I wouldn't know even where to start to estimate about how much money diet industry had gotten from me. From the memberships at Weight Watchers and Nutrisystem, the gym memberships I gave up after 6 months, the diet soda, the diet foods, the diet books. I am guessing somewhere in the range of 2ok probably more.
My biggest consumption was diet coke. Diet coke was my beverage of choice through almost every single diet. From the ages 15 to 27 (Low carb dieting didn't allow diet soda) I would drink two or three 2 liter bottles a week, not to mention cans and bottles form the vending machines. I remember my excitement when Coke released diet cherry coke. One of my writing rituals was a bowl of popcorn and a glass of diet coke by my side while I wrote (today it's water or tea.)
I gave up diet coke when my low carb diet said it was a no-no. Except when I wasn't dieting, I would go back to drinking diet coke.
Diet coke was the last dieting product I had to give up. It had been my fair weather friend for so long. It remained with me after I gave up dieting, long after my book was out, long after I preached fat acceptance. I kept it as the one diet product I wanted to keep. I didn't drink it as I once did and I thought about giving it up for good. The last occassion was December 8, 2007. I only know the date I had been in Syracuse visiting friends and taking photos. After a long day with still more to do, I found myself tired. I asked my husband to go out and get me some tea or coffee or something with caffeine. At the time I didn't drink soda because I had made the association between corn syrup and feeling nausaous. He came back with a diet coke not realizing that I was thinking of giving up. I was so tired I drank it. It had been almost a year since I had one.
I couldn't believe how bad it tasted. Did I really drink this regularly for most of my young adult life? I realized my biggest addiction hadn't been food (once I stopped dieting, the binging on sugar/salty snacks diminished) but diet soda.
The Wall Street Journal recently published a press release that the diet industry is currently worth $109 Billion and is expected to reach 137 billion in 2017.
The North America Weight Loss / Obesity Management Market was worth $104 billion in the year 2012 and is expected to reach $139.5 billion by 2017. U.S. is the largest market, followed by Canada. The market will grow at a healthy pace in the next five years due to the increasing number of lifestyle diseases such as diabetes and cardiac problems, increasing personal disposable income, government initiatives to increase awareness of health and fitness, and technological advancements.
This market includes: commercial diets such as Weight Watchers, weight loss surgery, pills, wellness plans, nutritional counseling, diet foods, books and yes diet soda. One of the companies highlighted as a big diet industry player is Coca-Cola. (And pepsi too.)
Now why do you think this press release was in the Wall Street Journal and not say the JAMA (It might be, I haven't checked) because dieting is a cash fucking cow. There isn't any money in telling people maybe they can eat a little better or move a little more or that they are perfectly healthy outside the arcane normal weight BMI. Or simple
Do you think with all these billions that the diet industry really wants to you to be healthy and well? Or do they just want your money?