Obesity is becoming a weighty concern around the globe and this is fueling greater consumer interest in achieving a healthy weight. In fact, a recent survey of nearly 5,000 consumers by New Hope Natural Media and iVillage found that the majority of women seek out products that will help them address their No. 1 health concern: losing or maintaining their weight. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 35 percent of Americans over age 20 are overweight and another 35 percent are obese; 10 percent of children age 5 and under are obese and 20 percent of children ages 6 to 11 are obese. Being overweight raises the risk for many diseases, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, and depression. To lose weight, many people go on a diet. Generally considered safe by experts, moderately low-calorie diets aim to create an energy deficit, where the dieter burns more calories than he or she consumes daily. Regular, moderate physical exercise also helps burn calories.
People who are watching their weight and are interested in achieving optimal health should avoid high-sugar foods and excess alcohol; choose small amounts of healthy fats (such as avocados and nuts); and exercise regularly. Other popular diets include low-carb, low-fat, Atkins, South Beach, juice fasts, and detox plans. Nutritional ingredients that may help with weight loss include chromium, green tea extract, phosphatidylserine (PS), digestive enzymes (bromelain, papaya), conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), fiber (psyllium, inulin, oat bran), chitosan, guar gum, and calcium.