The CNN 15

Mar 28, 2003

By George Anderson

You’ve heard of the freshman 15, the term used to describe the weight gain
many college students experience their first year away from home.

Another phenomena, we’ll call the CNN 15, may help explain the results of a
new study from The Natural Marketing Institute (NMI), which found thirty-four
percent of US consumers have gained weight since the beginning of the year.

The authors of the study speculate that the large number of those reporting
weight gains may be consumers turning to comfort foods (and their television
sets) during a time of economic and geo-political uncertainty.

Twenty-one percent reported eating more unhealthy foods. This figure, reports
NMI, is up 16 percent from October of last year. “As Americans continue to struggle
with healthy eating, it becomes clear that significant opportunities exist for
the development of relevant and meaningful products and services to meet these
compelling consumer needs, especially relating to weight management,” says Maryellen
Molyneaux, president, NMI.

Moderator’s Comment: Is the war causing Americans to
change their eating habits?

Many tend to put on weight during the winter months, so
not all the blame can be attributed to consumers eating junk food watching the
latest war news on the television.

There are many, however, that turn to food during times
of stress. The first few months of 2003 have certainly been stressful for many
Americans. [George
Anderson – Moderator

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