How consumer health perceptions and attitudes are shifting
In this week's newsletter: I contracted COVID, one could say finally, having escaped it for over 2 years. I am extremely fortunate that my symptoms were rather mild with the most devastating one being the taste change. Seeing your food, but having it taste so foul is actually very distressing! but I am on the mend. We are dialling off for the summer and will be back in September with plenty of news from HQ and the industry.
Stay cool, stay hydrated.
Yours in health,
Mariette & the Qina team
This study concluded that between 1999 to 2000 and 2017 to 2018, "6.8% of US adults had optimal cardiometabolic health. Disparities by age, sex, education, and race/ethnicity were evident in all years and generally worsened over time". More specifically, the results had shown that "among components of cardiometabolic health, the largest declines were for adiposity and glucose. [and] By 2017-2018, the prevalence of optimal cardiometabolic health was lower among Americans with lower (5%) vs higher education (10.3%); and among Mexican American (3.2%) vs non-Hispanic White (8.4%) adults".
Artificial intelligence projects in healthcare: 10 practical tips for success in a clinical environment
This article summarizes 10 practical tips for the building of AI solutions using routinely collected healthcare data, conducted by UK healthcare professionals and academics. Based on their experience, four implementation phases are needed: conceptualisation, data management, AI application, and clinical deployment.
A weight-loss model based on baseline microbiota and genetic scores for selection of dietary treatments in overweight and obese population
This Spanish investigation collected baseline faecal DNA and genetic information to help select the most suitable diet for a successful weight loss process. Two hypocaloric diets (a moderately high protein (MHP) diet and a low fat (LF) diet) were used to validate the study. The study concluded that "decision algorithm models can help to select the most adequate type of weight loss diet according to microbiota and genetic information. The mixed models with microbiota scores facilitated the selection of diet in 72% of women and in 84% of men, and the model including genetic information facilitated the selection of diet in 84% and 73%, respectively".
Plasma Metabolic Signatures of Healthy Overweight Subjects Challenged With an Oral Glucose Tolerance Test
This study aims to identify markers associated with differential responses to an OGTT (oral glucose tolerance test) in a population of healthy adults using metabolite profiling platforms. The results have shown that despite being classified as healthy according to WHO criteria, Cluster A individuals displayed 26% higher postprandial glucose levels, delayed glucose clearance, and increased fasting plasma concentrations of more than 20 known biomarkers of insulin resistance and diabetes. These individuals may be called pre-pre-diabetics and defined as "at-risk" for the development of insulin resistance.
Socioeconomic and Geographic Predictors of Poor Diet Quality in a Large U.S. Cohort of Adult Men and Women
This cross-sectional analysis conducted on 155,331 US participants concluded that race/ethnicity, socioeconomic and geographic factors independently predicted the risk of poor diet quality. "Compared to White participants, Black participants had a 16% higher likelihood of poor diet quality, while Hispanic/Latino and Asian/Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander participants had 16% and 33% lower risk of poor diet quality, respectively. Higher income and education were linearly associated with better diet quality among White participants, but not among other racial/ethnic groups. Even after controlling for other characteristics, the non-metropolitan residence was associated with a 61% higher risk of poor diet quality. Additionally, residence in a food desert was associated with a 17% higher risk".
A research group from Turku Bioscience Centre, Finland, has developed a new method for studying the functionality of microbiota through metaproteomics. The recently developed method utilizes the latest mass spectrometry technology and advanced computational methods which enable significantly better coverage and reproducibility of the results as opposed to previous methods.
Our CEO was recently interviewed on the Foodmatterslive podcast with Personalised nutrition scientist Suzan Wopereis (TNO) on our favourite topic.
Dial in to listen to our discussion on where Personalised nutrition is and where it is heading!
