The Billion Dollar Diet Industry


As discussed in last week’s post, diet culture has been around for a VERY long time. It is a fact that 95% of diets fail you yet the diet industry made $72.6 billion dollars in the U.S last year in 2021. Just let that sink in. 


Can you see the connection here? The diet industry has created a culture that favors individuals with smaller bodies and makes others feel as though they are less worthy and desirable forcing them to feel the need to change their bodies. Fat shaming and body discrimination are all around us and put this constant pressure on us to be thinner and to do so as soon as possible. This is where the diet industry comes in with their skinny teas, apple cider vinegar pills, tummy wraps, and lots more promising individuals that they will “lose weight fast”! When in reality they do absolutely nothing but drain your wallet and enforce an unhealthy relationship with food and the body. 


Diets and diet products fail us time and time again, yet we never blame the diet or product but instead, we blame ourselves. We think of that one celebrity who lost X amount of pounds by drinking that flat tummy tea daily so it must work for us right and if not then we are doing something wrong? Think about it, if diet products actually did work the first time around the industry would make no money. But because the diet industry has sadly done such a great job of advertising their products to lure people in, they continue to make billions each year. So what are those advertising techniques? I am sure you have seen plenty before.


Diet Industry Grabs

  1. Using Celebrities: This is a very common form of advertising that you will see a lot of, especially from celebrities like the Kardashians who constantly do brand deals with new weight loss products. The idea here is to pay celebrities money to post on social media with their product to reach a larger audience and influence others to buy them. However, this does not mean that the product actually worked for the celebrity let alone that they ACTUALLY tried it. 
  2. False Claims/Promises: advertisers will make up and say almost anything to get you to buy their product without it being backed up by any research at all. Such claims include: 

“Lose 30 pounds in 30 days with _____”

“To lose weight all you have to do is take this pill”

“Lose weight without diet or exercise”

“Boost metabolism and energy”

If you see any of these claims or ones like them, RUN!

  1. Not Telling the Whole Story: Remember that what you see online tells you very little about a product or person. Oftentimes you will see a side-by-side comparison of the same individual and how much weight they have lost by using ____ product. Companies can steal these stock photos and use them to sell their own products without you knowing and even if the photos were from an individual using their product it tells you nothing about that person’s life. These photos do not tell you what that individual was eating or if they were exercising or any outside factors. 

It’s important to remember the diet industry profits off of our body dissatisfaction. So, if you see a new detox tea on social media, or a weight loss pill advertisement, and find yourself feeling badly about your body, or wanting to start a new diet, or, worse, buy the product, ask yourself a couple of things:

  1. Does this make me feel bad?
  2. Does this make me want to restrict? 
  3. Does this demonize foods?
  4. Does someone profit off of my body dissatisfaction if I purchase this?

If the answer is yes, then the diet industry is doing its job!!

It is time to change the narrative and stop supporting these billion-dollar companies that profit off our body dissatisfaction. Even if these diet products DID work there still should never be a one-size-fits-all approach to health. What works for one individual will not always work for another because we are all unique individuals with our own set of genes totally different from anybody else.

Rejecting the diet mentality and the diet industry is not easy as it is all around us. If you are ready to fight back against the diet industry and start eating intuitively the Food Ease Team can help!


Markets, R. A. (2022, March 23). Overview of the $58 billion U.S. weight loss market 2022. Globe Newswire.

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