Although consumers take a great deal of responsibility themselves for weight gain, about three quarters believe that advertising encourages them to eat less-healthy food and that food companies should
provide healthier fare, according to a new Nielsen Consumer Insight report. But fast-food companies "get off surprisingly easy," the report says, "and are not seen as nearly as important a player in
the obesity blame game as food companies."
The Holy Cow revelation of this story is the shift in attitude since the last study in 2006. Way back then, 82% of American adults acknowledged
an individual's responsibility in weight gain but only 2% placed the biggest blame on food companies and 6% on fast food restaurants. How we got from 2% to 75% of American placing culpability on food
companies is not explained. It's probably a simple process that just seems murky, like how we can suddenly gain 20 pounds overnight.
The upside to all this, Sarah Hills reports, is that
there's a "clear opportunity" for marketers to effectively target overweight or obese people with messaging that speaks to their mindset, as well as educating them. Hills also cites a recent Credit
Suisse report that estimates that revenue related to obesity products in the consumer staples sector will reach $1.4 trillion globally by 2012, with average annual growth of 9.3% from 2008.
Read the whole story at Food Navigator USA »