Obesity is considered the most serious health issue in the developed world. Along with growing waistlines also comes ballooning costs.
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Across urbanized nations, the economic burden of obesity is estimated to be 10% of total health care costs, with projections continuing to grow as the obesity epidemic spreads.
For investors, that means weight loss stocks are poised to gain.
When it comes to obesity the statistics are staggering.
Currently 35.7% of U.S. adults, or more than one third, is obese. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), that's a giant increase over just ten years ago.
In 2000, not a single U.S. state had an obesity rate of 30% or more. Today, 12 states have crossed that obesity threshold.
The costs attributed to obesity are estimated at $147 billion and rising.
Weight Loss Stocks: ARNA, VVUS and OREXIt is no wonder pharmaceutical companies are racing to fill the void and close the growing gap in treating this mounting epidemic.
Two leaders early in the game include Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ARNA) and Vivus Inc. (NASDAQ: VVUS) A third California-based company, Orexigen Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: OREX), is also vying for Food and Drug Administration approval.
All three hope to bring to the market the first weight loss treatment in some 13 years.