Leveraging the Obesity Epidemic to Design a Profitable Online Business

clip_image002Hold on, before you go, let me tell you why this might just be the droid post you’re looking for. As you know, this blog is about creating a profitable online business. A couple of days ago I got an email from Matthew offering me a guest post on doing just that in the weight loss niche.

I was probably half way through the post but I already knew that it’s going to be a great addition here. Matthew really knows his stuff and presents a real and well researched stance on weight loss as a great business area for online entrepreneurs. Tune in.

Enter Matthew

What is an epidemic? It’s a disease that has affected a large number of people in a population within a small period of time. When the disease affects almost every individual in the population, then it becomes a pandemic.

Today, obesity is an epidemic predicted to become a pandemic within the next few decades. What does this mean for entrepreneurs like you and I? Well, apart from the fact that, according to the statistics, you who are reading this article are most likely overweight, it also means that obesity has created a huge need for a solution.

And since a need for a solution is what drives the demand for every successful product in the market today, the high obesity occurrence is what gives many weight loss products their current high earnings potential. Is the demand for weight loss products high, indeed?

As you drive through the city where you live, you will see closed businesses, houses for sale, and gas prices that are astronomical and you know people have to be very choosy with their money. However, the amount of money that people are willing to spend on weight loss products steadily increases. Weight loss purchases are more and more every year. Just take a look at the information below and you will see how much of an increase there really is, and how you can take advantage of that to make money.

The War with Weight is Truly a $60 Billion Market

All over the world people are gaining weight. According to the World Health Organization between 2005 and 2015 there will be a continued increase of overweight adults from 1.6 billion to 2.3 billion. In the same period, the number of obese people will grow from 400 million to 700 million, globally.

And with that kind of overweight and obesity rise it is no wonder more and more money is being spent on weight loss. The total amount has surpassed $60 billion annually. This is because obesity causes a host of other diseases (i.e metabolic syndrome, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, arthritis, etc.) and therefore the medical expenses for obese people are significantly higher than these of normal weight people.

What is even more astounding to me is that smoking is now second to obesity on the list of preventable death in the United States. Smoking causes cancer – an expensive disease. Yet, obesity is more expensive. The U.S. alone is now spending $190 billion on medical expenses to treat obesity, Reuters reports. This accounts for 21% of US health care costs, according to Cornell statistics. At the rate Americans are going, the cost will increase to $550 billion by 2030, says a CBS News report.

The frenzied growth of obesity in the US is reflected on the fact that while in 2000 there were no states with obesity rates higher than 30%, by 2010 twelve states had obesity rate of 30% or more. Today, 35.7% of American adults are obese. This number will be 42% in just 18 years from now, researchers predict.

So if billions of dollars are being spent on obesity there has to be a way for a person, who sincerely wants to help people become healthier, to capitalize on this money making opportunity in a legitimate and ethical way.

How to Get Your Share of The Pie in the Weight Loss Market

There are many ways one can capitalize on the growing weight loss trend, but in this article I will elaborate only on the one I am most familiar with: Affiliate Marketing. It is one of the fastest ways to make money online today. It’s not the easiest, but it works fast.

This is because as an affiliate marketer you connect with businesses that are already successful. That means you don’t have to create a product yourself. The product and the market are already there for you. In other words, you take advantage of an existing trend – a proven product that sells successfully in a thirsty market.

As an affiliate marketer, not only do you not need to create your own product, you don’t have to market a product either. You don’t have to keep a stock, pay employees, handle shipping, answer phone calls, respond to lawsuits, etc. All this is taken care of by the merchant you are affiliated with.

What’s more, to succeed as an affiliate marketer in the diet niche, you don’t have to be a dietitian or a health professional.  Your job is only to endorse the product. You do need to become a master in SEO, though, so that people will get to see your endorsement and  click on your affiliate links. This is a two-step process.

1. Identify Successful Weight Loss Products

It’s important that you associate yourself with the big players in the diet industry. That is, companies that have a proven record of success. Some of the top weight loss programs are Weight Watchers, Medifast, and Nutrisystem.

These companies have been offering weight loss solutions in the form of diet food (meal delivery, meal replacements), digital products (online weight loss tools) and one-on-one support (advice from dietitians, meetings with other dieters) for over three decades. They have helped millions of people lose weight and keep it off.

You don’t want to associate yourself with fad products. The weight loss industry is notorious for its deceptive, short-lived, magic diet pills and cabbage soup diets that become popular for one year or two before they fall into oblivion.

