Weight Loss: One of the Best Markets to Invest in Today

Uncategorized | Posted by Ja45son
Sep 23 2014

If you’re looking to make money, it makes sense that the best areas in which to invest are those which have a constantly expanding target market, and those in which the demand is always there.

Today, there’s a market that is expected to more than double from $147 billion to $344 billion by 2018. This market targets 2 out of every 3 Americans, and that’s only expected to get bigger and bigger. It almost seems like a no-brainer to jump right in, right?

So what is this market? Obesity and weight-loss.

The expanding obesity problem

Obesity is a huge problem not only in the U.S., but also around the world. Domestically, about 200 million Americans are overweight or obese (2/3 of the country), and worldwide, by 2015, there are expected to be 2.3 billion overweight or obese adults.

If that’s not dire enough, obesity has now surpassed smoking as the no. 1 preventable cause of death in the U.S., and by 2018, more than 20% of our health care dollars will be going toward obesity.

Currently there are about 108 million dieters in the U.S. More than half are trying to actively lose weight, while the rest want to maintain their current weight. With such a large – and growing – market, products and services connected to weight-loss are faring incredibly well, despite the worldwide recession in recent years.

Growing companies for whittling waistlines

One company that has excelled over the last decade is Weight Watchers. In 1999, the price of Weight Watchers stock was $2.13 per share. In March 2012 the stock were trading at $82. Today, it’s $48.10 (as of July 2012), still pretty darn high. That’s more than a 2,000% increase in share price! Weight Watchers not only has its centers where it holds weekly meetings, but it also has an online program which now boasts 1.72 million subscribers and it sells diet foods and related products.

Another company that has done very well recently is Arena Pharmaceuticals (ARNA), which just had its weight loss drug Belviq approved by the FDA. This is the first weight-loss drug approval by the FDA in 13 years. ARNA stock increased 600% in the past 6 months.

Fitness centers have also expanded in recent years to what is now an $18 billion industry. This sector has sustained growth of an average of 4% over 30 years, and it continues to grow.

How the government is investing in weight loss

The obesity problem is such an overwhelming concern that even the federal government is getting involved. For example, First Lady Michelle Obama has focused on anti-obesity efforts and created a program called “Let’s Move!” to help kids get fit. Today, 1 out of every 3 kids is obese, and there are a record number of kids with Type-2 diabetes.

Investing in anti-obesity efforts at a young age will hopefully curb the skyrocketing cost of obesity down the road. And researchers say these are smart investments for communities to make. One report says that for every $1 invested in community based programs, they will get $5.60 in returns.

Worldwide investments in weight loss

As discussed, obesity is a worldwide problem, and is rapidly expanding, even in unexpected countries such as China. There, 30% of adults are now overweight or obese, which has risen from 25% in 2004. Currently, 92 million Chinese adults have Type-2 diabetes, and that number could grow to as much as half a billion by 2030.

Companies that are doing well in the U.S. are also starting to fare well in these foreign markets. For example, Weight Watchers has opened several centers in Shanghai and is planning to open more in other locations. Japanese company Otsuka, which makes Soyjoy bars, expects its Chinese sales to top U.S. sales soon. And even health clubs are rapidly expanding, with about 3,000 health clubs across China that boast about 3 million members.

Even pharmaceutical companies are seeing opportunity in the Chinese market. Allergan, which manufactures the Lap-Band for gastric bypass surgery, has applied to the Chinese government to sell the device there.

The best weight-loss investment: You

Experts say you could effectively add thousands of dollars every year to your salary by losing weight. The costs associated with extra pounds are $8,365 for women and $6,518 for men. That includes money spent on extra food, medical costs and even transportation (it costs more money to transport more pounds).

By investing a relatively small amount of money ($20 per month on a gym membership and money on gym clothes) to slim down to a normal weight, you could see an enormous return on investment – more than you could get from nearly any company that you’d invest in.

Jumping into the weight-loss market

Weight loss market trend

The market for weight-loss products will just continue to grow over the years. So what are you waiting for? Investing in companies and projects that target obesity are generally smart investment. Of course the smartest investment you could make is in your own weight-loss efforts, both for your own health and your bottom line.

