And the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that 35.7% of U.S. adults were obese in 2009-2010.
Yet revenue in the weight-management industry isn't keeping pace.
“The market forces are very contradictory,” said Dr. Philip Herschman, chief clinical officer of CRC Health Corp.
When CRC, a Cupertino, Calif.-based company that primarily focuses on substance-abuse treatment and addiction recovery, announced its most recent quarterly results earlier this month, it showed that its weight-management segment had slipped. Client service revenue in the division was down nearly 7% for the most recent quarter, ended Sept. 30.
CRC operates 10 weight-loss camps for children and one adult residential facility, but despite the obesity epidemic, Herschman said, the weight-management portion isn't booming because “there's no third-party reimbursement to treat obesity.”
“Folks are much less apt to pay for a behavioral health program when they might be able to get reimbursement for bariatric surgery or do one of the more popular or less immersive and less expensive programs,” Herschman said.