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Weight management – a suitable target for health claims made on foods?

corresponding

INGA KOEHLER
Analyze & realize GmbH, Waldseeweg 6, 13467 Berlin, Germany

Abstract

The hectic and sedentary lifestyle of industrialized nations in conjunction with an overabundance of fast food makes it difficult for many people to maintain their weight by dieting alone. It is no wonder, therefore, that consumers increasingly turn to nutritional and health products to aid them in their fight against the flab. Over the last years, weight management products have become tailor-made and more convenient to fulfil the consumer’s expectation in a better way. Understandable claims, convenient delivery forms, good taste and a maintained physiological effect play a significant role in sustained consumer acceptance. Is a food product able to comply with all these requirements?


BACKGROUND

In the past, consumers were eager to try many weight loss products. New products with new promises for quick fixes swamped the market almost daily. As the majority of those products did not lead to the desired effect in losing body weight, the average consumer used to switch to the next promising weight loss product. Bad for the consumer, good for the industry as it opened endless room for more or less efficient weight loss products. However, several cases were reported where the supplementation of questionable products led to severe detrimental health effects. This had led to a rethinking by at least a part of the industry and to the development of more qualitative and efficient products targeting individual physiological aspects of weight management