Household Expenditures on Dietary Supplements Marketed for Weight Loss and Muscle Building: Disproportionate Burden by Gender and Income
Methods: Using data from 62,092 U.S. households (HH) in the 2011 wave of a national consumer database, we characterized HH expenditures for dietary supplements across the country. We examined sociodemographic patterns in annual HH expenditures on WL and MB supplements and expenditures as a proportion of total annual HH income. We conducted Wald tests of statistical mean differences across subgroups.
Results: Among HH with any expenditures on WL/MB supplements, annual HH first and ninth expenditure deciles were: WL $4.00 and $87.94; and MB $5.13 and $82.55. HH with only a female head spent more than (p-value<0.01) HH with only a male head on WL supplements and did not differ from HH with both female and male heads. In contrast, HH with only a male head spent more than (p-value<0.01) HH with only a female head on MB supplements and did not differ from HH with both female and male heads. Expenditures as a proportion of total annual HH income were more than double (p-value<0.01) for HH with annual income<$30,000 compared to those with income above $30,000.
Discussion: Dietary supplements marketed for WL and MB are problematic yet widely used and represent a multibillion-dollar industry that disproportionately burdens HH by income and gender. Greater attention and intervention are needed to address this troubling supplement category.
Learning Areas:Biostatistics, economics
Public health or related public policy
Describe sociodemographic patterns in household expenditures on dietary supplements marketed for weight loss and muscle building in the United States. Evaluate the evidence of disproportionate burden that these dietary supplements have on low-income households and on female-headed and male-headed households.
Keyword(s): Nutrition, Economic Analysis
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a social and nutritional epidemiologist with strong experience in the topics and methods of this project.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.