An April 2016 study from The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) shows that income disparities in the United States may be related to wellness. According to the study, the richest Americans are smoking less, exercising more, eating healthier foods and enjoying access to better health care than the poorest Americans. The study suggested that small-scale, locally based policies can help the poorest Americans adopt and maintain healthier habits.

Low-income neighborhoods are where many Herbalife Nutrition Clubs are playing an interesting role. Nutrition Clubs are gathering places for people who often don’t have access to the latest information on nutrition. Attendees receive tips and encouragement from Herbalife Nutrition independent distributors on how to improve nutrition and exercise for themselves and their families.

“I still need that hand holding and the club provides that,” said Melissa, a Nutrition Club member from El Paso, Texas. “The distributors are like my mentors.”

The clubs can help alleviate the “food deserts” in urban neighborhoods that lack fresh, healthy and affordable food. Instead of supermarkets and grocery stores, these low income communities very often have an abundance of fast food restaurants and convenience stores, but not enough health clubs, parks and other entities designed to improve health.

Residents in urban areas are desperately trying to find ways to improve their nutrition. Nutrition Clubs make sense for people who want community support in a positive environment while consuming healthy nutrition.

The Nutrition Club owners typically charge an attendance fee on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Invited members can enjoy shakes, teas and aloe and participate in activities like group workouts, fitness walks and weight-loss challenges.

The husband and wife team of Enrique Varela and Graciela Mier started the first Nutrition Club in Mexico in 2004. The idea for clubs exploded in popularity; today there are now more than 75,000 clubs in non-residential locations around the world.

A big reason for their success is the social support provided. Social support to maintain exercise and nutrition programs is an important part of staying healthy. Across the U.S., from Oklahoma City to Miami, Denver to Atlanta, we are seeing Herbalife Nutrition distributors operating Nutrition Clubs in areas where there is a need for better nutrition.

“Sometimes you can buy things online or at the store that say you can lose weight, but you don’t really have those instructions that you need,” said Lais of Miami. People at the clubs “really hold your hand and tell you step by step. It’s somebody who cares about you. They coach you. They have love for you because they want your wellbeing.”

Nutrition Clubs have proven to be an innovative and effective way to introduce Herbalife Nutrition products to club members, and some members eventually become distributors. By creating a positive, no-pressure environment where club members can come together on a daily basis for a small fee, distributors who operate the clubs are showing what the power of great products combined with supportive coaching can do to improve the nutrition and lives of so many.

Alan Hoffman

Alan HoffmanExecutive Vice President, Global Corporate Affairs

Alan Hoffman has more than 25 years of public policy, communications, and government experience, having served as senior vice president for global public policy at PepsiCo, as well as Deputy Chief of Staff to the Vice President of the United States and Deputy Assistant to the President of the United States. He holds a Juris Doctorate and Master of Public Administration from USC.