As we kick off the new year, many consumers are looking at ticking off their new years resolutions setting high goals and expectations on both personal and work level. If you didn't catch our last post on the current trends in Personalised nutrition, you can catch it here.

This year, however I think is different because of COVID. A recent survey conducted by Life Time found that the pandemic has negatively impacted the health and fitness habits of individuals with 81% inspired to making health a priority this year and 34% will focus on weight loss. So how do Personalised nutrition solutions fit in with this trend?

Research has shown that it does not really matter which type of diet is followed as long as long as there is long-term high adherence and it is calorie restricted (X). In fact a recent meta-analysis showed that a low carb diet is effective in inducing remission in Type 2 Diabetics, but only if there was weight loss as well.

Looking at consumer trends and social chatter, we definitely see a number of key trends:

1. The no-diet, no guilt approach

This approach focuses on non-restrictive diets, positive relationships with food as well as no-body shaming approach. Consumers who embrace this approach focus on diet quality with a 80/20 Pareto rule where unhealthy foods are allowed but without the guilt and the shaming.

- Personalised solutions that match this approach include technologies such as image based logging that focus more on diet quality rather than portion size and nutrient breakdown. We love the approach of Seehowyoueat that offer an app where customers can take a snap of their meals and get personalised and supportive, non-judgemental advice from a registered dietitian via a chat feature

2. Healthy habits through knowledge

Whilst Veganuary, bootcamps and shakes are popular ways to kickstart a weight loss program, research conducted by Streetbees demonstrated that consumers are reading food labels more than ever with consumers interested in ingredients and products that can provide a health benefit and boost immunity. In fact 64% said their shopping habits will change permanently. On the flip side, the snacking of comfort high calorie foods owing to increased emotional eating has also increased which opens up the opportunity for education and signposting.. 

Personalised solutions that can meet this consumer demand, are what we call smarteating products which allow consumers to create a profile and find products that best match their profile, allow them to select "healthier" alternatives to their favourite indulgent foods. Examples such as Smartwithfood, Spoonguru and Edamam help consumers shop, select and consumer healthier products or even dine out. Companies need to demonstrate that they are providing transparent information and an easy way to translate this is into every day life.

 

3. Tracking as a means to lose weight

A study by Google has shown that the download of health tracking apps has increased by 37%. This means that consumers are actively tracking various parameters to see how they are responding (or not) to different interventions. However tracking is not only limited to the number of steps or foods consumed, or the hours slept, it has also includes journaling for things such as mood and water consumed.

New Personalised nutrition solutions, help consumers to manage their realistic health goals whilst at the same time supporting healthy behaviour change giving the word "diet" a new perspective. As our lives continue to be disrupted, how we managed our post COVID bodies will be a key topic looking back a year from now. It would be great to see a citizen-science approach to see how different diets impact different individuals in the real-world setting, in order to better understand what works and why.

 

References:

1. Ge L, Sadeghirad B, Ball GDC, da Costa BR, Hitchcock CL, Svendrovski A, Kiflen R, Quadri K, Kwon HY, Karamouzian M, Adams-Webber T, Ahmed W, Damanhoury S, Zeraatkar D, Nikolakopoulou A, Tsuyuki RT, Tian J, Yang K, Guyatt GH, Johnston BC. Comparison of dietary macronutrient patterns of 14 popular named dietary programmes for weight and cardiovascular risk factor reduction in adults: systematic review and network meta-analysis of randomised trials. BMJ. 2020 Apr 1;369:m696. doi: 10.1136/bmj.m696. Erratum in: BMJ. 2020 Aug 5;370:m3095. PMID: 32238384; PMCID: PMC7190064.

2. https://theconversation.com/type-2-diabetes-short-term-low-carb-diet-linked-to-remission-but-only-if-weight-is-lost-153251