U.S. Weight Loss Industry Grows to $90 Billion, Fueled by Obesity Drugs Demand

Smiling young woman excited about the scale-1The total U.S. weight loss market is estimated to have grown to a historic peak of $90 billion in 2023, boosted by soaring sales of the popular prescription GLP-1 weight loss drugs. This is a major paradigm shift toward medical programs, and a major challenge for competing commercial diet companies, which lost $1+ billion in revenues since 2022.

GLP-1 drugs are a game changer in terms of the number of medications now on the market, plus others to come in the next several years. They have affected dieter behavior and how commercial diet companies operate. Nearly all non-medical segments of the market have felt the pain of declining sales, and 26,500 weight loss coaches have lost their jobs. However, more physicians are adding weight loss to their practices, bariatric surgeries are hitting new highs, and caseloads/revenues at medical weight loss franchises and at bariatricians are growing.

Top Weight Loss Industry Stats for 2024

  • How big is the weight loss industry: Marketdata estimates that the total U.S. weight loss market reached new highs of $89.9 billion in 2023. The market is expected to grow another 4.3% to $93.8 billion in 2024.
  • Obesity medications: The market for prescription weight loss drugs in the U.S. more than doubled in 2023, from an estimated $5.1 billion in 2022 to $11.9 billion in 2023 as demand continued to soar for drugs such as Novo Nordisk’s Saxenda, Wegovy and Ozempic, as well as the entry of new drugs such as Mounjaro and Zepbound into the market.
  • Medical weight loss programs and services: This segment was estimated to be worth $21.0 billion in 2023—the highest share of the market posted since 1989. Medical programs are provided by independent physicians (incl. bariatricians), clinics, hospitals and medical weight loss franchises.
  • Commercial weight loss chains: Revenues of the major commercial weight loss chains (Weight Watchers, NutriSystem, Jenny Craig, Medifast and others) fell 25% from 2021 to 2023, to $3.35 billion. They are scrambling to add medical programs and survive.
  • Meal replacements and retail appetite suppressants: Combined sales for these weight loss products were estimated to be worth $4.86 billion in 2023—down 14% from 2021. The 2024 forecast is for a 4.7% decline to $4.63 billion in 2024.
  • Weight loss advertising spend: Commercial diet companies and obesity drug manufacturers spent $882 million on advertising in 2023.
  • Weight loss coaches: An estimated 26,500 of them lost their jobs since 2020, as the commercial diet companies implemented layoffs. This is affecting the quality and nature of support for many dieters.

Where to Learn More

To find out more about the US weight loss industry, including weight loss industry revenues and segmentation, be sure to check out Marketdata's most recent report on the U.S. weight loss industryThe report includes in-depth analyses of: 2020-2023 market/revenue performance, recent competitor and market developments, current dieter trends, and a new analysis of the number and salaries of weight loss coaches in the industry. Special emphasis and analysis on the obesity drugs market, risks, what could derail the market, and why there is a wild west environment emerging.

About the Author:  John LaRosa is the President of Marketdata LLC and is the author of 100+ industry and market studies. His research appears in top media outlets including ABC, CNN, Fox, ForbesUSA TodayThe Wall Street JournalThe New York Times, and a variety of trade journals. 

Topics: Food & Beverage Pharmaceuticals Industry Insights