As 2015 rolls in, gyms are suddenly going to get more crowded as everyone tries to make good on their new year's resolution to lose weight/get in shape for a couple months at least. However, as we know, good intentions to lose weight are notorious for not doing a whole lot. According to these US statistics, approximately 67% of people with gym memberships never use them, and $39 of the average monthly cost of a gym membership ($58) goes to waste from underutilization. Hence, we have the ongoing problem of a fatter and fatter global population although admittedly, a lot goes into this trend besides people failing to follow through on their new year's resolutions (a group that I am certainly part of).
The economic burden of obesity is massive no pun intended but medtech can't complain too much. As we know, obesity leads to a number of health problems, ranging from cardiovascular disease to greater wear and tear on the joints to diabetes. Because all of these conditions as well as obesity itself can be treated with medtech, more obese people arguably leads to more money for medtech. In fact, companies are pouring a lot of dollars into research to figure out new medtech-related ways to treat obesity, such as intragastric balloons and gastric stimulators.
However, better surgical interventions may solve the symptoms, but don't attack the underlying problem. A McKinsey study covered by the Economist looks at different anti-obesity measures and their cost and impact. Things like better portion control and changing food-product formulas could have a big impact on controlling obesity in the long term. The article noted that the current economic burden of obesity is roughly equal to smoking, or even war.
Something to keep in mind this year as you resolve to exercise more, eat better, etc. You might be fighting an uphill battle, but it's one worth fighting.