2.1 Billion Overweight People Worldwide


Obese or Overweight People Top 2.1 Billion Worldwide ….That's 30%..Not exactly a niche market.


by Dale Read

United States population as of this morning at 9 AM was 318,135,100 people, and 30% of that number is 95,440,530 people.  That's 30%..not exactly a niche market!! Who would not want 95 million built-in customers?

So I represent a client who  manufactures and markets heavy-duty mattress/ bedding support systems that can support up to 4,000 lbs. depending upon the model selected.  My client wondered if they marketed a PLUS-size bed support, foundation, platform bed concept if this was  too narrow a niche market?  To address this, at the last Las Vegas market we handed out  research statistics from the CDC that showed:

Basically what both the CDC report last year and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation research showed this year is that approximately one in every three Americans now has a Body Mass Index of 25% to 30% or more, and they meet the definitions of overweight or obese

That means one in every three mattress/ bedding customers coming into the retail store has a body that lends itself to a PLUS-Size Solution in terms of support, alignment, comfort, performance and longevity of product. So far only a few mattress manufacturers have taken this issue seriously and developed mattresses AND SUPPORT SYSTEMS FROM THE FOUNDATION UP that will address both the short term and long term needs of bigger, larger and heavier customers. Even if the mattress happens to hold up over a few years, the traditional frame, cheaper foundation solution fails larger customers. Our client has interviewed obese consumers, who have reported to them failure of frame and foundation within a year or so. 

The point is we are making here is that this is NOT a small niche. Retailers have more customers coming through the doors that are overweight or obese than they have suffering from menopause, sports injuries, physical disability, even the very serious problems related to allergies or any of the other myriad of issues the mattress industry has addressed with foams, latex, special innersprings, gels,  natural materials, protection systems etc. 


  • Roughly 13% of people 18 and over in the U.S. have sinusitis.4

Allergic Rhinitis

Our point is really quite simple:  The PLUS-SLEEPER issue is NOT a niche market problem.  It is a huge mainstream market issue affecting 30% of all customers, and that mattress/bedding manufacturers should be addressing through R &D and product development.  That the solution is NOT just a tough, engineered, high performance mattress, but also a system that works from the floor up…from the support system to the top-of-bed.

As president of the Specialty Sleep Association, I believe that if specialty bed categories wish to grow, they should lead the charge to create and market longer term, superior technology products that will perform, will last at least 8 years, and will address the basic support, alignment, comfort and performance needs of the growing 30% of the market that is overweight or obese!  One in three American shoppers needs this totally integrated approach to mattress and bedding.

PS…By the way with ta BMI of 27% yours truly slips into that overweight category…by about 20 to 25 lbs.  It is a real issue for many of us!