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Weight Loss Industry

2007/12/08 Source

At the end of last year "200 Pounds Beauty"was a huge hit in Korea, attracting 6.62 million viewers. The romantic comedy features Kim Ah-joong as a gifted yet obese singer who, after going under the knife, transforms into a slim beauty. Only then can she pursue her musical career and the love of her life.

There is an old saying "Don't judge a book by its cover". It sounds right, but we actually apply it to the world we are living in. The young people already have realized that their "cover" is as important as what is inside. Many companies still prefer the tall and the thin, and that is why it is almost impossible for jobseekers to be ignorant about appearance. 40% of the diet clinics' clients, the Health Ministry said, were normal in weight but many people devote their energy to losing weight. Now Korean's obsession with weight loss is delivering the nation's multibillion-won weight -loss industries.

Obesity clinic

Every year more and more people knock on the doors of obesity clinics looking for professional help in their quest to lose weight. Undergoing plastic surgery for fat suction is not rare any more. However many clinics are not only prescribing more drugs and treatment, but were also using obesity treatments on people of normal weight in order to collect insurance reimbursements.

Body slimming cosmetics

Sales of the body slimming cosmetics, including patches, lotion and gels were estimated to reach at 12 billion won in the local market. Body products can be used to help get into shape. It uses caffeine, capsaisin and L-Carnitine as its main ingredient. Caffeine is known to have the effect of breaking down fats. Capsaisin is the active component of chili peppers and L-Cartinine transforms fats into energy. The body slimming cosmetic products are specifically directed at certain parts of the body such as thighs and abdomen to break down the cellulite found there.

Items for exercising

Many women lacking time and money to spend in gyms and diet clinics are increasingly relying on the items for exercising. Responding the demand, various items are popular at the stores or on internet shopping malls. Cheap and small sized dumbbells are available. Women are recommended to use 1 or 2 kilograms, while men should use the 3 kilograms weight. Gym balls help exercisers enhance their sense of balance and increase flexibility. Steppers are also useful for exercising in a small space.

Healthy Food

Concerns about obesity and a growing awareness of the need for a balanced diet have contributed to the huge growth in healthy alternative products. "Ramyeon" is spicy instant noodles that almost all Koreans enjoy having as a meal or snack, but the public concern over the fat in instant noodles has slowed the business in recent years. Therefore, the two major instant noodle manufacturers Nongshim and Samyang introduced a new kind of ramyeon which contains un-fried noodles.

Teas have become a major part of the beverage market, appealing to diet-savvy Koreans. Bottled teas are popular particularly among young women. They find bottles of mixed tea more refreshing and tastier, compared to sugary drinks. Namyang dairy Products company unveiled its "17 Tea"., which consists of 17 different traditional tea ingredients. After then, other beverage makers have also jumped on the band wagon.


Losing weight and exercising are all part of a sensational trend in recent society. The book store shelves are filled with promises of easy ways to lose weight. Diet and fitness have become very big businesses. Now Koreans are spending more money and effort on weight loss than they do on something more valuable. To stay in a good shape, needless to say, a good diet should be in harmony with a sound mind.

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