Americans seek out celebrity-endorsed weight loss supplement

On June 2 a popular American TV personality praised the weight loss benefits of sea buckthorn; since this endorsement the number of searches for related products, originating within America, have grown by over 5,000 percent.

Sea-buckthorn is a deciduous shrub common throughout Europe and China; it produces berries with an acidic taste that are often mixed with sweeteners before consumption. Sea-buckthorn products are typically sold in capsule or liquid form.

The weight loss benefits of this shrub were promoted by Dr. Mehmet Oz on his regular TV slot The Dr. Oz Show. Dr. Mehmet Oz, a professor of surgery at Columbia University, first appeared on TV program The Oprah Winfrey Show as a regular guest before beginning his own series, The Dr. Oz Show, in 2009.

Data from Google Insights shows that since Dr. Oz endorsed the product on his June 2 broadcast searches for the term "sea buckthorn" have grown by over 5000 percent, reaching 'breakout' levels. The data shows that 100 percent of these terms originated from within America and were most popular over the June 2-6 period.

A range of sea-buckthorn products are available to buy online via Amazon.com and other retailers. Other previously popular naturally-occurring substances with alleged weight loss benefits include "acai berries," which have been endorsed by numerous celebrities.  

Other popular search terms over the past seven days included kitchen accessories "ice cream maker" and "espresso machine." The popularity of children's author illustrator and author Richard Scarry - creator of the Busytown books - can be attributed to a Google doodle honoring what would have been the writer's 92nd birthday on June 5.

The eight top search terms with the most significant growth worldwide, in the last seven days, in the category 'Products' as measured by Google Insights, recorded on June 8 were:

01.   richard scarry (breakout*) American illustrator honored in Google Doodle
02.   sea buckthorn (breakout*)
03.   grad autograph (+600%)
04.   diamond earings (+70%)
05.   sandisk cruzer (+70%)
06.   espresso machine (+60%)
07.   binoculars (+50%)
08.   ice cream maker (+50%)
09.   underwater camera (+50%)
10.   android tablet (+40%)

*Breakout defines a search term that has experienced a change in growth greater than 5,000 percent.

 

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