Plenity is a medical device that is meant to help people lose weight. The device is a small, pill-sized implant that is inserted into the stomach. Once in place, the device is meant to help the body feel full after eating small amounts of food.
Factor Meals are pre-packaged, portion-controlled meals that are designed to help with weight loss or meal planning. The meals are low in carbs and calories, and they are high in protein and fiber.
Solid Starts is a content platform on how to introduce real food to babies - a trend that's called baby-led weaning. The site has helpful guides and a large food database of appropriate food for babies at certain ages. It also has an app that helps parents introduce real food to babies.
Body recomposition is the process of losing fat while gaining muscle. It is often considered to be the Holy Grail of fitness, as it allows people to achieve the lean, muscular look without having to diet or exercise excessively.
Weight Gain Syrup is a syrup that is meant to be consumed to help with weight gain by increasing the body’s calorie intake.
ADHD food is food that is designed to help with symptoms of ADHD. The food is often high in protein and low in sugar and carbs, and is meant to help with focus, energy, and concentration. Foods that may help with ADHD include eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, avoiding processed foods, and choosing lean protein sources.
Dirty Bulk is a type of bodybuilding where the goal is to gain as much muscle mass as possible. The diet and training routine is focused on eating a lot of calories and lifting heavy weights.
WeFast is a social media platform and community that is dedicated to helping people achieve their health and fitness goals. The platform provides a community of support, resources, and accountability to help people stay on track.
A gut cleanse is a detoxification process that aims to cleanse the digestive system. The goal is to remove toxins and waste from the gut in order to improve overall health. There are many different methods for performing a gut cleanse, including dietary changes, supplements, and detox teas.
There are a number of foods that are said to help with cutting. These foods are typically high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which are thought to help with brain function and support the development of lean muscle mass. Some of the most common foods for cutting include fish, chicken, eggs, and nuts.
Low FODMAP is a diet that is meant to help those with digestive issues. The diet eliminates foods that are high in FODMAPs (Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols), which are said to cause stomach discomfort.
Lean bulk is a weightlifting and nutrition strategy that aims to increase muscle mass while minimizing body fat. The goal is to achieve a “lean” look, as opposed to the more traditional “bulky” look. The strategy focuses on eating a high-protein diet and lifting heavy weights.
Trend Highlight – The Rise of Plenity
One reason Plenity is one of the fastest-growing weight loss aids is that even though it looks like a pill, the company behind it was able to get it classified as a medical device rather than a drug.
The FDA approval process for medical devices allows approval in cases where a device shows equivalent functionality to an existing treatment, which is a much cheaper and faster approach than the oftentimes billion-dollar investment of a full clinical trial.
Plenity is a diet pill that helps users feel full. It got approved because it was submitted to the FDA as having the same function as gastric bypass surgery, in which part of a person’s stomach is closed off, or removed to make the actual stomach smaller.
Plenity's active ingredients, cellulose and citric acid, expand in the stomach and make patients feel full earlier. So in a sense, this regulatory decision is not as strange as it looks: gastric bypass and Plenity both help people lose weight by giving them less room for food.
The surgical weight loss industry generates $6 billion each year in revenue, but the potential market is larger—many people either don't want to spend money on surgery or worry that it's too drastic. Part of this market size is because obesity has been rising for decades, both in the US and abroad. Obesity is not only a problem on its own, but contributes to other health complications too like heart disease, diabetes, and injuries from falls.
Plenity is part of an accidental arms race: food and entertainment companies make money from a high-calorie, sedentary lifestyle, and there’s less revenue in promoting moderation. This has been part of why the average weight has drifted up over time, and Plenity is one of many companies trying to tackle this problem as it gets more acute. Like blue light glasses, which help people feel better about their screen time instead of actually reducing how much of it they get, Plenity lets people keep eating until they’re completely full, and just changes when that is.
Trend Highlight – The Weight Gain Opportunity
There’s a supply and demand mismatch—and thus a market opportunity—in the business of helping people reach their ideal weight; but not with weight loss. In fact, Google queries for "how to lose weight" overshadow those for “how to gain weight” by only to 6:1. However, the weight loss industry is far more than 6x more competitive and saturated than the weight gain industry: in fact, there are almost 3,000% more apps for losing weight than gaining it.
Companies like Noom, with 45 million users, have been able to build up a large following by helping users lose weight. The company uses an effective signup flow which encourages users to set a deadline, such as a wedding they’ll be attending or even just “summer”, which helps the app not only tune the weight loss program, but also the email drip campaigns. Noom’s focus though, is exclusively on losing weight—even if users sign up and express the intention to add a few pounds of muscle, the signup workflow uses copy about weight loss.
The weight-gaining market is not only more ripe for opportunity but also more fragmented than the weight-loss market. Some customers are trying to add muscle mass, and look for products like whey protein. Others want to add weight more generally, and they increasingly turn to appetite-stimulating supplements or weight-gain syrups.
Some of these products are carb- and vitamin-rich meal shakes that just add extra calories to diets, but some of them include medications that are used off-label to stimulate appetite. These weight-gaining shakes have health risks, and are often marketed illegally.
Media attention often drives new diet trends. When celebrities were mediated through magazines, TV, and movies, they tended to be thinner, but many popular influencers have a different body type—one popular weight gainer brand, "slim thicc," is named after the body type exemplified by Kim Kardashian, Nicki Minaj, and other celebrities. With more diverse celebrity body types, there's a wider dispersion in diet products that allow people to achieve them.
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