Ultrahuman Ring is the newest wearable launched by Ultrahuman and will be available for pre-order globally from 7 July 2022. The metabolism-tracking wearable will measure movement, sleep, body’s energy dynamics, NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis), glucose metabolism, and food’s impact on recovery and performance, in real-time, to allow users to balance and take control of their health. Ultrahuman’s new ring aims to provide a minimal form factor with no screens or vibrations, with the details being sent to the app. This new wearable also boasts a five-day battery life. Ultrahuman Ring works standalone or in combination with the existing advanced glucose monitoring platform, Ultrahuman M1.
"Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani, the former COO of failed blood-testing startup Theranos and ex-boyfriend of founder Elizabeth Holmes, was found guilty of defrauding investors and patients. Holmes founded Theranos when she was 19 years old to create a cheaper and more efficient alternative to traditional blood testing. The startup later claimed to have developed technology capable of testing for a range of conditions, including cancer and diabetes, using just a few drops of blood. Theranos ultimately raised $945 million from investors, but with a 2015 Wall Street Journal investigation the startup revealed holes in its testing methods and technological capabilities.
Healthy Eating Goes Smart: App Developer Foogal and Autoimmune Disease Expert Dr. Terry Wahls Form Partnership
Dr Terry Wahls, Professor of Medicine at the University of Iowa, is best known for her miraculous recovery from Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis. Using a research-backed food-as-medicine method centred around a Paleo-inspired diet, she reversed the progression of her disease and regained the ability to enjoy life. Now, she has joined forces with Foogal, a digital health software company, to help people take control of their health through proper nutrition and healthy eating. The smartphone app will offer research-backed, chef-created recipes created explicitly for managing autoimmune disorders.
Innit has announced a new tool to help shoppers fight inflation and save money on groceries. Innit's new Smart Meal Plans incorporate powerful price-saving algorithms, enabling shoppers to select meals, with more affordable ingredients added automatically to their digital carts from retailer websites, apps, and Google home devices. The app also automatically compares products on multiple aspects including nutrition, popularity, and food waste.
Food & Consumer Trends
Through a consumer survey about health and sustainability in grocery shopping, which was fielded in 15 European countries and involved more than 17,000 participants, Deloitte Netherlands examined the balancing act European consumers face between health, sustainability, and price when making food purchases. The insights show that European consumers shifted their attitudes about what they eat and drink, where their food comes from, and how it’s packaged and delivered.
Hypervitaminosis D can be a more common reality because of its increasing popularity throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. With more interest and consumption among consumers, overconsumption can cause several symptoms that can persist for weeks or months, as reported in a case study published in BMJ Case Reports.
The Euromonitor International’s annual Voice of the Consumer: Health and Nutrition Survey has been conducted on more than 20,000 individuals across 20 markets around the world to explore how lifestyles and attitudes towards health are changing. The report has found that: (1) Perception of health varies by region - At least 70% of global consumers consider their health to be “good”, “very good”, or “excellent”. The most confident respondents were from the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America while European consumers trailed behind. This can be linked to population age. (2) Health and mental well-being are closely linked: consumers across all regions mostly associate 'being healthy' with mental wellbeing. (3) Participation in Stress Reduction Activities: Latin Americans are most likely to use exercise and general physical activities as an outlet for their stress. Conversely, consumers in the Middle East and Africa tend to turn toward vitamins and supplements, and North Americans are more likely to take a pharmaceutical approach and visit healthcare providers for prescription medications. and (4) Digital healthcare: health-related technology has fewer followers in Europe, compared with the rest of the world. This could be a symptom of consumers having reached the peak of their tolerance of using health-related tech.
Until now, FoP labeling has been voluntary, but that may all change soon. The EU intends to adopt a standardized system by the end of 2022 and Nutri-Score seems to be the best candidate for the change. Even so, between the UK and the EU, and even solely within the EU (for example Spain and Italy), there is no universal agreement on which system should be used or how they should be applied. There are at least five FoP systems currently in use in the EU and UK, and this co-existence of FoP schemes can lead to more market fragmentation and consumer confusion.