Saturday, December 29, 2007

Lose Weight, Quit Smoking, New Job

Nielsen says that it's not just you with those 2008 resolutions: In January, consumers will spend more than $61 million on anti-smoking aids, and more than $47 million on diet aids. The Schaumberg, Ill.-based company says anti-smoking products generated 8.7% of annual dollar sales in January last year, while nutritional diet aids generated 9.9%.

And just in case you thought you were the only one ignoring the bathroom scale in December, last January's sales of diet products registered a 91% increase from the previous four-week period. But typically, resolutions are quickly forgotten. After a high of nearly $47 million in January, sales of nutritional diet aids dropped more than 14% to $40 million in February.

Typically, health and fitness resolutions are the most common:, a goal-setting Web site, predicts that 28% of all resolutions will fall in this "lose weight, quit smoking, get to the gym more" category, compared with 27% last year.

But thanks to economic worries, "we expect people to focus a lot of time and energy improving their careers and getting out of debt," the company says. It expects resolutions related to debt reduction to increase sharply as a percentage of all finance-related resolutions (to 52%, up from 26% last year). And it says resolutions related to saving money will rise, from 11% to 24% of all finance-related resolutions.

-- Sarah Mahoney

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