Ketogenic Diet is Effective and Safe in the Long Run Study Finds

Health and Diet | Posted by Ja45son
Sep 23 2014

Most of you have probably heard of the therapeutic effect of the ketogenic diet on epilepsy. The ketogenic diet is a drug-free approach to seizure control that has been in use since 1921, when Dr Wilder first observed and reported on “the effects of ketonemia on the course of epilepsy”.

People who are on the ketogenic diet, avoid eating carbohydrates and sugars. They instead consume food that is high in fat, moderate in protein and very low in carbs.

The goal is that you deprive yourself from glucose, which is the source of energy that our body prefers.

Of course, outside the epileptic world, ketogenic diets are associated with weight control. Indeed, the ketogenic approach to weight loss is at the core of the philosophy of the Atkins diet, a weight management program whose creator, Dr Robert Atkins, would certainly consider as the best weight loss diet program.

About 1 out of 3 epileptic patients that are on conventional antiepileptic drugs do not see any improvement in their condition. And even those who achieve seizure control after medical management, experience side effects from their medication.

Several studies, on the other hand, have proven the benefits of the ketogenic diet for the natural treatment of drug refractory pediatric epilepsy. Epileptic children who receive this type of diet exhibit short-term and long-term symptomatic improvement, provided that they  remain on the diet. What happens when they stop the diet?

Until recently, no information existed about the effects of the ketogenic treatment after the diet has been discontinued. What are the effects of the ketogenic diet years after it has been used? Stated differently, what are the long term outcomes of children treated with the ketogenic diet  in the past?

This is the question a 2010 John Hopkins study, lead by Dr Eric Kossoff, set to answer a few months ago.

The researchers in this study evaluated the health condition of children that had been on the ketogenic diet for at least one month, some time in the past, and had discontinued it more than half a year prior to the time of analysis.

Ketogenic Diet

On the Ketogenic Diet You Eat Very Little Carbs

The age in which children started the ketogenic diet ranged from 0.3 to 17.8 years. The duration of the diet ranged from 2 months to 8 years. At the time of this survey, the subjects where 2-26 years old and had been off the diet for 0.8-14 years.

When the diet was terminated, 31% of the subjects were completely seizure free, 16% exhibited a higher than 90% reduction in seizures, 12% experienced a 50-90% seizure decrease, while only 42% had lower than 50% seizure control, compared to prior starting the diet.

The families of these children were contacted and were asked a number of questions, some of which included:

Does your child still remember being subject to the ketogenic diet?

One of three parents said that their children—most of them being adults at the time of the survey—still remembered receiving the ketogenic diet when they were younger. Remembrance of being treated with the ketogenic diet  was more vivid in those subjects that were at least 7 years old when receiving the treatment.

Now that your child is off the diet, does he/she show a preference toward eating high fat foods and avoid carbohydrates?

Many parents fear that once their child is subjected to the ketogenic diet, it will continue to like better high fat foods and avoid carbohydrates even after discontinuation of the diet. The survey showed that this anecdotal perception is not true. Fewer than 10% of the children showed a preference for high fat foods several years after terminating the ketogenic diet.

How does the current seizure control compare to before starting the diet?

At the time of the survey, the average duration of the time that the children had been off the diet was 6 years. The parents were asked to report if there were any differences in the levels of seizure control between the time the diet was started, several years ago, and the current time.

Interestingly, 37% of the subjects were now seizure free (that is 6% more than after discontinuation of the diet), 16% exhibited more than 90% reduction in seizures, 25% showed 50-90% seizure control (that is 13% more than when the diet was stopped) and a measly 21% had less than 50% symptomatic improvement.

The researchers found particularly interesting that, during the years that followed the termination of the diet, the number of subjects who had more than 50% seizure control increased from 52% to 79%.

This is the first study to analyze the long term safety and efficacy of the ketogenic diet on children who had stopped the treatment. Some of them had discontinued the diet as long as 14 years ago.

The analysis clearly shows that exposure to this diet results in seizure control, that extends past the treatment period and into adulthood. According to the survey most parents would advocate the diet. In fact, 96% of them would recommend it to other families.

No particularly serious long-term side adverse effects appeared. “Results were reassuring both in regards to seizure control and adverse effects” noted Dr Amisha Patel, author of the paper, published in Epilepsia in February 2010.