-2011 % chg. In participation
  • Most popular women's sports: 2009, types of exercise equipment, home exercise trends
  • How women keep fit, most popular types of exercise equip. used, general trends in exercise, home exercise and gyms.
  • Health clubs' involvement with weight loss, % with programs, using clubs as weight loss method, samples/costs of typical diet programs offered by health clubs (Think Light plan).
  • Company Profiles: Bally's, Curves, 24 Hour Fitness, their weight loss programs.

Commercial Weight Loss Chains ($595)

  • Summary & nature of competitors, status report/major developments since 2011 (no. of centers left, avg. cost of major commercial plans vs. medical and self-help plans 2011-2012 segment performance, 2013 outlook, estd. revenues of leaders, 2014 forecast
  • In-depth discussion of market factors and the economy, collapse of LA Weight Loss
  • Table: Avg. cost of popular diet programs (Forbes)

Industry Structure & Key Ratios

  • 2007, 2002 & 1997 industry snapshots for commercial diet centers: no. of establishments, legal form of firms, top 50 firms mkt. share, ratios by firm's receipts, top states
  • Sample income statement for a typical commercial center: 2012 (expenses by type, profits)
  • Avg. revenues per co.-owned/franchised center for Jenny Craig & LA Weight Loss
  • Avg. costs to acquire new customers
  • What commercial centers have in common, expansion of 1980s/contraction of 1990s 1982-88 diet franchise avg. revenues per unit, no. of centers/ sites operated by top chains.
  • Franchising: status of, use as growth strategy, investment costs, profiles of Wt. Watchers, Jenny Craig franchises, why franchising may be less viable, commercial chains survival actions.
  • Census Bureau Operating Ratios Tables: 2010 2007, 2002, 1997 (Commercial diet centers/services) (no. of estabs., firms, receipts, receipts per estab., payroll as % sales, etc.)
  • Employee sales/payroll productivity
  • Establishments, by legal form (corporations, partnerships, sole proprietors)
  • Market share for largest 4, 8, 20, 50 firms
  • Ratios, by single vs. multi-unit firms
  • Ratios, by receipts size of firms & establishments
  • No. of diet centers, by state & region, avg. receipts per estab. By state
  • No. of diet centers, by state, ranked by sales and avg. receipts per establishment

Other Tables:

  • 1982-2016 F commercial segment sales
  • No. of U.S. weight control services (1991-2013)
  • Number of commercial centers (2001, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2010 - top 7 chains)
  • Sales of the top 7 chains (incl. eDiets, NutriSystem): 2001 - 2012
  • Company profiles: in-depth company history, how programs work, costs, franchise systems, 2009-2012 & historical revenues, new programs, strategies, address/website):
  • Weight Watchers International
  • Jenny Craig
  • NutriSystem
  • Medifast
  • LA Weight Loss Centers
  • Health Management Group (Diet Center, Physicians Wt. Loss)
  • Metabolic Research Centers

Weight Loss Websites & Mobile Apps ($200)

  • Outlooks by major diet website operators - interviews
  • Discussion of diet websites and nutrition services, how they work, status report/trends for: Sparkpeople.com, WeightWatchers.com, Biggest Loser Club, Diet.com, advertising costs and new challenges.
  • Market $ size: 2005-2016F, major trends
  • Discussion: Is online dieting effective?
  • Traffic - who gets the most? - list of major diet websites, analysis of Alexa & comScore rankings/daily traffic for top diet sites in 2012-13, effects on other diet companies/market
  • Profile of online dieter characteristics: Bestdietforme.com visitors by: sex, age, BMI, starting weight, medical conditions, budget, preferred program sites, interest in surgery and diet food home delivery, previous plans used, type food desired, readiness, exercise preferences, need for pysch support. - annual metrics as 2005-2012
  • List of the top 25 diet websites, parent co. name, address
  • Descriptions of top free & low-cost weight loss mobile apps.

Employer-Based Weight Loss Programs ($100)

  • Discussion: reasons why worksite diet programs to be more widely used
  • Market size estimates (2005-2012), based on cost per employee/year, findings of latest research studies of employer wellness programs
  • Effect of ObamaCare, % of dieters using worksite programs
  • List of 24 major providers, address/contact persons.

