Health & Wellness

RECENT NEWS
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Forbes  Apr 25  Comment 
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New York Times  Apr 4  Comment 
Products and ideas surrounding eating, health and wellness that seem like a 1970s flashback (think turmeric and açai bowls) have gone mainstream.
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Forbes  Mar 30  Comment 
In 2013, Brandon McEachern started Broccoli City Music Festival. The health-oriented event based in Washington D.C. promotes health and wellness and economic development in urban communities.
New York Times  Mar 9  Comment 
The proposed plan, called Vital Brooklyn, would bring “health and wellness” resources into communities like East New York, Brownsville, Bedford-Stuyvesant and Crown Heights.




 
TOP CONTRIBUTORS

Health and wellness are often used interchangeably, but they have slightly different meanings. Health is more of a medical term and describes the physical and mental state of a person. It usually denotes a lack of disease or abnormality. Wellness, on the other hand, is defined as the overall process of maintaining a general state of good health. Wellness involves conscious decisions on the part of the individual, whereas health simply describes a person's condition. In modern usage, however, the combined phrase "health and wellness" has come to mean the pursuit of overall physical, mental, and emotional health. This term is used frequently in various contexts, all aimed at promoting a better lifestyle.

The term "health and wellness" has become a powerful tool for marketers in various industries. As people decide to change their habits and pursue healthier lifestyles, many different companies stand to benefit. Health food retailers, manufacturers of exercise equipment, and companies that produce vitamins or nutritional supplements could all see increased demand for their products as a result of the health and wellness trend. On the other hand, companies whose products or services are generally associated with poor health would be negatively impacted by an increased public concern about health and wellness. Examples include tobacco companies and quick service restaurants (QSRs).

What's driving the health and wellness trend?

Many factors have contributed to the increased public awareness of health and wellness. Higher rates of heart disease, increases in the incidence of cancer, record numbers of clinically obese people, and various other health scares have all drawn attention to the need for healthy lifestyle choices. Additionally, as modern medicine has progressed, doctors and scientists have greatly expanded their knowledge of the human body, exposing many health risks that were previously unknown. One-hundred years ago, doctors touted excessive sun exposure as beneficial, and heroin/cocaine combo sets, complete with syringes and needles, were sold in department stores. It is now common knowledge that too much sun can cause skin cancer, smoking can bring on any number of painful deaths, and eating a bit too much ice cream can pack on the pounds, increasing the risk of diabetes and heart disease.

What does health and wellness entail?

Though the definitions range from the strictly physical to the deeply spiritual, most agree that health and wellness involves making conscious decisions to improve a person's overall state of health. Common components of the pursuit of health and wellness are:

  • Healthier food consumption - This is considered to be a crucial part of achieving good health. The health and wellness trend hinges on the belief that food intake is directly related to physical health. As such, maintaining a sensible diet of healthy foods has become a keystone in the health and wellness philosophy.
  • Physical fitness - Though it is possible to be both healthy and well without running marathons daily, some physical exercise is generally recognized as an important part of a healthy lifestyle.
  • Avoidance of potentially harmful products or behaviors - Cutting down on things that can cause illness or other unhealthy consequences is also key to the health and wellness trend. Avoiding smoking, wearing sunblock, and obeying the speed limit are all examples of steps that people take to keep themselves healthy.

Which companies benefit from increased concern about health and wellness?

Natural food retailers

Diet services

  • NutriSystem (NTRI) and EDiets.com (DIET) both offer meal delivery plans that send meals, which are specially planned to fit customers' dietary needs, directly to their homes. eDiets also runs a website that offers diet advice and related products and services.

Exercise equipment manufacturers

  • Cybex International (CYBI) manufactures exercise machines and equipment, which are intended primarily for commercial purposes. As people start going to the gym more often, Cybex could benefit from increased demand for gym equipment.
  • Nautilus Group (NLS) makes exercise equipment for both home and commercial use.

Nutritional supplements and health care products

Which companies benefit from decreased concern about health and wellness?

Tobacco Companies

Quick Service Restaurants

  • McDonald's (MCD), Wendy's International (WEN), Yum! Brands (YUM), and CKE Restaurants (CKR) operate large chains of quick service restaurants (QSR), which are not generally known for their healthy options. Though these chains have upped their offerings of healthier alternatives to their standard fare, QSRs still have a reputation for serving unhealthy "fast food". CKR's CEO Andrew Puzder seems unconcerned, however, saying, "And [surveys] show that while consumers say they want to eat healthier, what they actually want is a big juicy burger."[1]
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