Large Scale Consumer Denial

Consumers realize that the majority of American adults have health issues—from chronic diseases to obesity. At the same time, most consumers are happy to report that they personally are very healthy. According to a recent study by Mintel, the differences between consumers’ perceptions and reality are staggering.Scale

  • 71% say they are in “excellent health.” Actually, over 40% of the population has a chronic health condition
  • 25% admit they are overweight or obese. Statistics show that 65% of Americans should  lose significant weight
  • 89% say it’s a priority for them to live a healthy lifestyle. Only 18% workout anywhere close to 20 minutes a day

This reminds me of a study done three years ago in Australia where they found that 90% of parents with overweight kids strongly believed their kids were “normal sized.”

It also makes me wonder if current efforts to reduce obesity and increase healthy living are flawed. Most programs are based on teaching people new behaviors they should adopt. But, as long as consumers are convinced they don’t have a problem, why would they listen or seriously make changes? Shouldn’t we instead  start by gently helping people understand that yes, they personally have issues to address? Once they agree, then education and behavior modification will have an impact.

What do you think?

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4 Responses to “Large Scale Consumer Denial”

  1. [...] Excerpt from: Large Scale Consumer Denial [...]

  2. Obesity is a problem of energy balance, wherein adipose tissue stores accumulate to excess levels when expenditure does not keep up with intake. At present, approximately 65% of american adults are either overweight (=25 kg/m2) or obese (=30 kg/m2), and approximately 15% of american children are similarly categorized (by age-adjusted percentiles of weight for height). This situation reflects the high-energy efficiency of american life, where little physical effort is needed for work and recreation, and where the national diet is abundant in low-cost, energy-dense food. Popular approaches to weight control have been generally unsuccessful, despite constant publicity about the problem and considerable individual efforts at weight loss. The consequences of obesity (e. , diabetes, cancer, heart disease) are predicted to grow worse. Type 2 diabetes rates are rising in adults and children, and a substantial increase in morbidity and mortality from cardiovascular disease is expected. Furthermore, obesity has been linked to the development of several types of cancer. Ultimately, resolution of the obesity epidemic at the population level will depend on individual behavioral change that takes place within the larger societal environment. Such changes may be facilitated through better medical therapies. However, technologies and tools to more easily monitor behavior and achieve treatment goals are also needed.

  3. Mark Goodly says:

    Although I would’ve preferred if you went into a little bit more detail, I still got the gist of what you meant. I agree with it. It might not be a popular idea, but it makes sense. Will definitely come back for more of this. Great work

  4. jula says:

    Hallo from Sweden! I have found your article on msn. Great content! Helen J. Schoolcraft x

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