Whoa! We Spend A Lot On Alternative Medicine

The National Institute of Health announced this week that Americans spend $34 billion annually on alternative medicine. That’s a whole lot of duckets we’re slamming down on echinacea, zinc drops, acupuncture, etc—all treatments that the American Medical Association doesn’t really endorse, though people swear by them. It sounds like a ton, but we wondered: how does this stack up to what we spend annually on other health, wellness, and beauty items? [ABC News]

  • What Americans spend on pharmaceuticals each year: $235.4 billion [Science Daily]
  • What we spend on health clubs: $19.1 billion per year [IHRSA]
  • What folks spend on dieting every year: $40 billion [Business Week]
  • What do Americans spend on diet soda: $21 billion per year [ABC News]
  • What we spend on bottled water per year: $16 billion [Fast Company]
  • What Americans spend on skin care: $24 billion per year [Economist]
  • What ladies (and some dudes! spend on makeup: $18 billion per year [Economist]
  • What we spend on hair care: $38 billion a year [Economist]
  • What we spend on our pets each year: $40.8 billion [Itchmo]
  • What Americans spend on shrinks each year: $55 billion [ABC News]