60% of weight loss researchers look for information on the Web

60% of weight loss researchers now utilize the Internet to find condition-specific information, including options for healthy eating/nutrition, and details on specific weight loss programs and diets. 53% report visiting a Web site specifically for information on weight loss drugs. 43% of researchers reported a high level of satisfaction with online weight loss resources. Likely a result of consumer satisfaction, many weight loss Web sites are attracting large numbers of visitors. According to data from comScore Media Metrix, three of the most popular weight loss-related Web sites each drew more than 3 mln unique visitors in July 2006: AOL Diet and Fitness (4.0 mln), eDiets.com (3.2 mln), and WeightWatchers.com (3.1 mln).

95% also utilize more traditional offline resources when researching their condition. While general weight loss information is sought both online and offline, the study found a clear distinction between the types of information that researchers prefer to receive online versus offline. 62% of weight loss researchers look for information on specific programs and diets online, while a lower 51% of researchers look to offline resources for this information. When seeking information on weight loss drugs, 39% of researchers turn to the Internet, likely a result of an abundance of TV and print ads that promise more specifics at associated Web sites. In comparison, only 24% of researchers use offline resources to find information on weight loss drugs. Additionally, when researchers look for details on specific treatment options, 27% use the Internet, while 19% rely on offline information sources. 46% of researchers head online to take action related to their weight loss quest ? utilizing tools to track their progress and chart their course, while less than half as many (22%) seek such information offline.

Weight loss research online and offline

Information Type Online Offline
Specific weight loss programs 62% 51%
Weight management calculators, counters 46% 22%
Weight loss drug information 39% 24%
Specific treatment options 27% 19%
Clinical trials 11% 7%
Source: comScore