We hear over and over that obesity is a growing epidemic accompanied by rising public health costs. Private industry has had to respond as well. Whether it’s calls for high-end labels to produce more clothing in larger sizes, expectations that fast food restaurants will make healthier options available or controversies over airlines requiring obese passengers to pay for extra seats, it’s clear that our tendency toward gaining weight is changing both public and private policy.
But surely there must be industries that profit from the trend as well. From unused gym memberships to nutritional plans to stores that cater exclusively to plus-sized customers, obesity has been a boon to certain segments of the economy. There are almost certainly higher costs for the obese population as well.
What does the future hold? Will we continue to gain weight as a population, or will the trend reverse itself? Whatever happens, it’s certain that someone will be there to make a profit.
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