Among the early panels that kicked off the 2010 Milken Institute Global Conference was one focused, appropriately, on healthy living trends affecting aging baby boomers. Brian Wood, Managing Director at Imperial Capital moderated the discussion, on how clinical information and public education can influence a person’s behavior and their healthy living decisions.
“There is a need in this country to educate people on the food they eat, the diet supplements they take, and the overall need to increase physical activity in their daily life,” said Pierre Fitzgibbon, President and CEO, Atrium Innovations.”
The diet supplement industry is now a $25 billion industry in the U.S. and has seen an eight percent growth in the past year.
“There has been a healthy living shift in the way we look at diet supplements. This shift is being driven by the anti-aging movement, the rising cost of healthcare, and the overall focus on avoiding sickness,” said Guru Ramanathan, Chief Innovation Officer and Senior Vice President, GNC. “But diet supplements need to be coupled with changes in a person’s diet and daily exercise.”
“One of the biggest changes to nutrition in the U.S. happened between 1975 and 1985 with the introduction of high fructose corn syrup to the diets of millions of American’s. Corn syrup is used in many foods to soften texture and enhance flavor and corn syrup is one of the major causes of obesity in this country,” said David Heber.
Clinical research and public education are helping to advance the health living lifestyle movement forward. Product label claims and warnings, good manufacturing practices, and adverse effect reports are working to educate the public in decisions related to personalized nutrition.
According to Heber, “giving information to the public is not going to necessarily drive them to modify their unhealthy behavior, but personalizing the information for public consumption will have a greater effect on behavior changes.” Heber added, “99.9 percent of people are identical in genetic make-up, it’s a balanced nutrition and a healthy natural lifestyle that separate us apart.
There is an emerging trend and demand for healthier and more active lifestyles, including yoga. Trevor Tice, Founder and CEO of CorePower Yoga, a chain of over 30 yoga studios said “there are currently 15.8 million American’s that do yoga annually and spending on yoga fitness has doubled since 2004.”