The World Organizes For Better Health
Healthy trends continue to take center stage with trends and developments coming from all sectors of the market. Each of these recent news items impacts Better-For-You product marketers, but moreover, forces you to navigate your brands through a complex, ever-changing world where ultimately, strong opportunity for brand growth exists.
Gym Memberships Are On The Rise
Gym membership nationwide in 2010 reached an all-time high of 50.2 million members, according to the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association, which surveyed nearly 40,000 individuals on their gym habits. Gym members used their health club an average of 98 days in 2010 — slightly less than twice a week.
When it comes to working out, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts comes out on top for gym memberships. One out of four state residents belonged to a health club in 2010 — more than in any other state. Complimented with time outside the gym doing other physically-active activities, and the local citizenry is well on its way to being one of the healthiest in the country.
United Nations Convenes On The Prevention And Control Of Non-Communicable Diseases
For the first time since meeting on the Aids epidemic on a health issue, world leaders are gathering in New York for a high-level meeting of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly on the prevention and control of Non-communicable Diseases. According to the UN, the four main non-communicable diseases—cardiovascular disease, cancer, chronic lung diseases and diabetes—kill three in five people worldwide, and cause immense socioeconomic harm.
Bad Health Impacts Us All
In today’s largely sedentary American work environment, these NCDs (or chronic diseases) are driving up the cost of healthcare; and causing U.S. businesses to suffer considerable financial losses due to lost productivity resulting from absenteeism, disability, and presenteeism (being sick at work). Yet, many of these NCDs can be prevented, mitigated, and/or managed with regular exercise, proper diet, and healthy lifestyle behaviors. In fact, according to a new report from the World Health Organization (WHO) that came out in advance of the UN meeting, 87% of all U.S. deaths are due to largely preventable NCDs. Tie that to the fact that 43% of the U.S. population is physically inactive, and we have a real problem – socially and economically.
Benefits For Business
Researchers have documented anywhere from $1.49 to $13.00 return for every dollar invested in employee wellness. Studies show that employees who exercise at least once a week, regardless of their weight, have lower health care costs than their sedentary co-workers. One study, in fact, showed that active employees take 27% fewer sick days and report 14 to 25% fewer disability days than inactive employees. What’s more, workplace wellness programs help attract and retain talented employees.
One expert aptly summarized “Exercise and other workplace wellness programs can help curb the dramatic rise that we are seeing in these non-communicable diseases,” said Moore. “But these programs also bring significant financial benefits to businesses.”
National Food Day
Designed to be similar to Earth Day where environmental awareness has been piqued over the years, the October 24th has been designated as the inaugural Food Day. Seeking to bring together Americans from all walks of life—parents, teachers, and students; health professionals, community organizers, and local officials; chefs, school lunch providers, and eaters of all stripes—Food Day is set to push for healthy, affordable food produced in a sustainable, humane way.
Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) are the Honorary Co-Chairs for Food Day 2011, and the day is sponsored by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the nonprofit watchdog group that has led successful fights for food labeling, better nutrition, and safer food since 1971.
Food Day’s goals are to –
- Reduce diet-related disease by promoting safe, healthy foods
- Support sustainable farms & limit subsidies to big agribusiness
- Expand access to food and alleviate hunger
- Protect the environment & animals by reforming factory farms
- Promote health by curbing junk-food marketing to kids
- Support fair conditions for food and farm workers
For further insight on how new market trends and developments are impacting Better-For-You food & beverage brands, please contact Healthy Living Marketing or call (301) 378-0384.