Fat Is Big Business: $58 Billion a Year

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Fat is big business, with annual revenues from weight-loss products and services at $58 billion.

Our obsession with fat has even prompted a graduate of Stephens College in Missouri to offer to donate a cool million dollars if the faculty and staff there lose 250 pounds by Jan. 1. That's what Bonnie Rochman reports in Time magazine.

The timing for that kind of offer to an institution of higher learning might not be so hot, though. On Oct. 18th, at least 35 colleges are kicking off a campaign to help end our preoccupation with fat and thin. For example, Rochman says the colleges want to ban fat talk, as in "Does this make me look fat" and "Hey, you look great since you lost so much weight."

Will the initiative succeed? That's unlikely. So your jobs and businesses in weight loss are secure. Those range from Weight Watchers marketing representative to selling herbal products to manage appetite. A growth area, no pun intended, is weight-loss camps for overweight children and teenagers. Depending on who's doing the counting, 16 to 33 percent of those two age groups are obese.

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