The Diet Soft Drinks & Artificial Sweeteners, Diet Food Markets ($250)

The Diet Soft Drinks Market

  • Status Report 2012, new products (Stevia), diet soft drinks as % total soft drinks, mkt. nature and historical growth, forecasts, demographics of consumers, diet's share of all carbonated soft drinks (Beverage Industry, Beverage Digest),
  • Discussion of why soft drinks market still declining, pricing, new sweeteners, packaging
  • Total soft drink retail $ sales, diet share of gallons/retail sales: 1988-2012, 2016 forecast
  • 1989-2016 F diet soft drink $ sales
  • Table: Demographics of diet soft drink consumers, historical nature of the market.

The Artificial Sweeteners Market

  • Status Report of the mkt., developments with high fructose corn syrup, Stevia, Sucralose, Splenda, Merisant goes Bankrupt, 2010 data from Calorie Control Council - use by consumers
  • Sweeteners by end use (% for soft drinks vs. tabletop sweeteners mkt.)
  • Description of major types (Aspartame, Neotame, Saccharin, Sucralose, Stevia, Acesulfame)
  • Market size & growth, historical sales 1991-2012 performance, 2016 forecast.

Low-cal Diet Entrees & Low-carb Foods Market

  • Mkt. Status Report, definition of “diet” foods, discussion of dinner entrees, the major brands, Shift to fresh foods away from frozen
  • Marketdata estimates for 1994 to 2012
  • Estimates of 2010 $ volume for Lean Cuisine, Smart Ones, Healthy Choice
  • Low-cal “diet” entrees mkt. size: 2003-2010 (IRI) - Healthy Choice, Wt. Watchers, Lean Cuisine retail sales, brands outlooks in 2012
  • 2012 mkt. performance estimates, 2016 forecasts

Low-carb Foods Market

  • Analysis of no. of people using Atkins as diet plan, why the trend has faded but is not dead/some resurgence in low glycemic foods, Paleo Diet
  • Low-cal user demographics: consumer use of low-cal foods/beverages: Calorie Control Council survey, most popular low-fat foods, top reasons people choose them
  • Company Profile: Atkins Nutritionals

Diet Food Home Delivery Services ($200)

  • Competitor outlooks for 2012: The Fresh Diet, BistroMD, Seattle Sutton
  • Status Report: Why the recent slowdown, NutriSystems' sales decline in 2008, comments of some delivery firms re: 2012 (phone interviews), outlooks by The Fresh Diet, Diet to Go
  • How services operate, how services are formed/why some fail, no. of mkt. competitors, pricing, national vs. regional distribution, customer demographics
  • Mkt. size/growth: potential no. of home delivery clients, rationale for estimates
  • Marketdata estimates, NutriSystem revenues & outlook, revenues for Jenny Direct, Medifast, eDiets, others, 2013 outlook, 2016 F
  • Marketing/advertising methods used,
  • Address list of mkt. competitors (NutriSystm, Jenny Craig, Atkins At Home, Diet To Go, eDiets, Sunfare, Chefs Diet, Bistro MD, HMR At Home, Dinewise, Zone Chefs, more)

Retail Meal Replacements & Appetite Suppressants Market ($300)

  • Definition/nature of meal replacements vs. over-the-counter (OTC) diet pills, ingredients being used today, post-ephedra ban, new herbal products: coffee bean extract, HCG Drops
  • History/nature of mkt.- cyclical shifts from mid-1980s
  • User demographics: no. and % of dieters using diet pills and meal replacements (Consumer Reports, Bestdietforme.com surveys: 2005-2012 data).
  • 2012 Status Report of the market: estd. Channel sales (diet pills, meal replace.), findings of Nutrition Business Journal (NBJ) research, top diet pill brands sales: 2010, top meal replacements brands sales, FTC fines, top selling brands, FDA consumer warnings
  • Regulatory actions, FTC fines marketers of diet pills
  • Marketdata discussion of traditional/nontraditional distribution channels
  • Mkt. size/growth: true size of the mkt. - why estimates differ widely
  • NBJ estimates of 2011 diet pill & meal replacements $ and % sales, by distribution channels, discussion of multilevel firms (Advacare, Shaklee, Herbalife, Quixtar, Nu-Skin, EAS, Atkins)
  • Marketdata estimates of growth for diet pills & meal replacements in 2011-2012
  • Discussion of why meal replacements now have momentum.


