11/06/2004

The Low-down on Low-Carb

At the beginning of this current year it seemed that the low-carb diet was the answer to American’s problem of obesity. Food advertisements everywhere were promoting this new wave dieting technique. Companies that didn’t jump on the low-carb band wagon were left behind by advocates of this low-carb craze. Like any other diet, the craze didn’t last long. The low-carb advertisements that used to be so prevalent are now a thing of the past. Occasionally, we still see companies hanging on to the concept of low-carbs for the die hard dieters out there, but it appears that the Atkins diet trend is beginning to slowly fade.

Recently a study done by the NPD Group, a research firm, stated that, “the percentage of Americans following diets like Atkins and South Beach dropped to 4.6 percent in September from 9 percent in January.” What would be the cause of this drastic downturn in demand? According to ACNielsen LabelTrends, “dollar sales of such foods rose 6.1 percent during the 13 weeks ended Sept. 25, down from double and triple-digit gains in the previous six periods.” Could the increased price for low-carb products be the cause of this decline in demand or was the low-carb diet just a fad that was destined never to succeed?

9 comments:

John West said...

No matter the diet of choice, I think that Americans are becoming more and more health conscious over time. I notice it in restaurants and grocery stores. People are ordering and buying more nutritionally beneficial items.

pramahaphil said...

Have you noticed the abundance of supplement pills that have been brought out on the market for all of those people on the low carb craze. I wonder if the low carb isn't more hazardous that healthy.

peter_parker said...

I think that high priced specialty foods does have influence on consumers' decisions. It seems plausible that the weight loss in the wallet is far more noticeable right off than any weight loss in pounds. The result might be different if carb-counting was not a fad but a reasonable lifestyle.

miles said...

True, the demand for a more healthy lifestyle is increasing. Ways to pursue this healthy lifestyle like the low-carb and south beach diets has caught the attention of millions. But I believe that these diets are just fads. They don't have enough substance to actually be a part of a healthy lifestyle.

Julie said...

Nutritionists have always said that low-carb diets aren't healthy because our bodies need carbs to function properly. People that go on low-carb diets may lose weight quickly in the beginning, but they aren't able to sustain that weight loss. So, people are moving away from low-carb diets which have proven too expensive relative to their temporary benefits.

Jake said...

With the low-card diet becoming less popular, I believe that part of the decline in popularity has to do with the increase in price, but also most Americans want results right now and low-card diet takes time for the results to show. The price increase has only added to the frustration of losing weight, which has given most of us an excuse not to continue.

Bryce Larkin said...

One reason why it didn't last is because you can't keep the low-carb diet forever. Also, once you get off the diet you gain all the weight back. Research has shown that the low-carb diet isn't even good for you, but people still do it anyways.

Maudi said...

I agree the low-carb diet thing is just a fad. American like fatty foods and the only way to control our weight is to control our food consumtion and exercise. We all get in the habit of trying to find the easiest way to lose weight but, lets face it there is no easy way it is all work. I think we need to do a lot less sitting and a lot more exercising.

Dr. Tufte said...

This is a pretty good example of monopolistic competition in action. Firms saw an opportunity to price low-carb stuff above marginal cost, and they did. The high prices signal other firms to enter the industry, driving profits towards zero.