By Samarth Jani
In recent years, the wellness industry has blown up astronomically. From wellness gurus to health blogs and different cleanse or diet trending every day on social media, the wellness industry has grown into a very popular and extremely lucrative industry.
With the wide scale of what is considered part of this sector including wellness spas, hotels, blogs, products and more, the opportunities to make money are endless. In 2022, it was estimated by Precedence Research that the global health and wellness industry had generated a whopping $4.886 trillion and is projected to be valued at $7.656 trillion by 2030. Though many people participating in this business are meant to be aiding the people who invest a lot of money in these products and services to better themselves, the exploitative and misleading tendencies of the leaders in the industry are starting to be exposed.
Source by Samarth Jani
The wellness space promotes hundreds of different fad diets that leave consumers confused and oftentimes in bad relationships with food.
It’s no surprise that in a market that focuses on health, dieting is a big part of it. Many industry leaders in the space and celebrities have been slammed for endorsing fad diets that promote harmful eating habits, bad relationships with food or simply don’t work. Recently, actress and entrepreneur Gwyneth Paltrow came under fire for an appearance she made on a podcast where she shared what she ate in a day. For some context, Paltrow is the founder of Goop, a successful wellness and lifestyle brand that is currently valued at over $250 million. The company has had its fair share of scandals since its inception in 2008, like the time when the Goop website had $120 diapers for sale or when Paltrow described her eating bread during the pandemic as “falling off the rails.” In a recent interview with the The Art of Being Well podcast with Dr. Will Cole, she revealed what she eats in a day. Many voiced concern over the lack of food and heavy restrictions in her diet, which consists of bone broth for lunch and not eating anything for the first half of the day.
This is incredibly dangerous and irresponsible to put this information on the internet for everyone to see because it promotes a diet that is clearly unhealthy and triggering to those who have struggled with poor relationships with food and eating disorders. Considering that she is making millions off her diet “tips” and many will probably follow this dangerous diet because they look up to Paltrow as a role model, she should think more about the potentially harmful information that she puts out for millions to hear. This type of behavior is exploiting the insecurities of many who look to these wellness leaders for help and advice to improve their lifestyle.
The topic of exploitation in the wellness space is amplified due to complaints about the high prices of goods and services sold. Skincare products can go for hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars. There are whole establishments, such as Erewhon, that specialize in “health cuisine” where a smoothie can be anywhere from $15-$20, and wellness treatments can cost the same as a month’s worth of rent. With the use of social media aiding in the constant trending of these items, impressionable people flock to buy these overpriced products that have little to show for them.
The health and wellness industry has a responsibility to be more sensitive to its consumers. As a market built off the insecurities of other people, whether it be their weight, skin, etc., companies and industry leaders should at least be honest with the people from whom they are profiting.