This Monday I want to get you angry about the cost of wellness.
Because when we get angry, we make noise, and when we make noise, change happens!
What is the cost of wellness?
In terms of numbers, the wellness industry is estimated at $3.7 TRILLION/year and that number is rising year on year.
Some of the things that are included in that are:
Beauty and anti-ageing ($999 billion)
Nutrition and weight loss ($648 billion)
Fitness ($542 billion)
Alternative medicine ($199 billion)
The thing about all 4 mentioned above is that none are necessary for health!
Beauty/anti-ageing, weight loss and fitness are primarily based on aesthetics. Wearing make-up and applying creams that make us prettier or younger. Losing weight so we can buy a smaller clothes size. Training so we can have killer abs or a thigh gap.
None of it is "health"- it is wellness. And what is wellness really? A marketing term.
Let's look at these 4 industries in more detail.
Beauty and anti-ageing:
I talked a lot a few weeks ago about embracing the changes that occur in our bodies. We spend nearly a trillion dollars every year to look beautiful and young- but is it helpful? It seems to me that more and more of us are unhappy with how we look- we hate our wrinkles and graying hair, and spend so much time and energy hating those things and trying to stop them that we miss life. That is not healthy.
For me this number highlights that most of us now rely on classes and gyms for movement. We buy memberships and equipment and active wear- but we don't need any of it to be healthy. Humans were nomads to begin with. We had to run, hunt, gather and move almost constantly. And yes our world has changed and we have the luxury of sitting much more than our ancestors, but our bodies are still very capable of moving! If you want to move more, walk or run outside. Take the stairs more. Play more. If you want to try the latest fitness trends, use YouTube to watch free videos. Moving does not have to cost so much and gym memberships do not make you healthy.
Complimentary and alternative medicine:
This brings to mind homeopathy, acupuncture etc. The thing is, many of these treatments lack a scientific evidence base- AKA science says they don't cure anything. Now, for lots of people these treatments are relaxing and enjoyable, and provide some well-needed me time, but if we need to spend $199billion/year to relax we should be worried!
Nutrition and weight-loss:
The nutrition mentioned here is not MY kinda nutrition- it is supplements and shakes and plans and books that promote weight loss. You guys know by now that I never promote any of those things, so you probably know where this is going!
Promoting weight loss is about aesthetics and not health.
Fat people can be, and are, healthy too. The success of this industry says more about our insecurities than of the success of diets.
Some stats on the cost of the weight-loss industry:
95% of diets fail (average).
1/2 of girls aged 9-10 are dieting.
35% of occasional dieters become pathological dieters.
25% of occasional dieters become eating disorder sufferers.
40% of newly diagnosed anorexia cases are among girls age 15-19.
And of course it is important to mention that since we "declared a war on obesity" the rates of obesity have not declined.
So what is the weight loss industry achieving?
Increasing rates of disordered eating and eating disorders, earlier onset of body dissatisfaction and dieting behaviours, worse health outcomes and a distinct lack of long-term weight loss.
What can you do?
Stop buying into wellness and seek advice from professionals.
Use your consumer vote- only buy things that are worth it!
Make noise- write about your experiences of "wellness", share blogs like this one with your family and friends, report wellness BS online, don't engage with BS brands.
If you are done with dieting and "wellness", you might be interested in my Non-Diet plan. Group 1 kicks off next week and spaces are limited so get in touch ASAP if you're interested---> Read about the plan.
Watch this #MondayMoan video:
Lots of love,
Little O x