Friday, May 16, 2008

Obesity and Corporate Identity

Obese people make Corporations happy. If you are overweight you are part of a select consumer group. And, you are a target of new found "corporate identities".

Take this article I found in this morning's newsletter.

Making a head start in this area, Nestlé Research Center (NRC) has announced a new collaboration with General Electric (GE) Global Research to gain access to GE's cutting edge technology.
"Through this collaboration with GE we have the opportunity to use cutting-edge diagnostic tools to increase our understanding of how nutrition and lifestyle choices impact body composition and metabolic health," said Prof. Peter van Bladeren, Head of Nestlé Science and Research.

"With this knowledge, Nestlé can continue to deliver science-based nutritional products to improve and enhance the quality of peoples' lives."

Nestlé is in the midst of transforming from a general food company into a health, nutrition and wellness company. Such a transformation is heavily reliant on R&D and the current annual spend of the company is reportedly almost €1bn.
What interests me is the second last sentence.

Nestlé is in the midst of transforming from a general food company into a health, nutrition and wellness company.
This is a very big, very successful food company that is now officially making the transition into health, nutrition and wellness.

It looks like (in the eyes of the corporate world), the days of "food" are over. We are now entering the era of "nutrition".

"Food" was ice cream being bought because of the flavor. "Nutrition" is ice cream being bought because of the added protein, polyphenols and green-tea extract.

This is a prime example of why the simplicity of 'eating less' to lose weight and improve health will probably never catch on. The complexity of 'eat differently' has far better economic ramifications for big business.

In the battle of simple (like the Eat Stop Eat lifestyle) versus complex (Obsessive Compulsive Eating), only one of these styles creates a need for new product development, innovation in food processing, increased need for marketing and PR and a label claims with a 'good for you' message. Which is precisely why complex is so appealing to big business.

Unfortunately for big business, it is Simple that works best when it comes to food, health and weight loss.

Find the easiest, simplest way to eat less and enjoy the foods you eat. This is the key to weight loss and health.


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Jordan said...

That last paragraph is perfect! Sums up the whole issue really well. I even wrote it down on a piece of paper and taped it to my computer as a reminder! I have another reminder that I've been using for awhile: "As easy as possible, but still effective." We get so caught up in the complexities of nutrition that we can forget to simply eat less food!

Michel said...

A personal trainer though most of the times proves to be a burden on the pocket, yet it yield noteworthy results. Weight loss and fitness programs can be complete and profiting only when there is a surveyor, be it a trainer, a dietician, a weight loss expert, or a combination of all the three.