By John Agwunobi, M.D., M.B.A., M.P.H., chief health and nutrition officer, Herbalife
February 24, 2017
When I joined Herbalife Nutrition one year ago, I was on a mission to make a difference and I knew that this was the company where I could make that happen. Herbalife Nutrition is special because we are driven by our mission to “change people’s lives” by improving their nutrition and, for some, by providing an opportunity to make a little extra income.
The challenge and opportunity presented by converging megatrends, like the rise in overweight and obesity, and the increase in aging populations in many countries, is enormous. According to the World Health Organization, worldwide obesity has more than doubled since 1980. And by 2050, one in five people will be age 60 or older. Improved nutrition will need to be a central focus as society attempts to respond to these trends.
After decades of making nutrition and weight management products consumed by millions of people around the world, we have come to the conclusion that making significant, sustained lifestyle change requires an integrated approach including the right nutrition, physical activity, a customized plan and support. It’s about so much more than a single one-size-fits-all product or solution found on a store shelf.
Since Herbalife Founder and First Distributor Mark Hughes (1956 – 2000) sold the first Herbalife Nutrition product in 1980, Herbalife Nutrition independent distributors have bypassed the store shelf by selling our products directly to their customers. And distributors are making a difference in the lives of their customers. We recently profiled Melissa, a distributor in California, who went above and beyond for her customer Amy to recreate an entire triathlon race. The one-on-one coaching and support of distributors like Melissa is what makes Herbalife Nutrition unique.
We believe that having a supportive community leads to better results, but there is much more work to be done and more people to engage. According to the results of a 2016 Nielsen survey of more than 30,000 consumers featured in a Nutra Ingredients article entitled, ‘Consumers want to eat more healthfully, but they can’t do it alone,’ around 70% make dietary choices to help prevent obesity and other health conditions. Consumers in the survey also said they expect food manufacturers to provide affordable products with nutritious ingredients. And from the medical community, consumers want guidance on what and how much to eat to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Herbalife Nutrition is ideally positioned to address both needs: good nutrition and education about nutrition and health. We make nutrient-dense, convenient and delicious meal replacement shakes, snack bars and other nutrition products and distributors provide one-on-one coaching and support to their customers.
To proactively and productively address the nutrition challenges facing the world in the coming decades, all parts of society in the public and private sectors will need to commit to working together. And Herbalife Nutrition, along with our independent distributors, customers and the community, is ready to go.