The Weight Loss Market
Recent statistics based on data from 106 countries (88% of the world population) show an alarming tendency: more than 22% of the population are overweight and more than 9% are obese (Kelly T, et al., 2008; James WPT,2008 *).
The last comprehensive statistics from the National Institutes of Health (USA) indicates that more that 40% of Americans are obese, with more than 20% of these individuals being morbidly obese.
The weight loss market trend is subject to a very high growth as shown in the figure below.
In addition, it can be estimated that at least twice as many people are seeking to control their body weight, and/or are adhering to diets or other weight-control mechanisms. This is particularly significant since obesity has been implicated as a leading cause of various clinical conditions, including cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.
A lot of statistical data on this subject are available and all they confirm the tendencies noted above. As an example, a market research has been done concluding that the global weight loss market worth US$363 Billion in 2009, expected reaching US$586 Billion in 2014 (www.marketresearch.com). The North American market is the largest geographical segment; and is expected to be worth US$254 Billion by 2014 with an 11.5% Compound Annual Growth (CAGR) from 2009 to 2014. The second largest segment is Europe with a CAGR of 10.2%. It is expected to reach US$196 Billion by 2014. The market for devices and accessories is the largest for weight management, and is expected to be US$181 Billion in 2014.
* Kelly T, et al. Global Burden of Obesity in 2005 and Projections to 2030. Int J of Obes., 2008, 32:1431-1437
* James WPT, The epidemiology of obesity: the size of the problem. Journal of Internal Medicine, 2008, 263:336-352.
Major Treatment Streams in Obesity
Weight control and treatments for obesity have been the subjects of a large amount of suggested diets, treatments and procedures, including, in the most severe cases of morbid obesity, device implantations and/or direct surgical interventions. In addition to the company’s proprietary technology, four other major streams of commercial products are currently available for the treatment of obesity:
(1) diets, dietary regiments, and diet-related supplements and treatments (Katz D.L., 2005 *1);
(2) pharmacological treatment using specifically developed medications (Bray, G.A., 2008 *2);
(3) bezoars for reducing gastric volume and introducing a sensation of satiety and fullness, including intragastric balloons (Dumonceau JM., 2008 *3)
(4) invasive surgical procedures related to gastric volume reduction, including gastric banding (Bult MJF et al., 2008 *4), the only type of treatment having long-term success.
*1 Katz DL, Competing Dietary Claims for Weight Loss: Finding the Forest Through Truculent Trees. Annu. Rev. Public Health 2005, 26:61-88.
*2 Bray GA, Medications for Weight Reduction. Endocrinol Metab Clin N Am, 2008, 37: 923-942.
*3 Dumonceau JM. Evidence-based Review of the Bioenterics Intra-gastric Balloon for Weight Loss. Obes Surg 2008, 18:1611-17.
*4 Bult MJF, van Dalen T, Muller AF. Surgical treatment of obesity. Eur J of Endocrinol 2008, 158:135-145.
Our Place in the Weight Loss Market
In summary, the weight loss market can be divided into two types of products or procedures:
(A) non-invasive products such as diets, dietary regiments, dietary supplements and pharmaceuticals, and
(B) invasive procedures such as bariatric surgery, laparoscopic gastric banding, and intragastric balloons.
The first type is generally viewed as non-effective in the long-term (i.e. after one year of therapy), while the second is generally viewed as effective in the long term due to a sustainable gastric volume reduction over time. However it is invasive and generally expensive.
EatLittle Inc. with EatLittle™ positions itself in between the two types as described in the figure below:
Projection of different dietary treatments (property of EatLittle Inc. Canada)