Stay away from products like Acai Berry – a product that is associated with scientifically unsupported health claims, and diet pills like Hoodia – a supplement proven to be 70% counterfeit. They are destined to live a short life, as the snapshots from Google Trends show below:

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The Hoodia Bubble. The photo shows how the number of searches (demand) for the term: “Hoodia diet” changed over the years. It peaked in 2007. Today, the Hoodia market is obsolete.

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The Acai Bubble. The photo shows how the number of searches for the term “acai for weight loss” changed over the years. The Amazonian berry appeared all of a sudden in 2009.  The acai diet was a total fad. Today the interest for Acai berry to lose weight is almost extinct.

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Weight Watchers – a stable product. The photo shows how the number of searches for the term “Weight Watchers,” changes over the years. The product enjoys a steady demand with only seasonal fluctuations.

2. Create a Website

In your website you will provide information that relates to the products you are affiliated with. Thousands of people query Google every day to find information about fitness and diet products. I will give you an example. In my website, I have two pages were I review the Weight Watchers program and the Nutrisystem meal plan.

Here are some keyword phrases that people type on Google before they land on these two pages of my site, based on my Google Analytics account:

  • Does Weight Watchers work for men, too?
  • How much will I lose on Weight Watchers
  • How does Nutrisystem work?
  • How does Nutrisystem compare to Weight Watchers?

All you need to do is align yourself with the well-known weight loss programs. People needing answers to their questions about weight loss go online every day. There will be questions as basic as “how do I lose weight” to more focused “did Weight Watchers work for you” to “if I take Solo Slim will my tongue go numb.” Every question and the way you handle it is vital. People trying to lose weight will spend their money on something they feel has the potential to work for them.

In my website, I try to answer all questions that people might have about the merchants I am affiliated with. My goal is to be as objective as I can. If a product has a disadvantage, I make sure I mention this so that the reader will be informed. If your intention is to help people make an informed decision, your effort will be appreciated. People will trust your opinion and they will rely greatly on you for choosing the product that suits them best.

The more questions you sincerely answer, the better. You can use Google’s Keyword Tool to find potential topics people are interested in or you can use common sense. For example, I recently published in my site a real testimony of Jackie, a lady who lost weight on Weight Watchers. I did that simply because I know that potential customers want to read other people’s experiences before they decide on a certain weight loss program.

For every merchant you are affiliated with, here is some information you need to provide in your website:

  • Describe the product in detail, its history, why it has been created, who is it best for, what it can do for your readers. Break down how the programs works. Does the program incorporate shakes, or real meals? Does the program include going to meetings?
  • Compare your merchant’s product to other similar products. In what ways is the product you are featuring better than others in the industry?
  • Put yourself in your visitor’s position and understand what concerns you would have if you were looking for a solution to your weight loss problem. How would you feel? People often want to avoid spending time researching a product. They want somebody who will tell them what to do, believe it or not. This is where you come in answering their questions, explaining to them the benefits of the product, the various options, the pros and cons.
  • Are there any scientific studies that support the effectiveness of the particular diet pill or weight loss plan? Are there any side effects? Is the product appropriate and safe for a specific class of people (vegetarians, diabetics, etc.).
  • People love to hear real life success stories about a product they are thinking of spending money on. Put together reviews on the products you are endorsing showing potential customers the great (or not so great) experiences others have had using those products.

The weight loss industry is booming and with it the opportunity to make money online. Your goal is to help people identify what you honestly believe works. If you have tried the product yourself and has worked for you, then all the better. Give your readers the information they are looking for so that they will make an intelligent decision. You will be rewarded with affiliate commissions.

The weight loss market wave is strong and still far from the hitting the shore.  The question is, are you willing to ride it?

About the author: Matthew Denos is an internet entrepreneur who studies the weight loss market, its profitability, and the opportunities it offers to open minded webpreneurs.


  • http://www.weightlosstriumph.com Matthew Denos

    Hello Karol,
    thank you for publishing my article. Back in 2004, I was reading Paul Pilzer’s book “The Wellness Revolution – How to Make a Fortune in the Next Trillion Dollar Industry by Paul Zane Pilzer”. It was then I first realized the huge money earnings potential of the weight loss niche.

    Again, it’s an honor to contribute to the content of your site.

  • Karol K.

    Thanks, Matthew!