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LOHAS: Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability

A Colorado-based media company, Conscious Media, has identified a huge market segment which they have named "Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability" (LOHAS). They claim that almost one quarter of Americans fit this category. Together these "green" consumers spend more than $200 billion US annually on products and services related to alternative health, personal development, healthy and ecological lifestyles, and a sustainable economy. Purchasing decisions are based on consideration of their long-term needs and of people and the environment around them, not just what goods are cheapest today.

Readers of alive Magazine may think that this category was invented for them.

Marketing experts have concluded that LOHAS consumers are unique because of the thought they put into their purchases, investments, and donations. Rather than investing in oil, they may purchase shares in a wind farm. Rather than looking for quick-fix medical treatments, they rely on prevention through a healthy organic diet and the services of alternative health practitioners. They are often eco-tourists and can also search for personal development programs, such as yoga, that integrate mind, body, and spirit.

Ironically, LOHAS-like purchases are growing faster in the rest of the population. This is because the values of LOHAS are rapidly gaining mainstream acceptance.

Bridging Conventional and Alternative Medicine

It wasn't what was said that was so revolutionary; it was who was in the audience listening to the message that broke the mould. Well-known nutritional expert Sam Graci was recently speaking in Mississauga on his cross-Canada book tour.

It's well known that conventional medical practitioners receive almost no education about dietary supplements or complementary, preventive health care. However, on this night, Graci's audience included students from medical schools at McMaster University and the University of Toronto's Faculty of Medicine.

These medical students were there to hear Graci's message thanks to their visionary professors, including Dr. A. Venket Rao from the U of T, whose current research focuses on the relationship between oxidative stress and the risk of chronic diseases, including cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Dr. Rao and his students are studying the role phytochemical antioxidants such as those found in fruits and vegetables can play in the preventive and healing processes.

It's a message we at alive have been delivering for over 30 years, and we're glad to know that some in the medical community may now be hearing us.

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