These days, healthy is trendy. Look no further than your Instagram feed to see friends showing off exercise clothes and dinners cooked to the specifications of a fad diet, sharing favorite supplements, or training for the next half marathon. Let’s take a look at some of the fads and products that are fueling U.S.’s renewed collective health kick and the industries that are benefiting.
Today’s tech-tuned-in world is also creating a market for digital products and apps that promote working out. Between the iOS and Android platforms, more than 100,000 health and fitness apps are available. Samples include the streaming system Daily Burn, which includes a digital video library and invites subscribers to do a daily workout together, Aaptiv, a smartphone app users can take to the gym or on a run for an audio workout, and the popular Seven app, which promises health-boosting results with a 7-minute per day workout.
Diets and Restaurants
Fewer and fewer people are going on a diet these days. The diet industry is still worth $70 billion, but Americans are starting to turn their backs on industry giants such as Weight Watchers and Nutrisystem in favor of a more generalized emphasis on eating a variety of healthy whole foods, especially legumes, fruits, and vegetables, and a focus on fitness and exercise over weight loss. This emphasis on whole foods has encouraged restaurants such as Panera Bread to focus their menus on whole foods and reducing additives.
Whole, plant-based foods remain the gold standard for health and weight loss. People interested in health food fads are also looking for ways to supplement their healthy diets with everything from making their own celery juice to investing in a variety of shakes and other health and weight loss products. Companies such as Xyngular have seen an opportunity to create health supplements to help people invest in their health and pack in even more nutrients alongside a healthy diet rich in whole foods.
The nation’s health kick has lead to some changes on the fashion front as well, creating a new category of casual wear known as “athleisure.” Basically, this is workout clothing that can be worn in a variety of settings, even work, and school. Think sparkly long yoga pants paired with a windbreaker. There seems to be a perception that looking like your active leads to more exercise—or to other people thinking you’re fit and healthy. People are willing to pay top dollar for the athleisure look, rewarding companies like Lululemon and Under Armour.
A focus on health and fitness, fueled by social media and a societal desire to combat disease and obesity, has lead to changes in a variety of industries, from tech to fashion. Hopefully, the nation’s health kick will pay off not only in the economy but in better health outcomes.