According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 39% of adults aged 18 years and over were overweight in 2014*. Lowering this rate by making healthier options accessible and affordable to more people is key to controlling rising health-care costs and improving quality of life. This was the conclusion of a panel of academics and business leaders, including Herbalife Nutrition leadership, at the 2015 Milken Institute Global Conference. “The Business of Healthy” panel focused on what business can do to help address this issue and stay relevant in the future.

The Nutrition Crisis

One theme came through loud and clear in many of the sessions during the conference: our society is facing a huge public health issue because of poor nutrition. The lack of education about healthy choices; the lack of access to healthy choices; the lack of affordable healthy choices – these are the underlying causes that everyone agreed have to be tackled if we are to help individuals and communities turn the tide on the nutrition crisis.

Globally, WHO estimates that approximately 2.3 billion adults are overweight and more than 700 million are obese. WHO stats reveal the extent of the global obesity pandemic:

According to a Gallup survey, “The percentage of U.S. adults who are obese continued to trend upward in 2014, reaching 27.7%, the highest obesity rate Gallup and Healthways have measured in seven years of tracking it.”

The Nutrition Solution

All members of the panel, which included representatives from ‘big food’ companies, health focused NGOs and academia, agreed that there are immediate steps that businesses can take to tackle the nutrition crisis:

Business also needs take a lead on the debate with governments, health systems, the medical community – understanding what we can do to help solve the nutrition crisis and equally improving understanding of what they can do to help or incentivize business to do more through taxation, regulation, and investment, for example.

Nutrition club

Disruptive Thinking

To effect change and address the nutrition crisis, we need a fresh approach that incorporates:

Herbalife Nutrition is Taking Action

At Herbalife Nutrition, we are making strides to address many of these challenges and our direct selling distribution model is already pushing the accepted retail model.

We are researching new ingredients and creating nutrition products that serve the consumer of today – convenient, affordable, targeted.

Through our independent Herbalife Nutrition distributors, we create a support network at a local community level that encourages, educates and provides access to good nutrition options at an affordable price.

We are partnering with schools and community groups to specifically educate children about the importance of good nutrition as part of a healthy, active life.

Herbalife Nutrition is investing heavily in its production, testing and distribution capabilities to ensure products of the highest quality in nutritional content are closer to customers.

And we are focused on overcoming the nutrition crisis for individuals – bringing good nutrition to those who otherwise would not have access; helping them to incorporate positive eating habits into their everyday routine; educating them as to what it means to live a healthy, active life; and supporting them as they make significant changes. Nutrition Clubs across the country encourage their consumers to use our products daily – known as “daily consumption” – by offering individual servings of Herbalife Nutrition products.

We have a unique ‘last mile’ connection that a lot of people don’t have. We have enthusiastic members talking to people about how they can embrace a healthy, active life. Talking about nutrition, setting fitness goals, making sure a healthy diet is part of their every day eating plan. By making nutrition the center of the conversation, independent Herbalife Nutrition distributors can help people reach their goals though encouragement, support and access to healthy, nutritious meals.

*WHO Obesity and Overweight fact sheet (January 2015)

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.