  • Marketdata estimates of OTC diet pills, meal replacements, combined sales - 1981-2010
  • Revised estimates of above markets, based on new NBJ research: 2005-2008, 2014F
  • Discussion of 2009-2010 market performance, 2011 outlook, 2014 forecasts
  • Top OTC diet pill brand sales in 2010.
  • Company profiles: Slim-Fast, Herbalife (revenues, strategies, product lines, marketing)

Medically-Supervised Weight Loss Programs (All medical sections: $595)

Hospital-based Weight Loss Programs ($250)

  • Types of plans offered (low-cost, moderate-cost plans, estd. no. of hospitals providing each, typical cost), Medicare new coverage
  • Physician-based diet programs: diet drugs/other methods used, consumer attitudes, limitations,
  • Profiles of some hospital-based weight loss programs: Johns Hopkins, Palos Community Hospital
  • Major Medical Chains: Lindora Medical Clinics , Centers for Medical Weight Loss, Smart for Life Centers, Medi-Weightloss Clinics, Medical Weight Loss of Michigan (in-depth company descriptions, plan costs, estimated revenues, no. of centers, growth strategies, etc.)

Registered Dietitians & Nutritionists Diet Plans

  • Estimate of number involved with weight loss counseling or programs, SCAN practice, fees, sample programs and methods used, avg. length/cost of plans, professional societies, etc.
  • Description of typical diet program/services provided by a Registered Dietitian, length, costs, qualifications
  • Description of typical diet program/services provided by a Nutritionist, length, costs, qualifications

Bariatrician Programs ($100)

  • status report of profession, ASBP survey results (MDs by: age, income, size practice), how they're trained, number practicing, certification by ASBP, use of diet drugs, treatment methods used, plan effectiveness/cost, why business is down due to economy, less surgeries - interview with Sharon Cooper Associates consultant

The Weight Loss (bariatric) Surgery Market ($250)

  • Discussion of gastric bypass & lapband procedures, why demand grew strongly to 2007, status Report, 2012 estimated surgeries, 2016 forecasts, costs per surgery by type payor, pros/cons, who qualifies
  • Surgery mkt. smaller than thought - better data from government/AHRQ data proves 2009-2012 decline, revisions of prior estimates based on ASMBS estimates
  • Government research of surgery utilization and outcomes, mean cost per surgery
  • Major insurers' coverage today, status report, Medicare position, role of liaison firms (The Wish Centers, Barix Clinics, Liv-Lite, Journey Lite - addresses), avg. cost of surgery.
  • Types of surgery: Roux-en-Y, lap banding, minigastric bypass, consumer pros/cons
  • No. of bariatric surgeries performed: 1992-2012
  • $ value of the market: 1992-2016 F, outlook under Obamacare
  • Associations: ASBS, Obesity Action Coalition.

VLCD/LCD Fasting Supplement Programs ($250)

  • Status report of low-calorie modified fasting programs in 2011-2012, effect of drop in bariatric surgeries, outlooks by mgmt. at HMR, effect of the weak economy. characterizing the mkt. (price, programs, no. of sites, increased direct-to-customer sales)
  • Historical nature of market - development from 1970s-1990s, enrollments, drop-out/completion rates, problem on insurance coverage, market indicators
  • Marketdata estimates of VLCD enrollments for 1995-2012 (new vs. repeat patients, fasting vs. maintenance), $ value of mkt. for 1984-2016 F.
  • Company Profiles: Detailed descriptions of companies/plans, program revenues: Health Management Resources, Optifast (Nestlé)

The Diet Drugs Market ($200)

  • Discussion of viewing obesity as a disease, major obesity medications used today, FDA position, role of MDs, commercial chains' involvement with diet drugs, why it's tougher than thought to develop anti-obesity drugs that are effective and with minimal side effects.
  • Status Report: Qsymia & Belviq sales & outlooks, FDA rejections of: Acomplia, Taranabant, Contrave, other Rx diet drugs
  • Other new obesity drugs in clinical trials,
  • Existing drugs used (Xenical, Phentermine) - descriptions
  • Market status report - prescriptions written and $ sales for: Meridia, Xenical, Phentermine, 12 other anti-obesity drugs (2003-2012), historical sales 1995-2000
  • Marketdata's 2013 and 2016 outlooks for prescription diet drugs, likely effect on mkt. size.

The Diet Books & Exercise DVDs Market ($150)

  • Size of self-improvement books market, 2011 best sellers
  • Diet books - nature of the mkt., new 2013 diet books, buyer demographics, what makes bestsellers
  • Exercise DVDs mkt., summary, top names in the field, categories, top distributors, mkt. size
  • 2012 mkt. estim., 2016F, 1989-2016 $ sales

Reference Directory of Weight Loss Information Sources

  • Industry trade associations, journals, newsletters, magazines, consultants, etc.
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