by Gretchen Schisla
There seems to be a heightened sense of "healthy" in the air. And it's not just because it's January and we're looking to start fresh. The buzz is everywhere: The produce section at Whole Foods is packed with people picking out fruits and veggies. The compelling documentary "Forks Over Knives" had a two-month-long waiting list on Netflix. "Wheat Belly," authored by William Davis, a preventive cardiologist, is a New York Times bestseller and a much discussed topic since its release last summer. Wellness products and services are among the fastest growing economic areas.
It's no secret that the "boom" in wellness products and services is being driven by the sheer power and mass of the Baby Boomer population. What's more interesting is that this group behaves differently than any other prior generation. Not only are boomers refusing to passively accept the aging process, they are immersed in helping aging parents, many with diseases that could have been prevented with better lifestyle choices. This age group is also facing their own mortality, and the realization that they are headed in the same direction if they don’t make big changes in their daily choices with food, exercise and overall balance.
Now that many are embracing "conscious living" — we hope to see a sharp reduction in the amount of lifestyle diseases, which are vastly preventable.
"Food" for Thought
- Wellness affects everyone — millions of people are interested in improving their overall wellness.
- As the interest in wellness grows, the cost of healthcare is skyrocketing, signaling a dire need for lifestyle disease education and prevention.
- More than half of what affects our health is our choice of lifestyle. Finding effective ways to change behavior for a better outcome is critical.
- The food industry spends $25 billion on advertising and promotion. Only 2 percent of the ads are for fruit, vegetables, grains and beans — the foods that should make up the bulk of a healthy diet.
- Now, more than ever, companies are responding to consumer demand for healthy products and services that promote good health and wellness.
It's reassuring to see positive change happening, one person at a time. Baby Boomers will continue to influence, by the power of the demand they create, and will set the pace of the wellness industry for generations to come.