Twenty years ago everyone was sure fat had to be gone, done, absent from our meals; then someone realized it helped hormones, cushioned our body necessarily, and helped store fat-soluble vitamins. Ten years ago the Atkins Diet was in full force and removing carbs from many tables; then, the Doctor himself had a heart attack, red flag. Five years ago there was an obsession with sugar-free foods; then we were told sugar-substitutes in large amounts might not be so “healthy”. The last few years have introduced “Gluten Free” dieting as a trend, rather than the allergy/intolerance it should be reserved for.
Whew. Good thing we moved past all that, right? Right…
Carbs have luckily made their way back into menus and diets; real raw sugar has started to take back its reign; Gluten free items continue to be made available – great for Celiac’s Disease & intolerances, bad for the fad.
Now, we all move on and wonder – what’s next?
What will 2011 bring to the table that we haven’t seen before? Or what will make a comeback, stealing our attention and menu-planners once again?
I took a survey for the Nutrition Blog Network this morning on the topic. Here are a few things I think/hope will have their 15 minutes of fame, and hopefully stay right in the spotlight where they belong:
- Focus on healthy, not “skinny”
- Shift to a plant-based diet (where there is still room for consuming healthy, lean protein in whatever form you prefer/choose)
- Menu labeling with calorie counts/information
- Prevention of Type 2 Diabetes
- Eat local foods!
- Using Food/Nutrition Applications (computer and/or mobile apps)
- Healthier Kids’ meals options
- Naturally nutrient-rich foods, vs fortified/processed
One trend/action I don’t agree with, regardless of my own opinion on soda/diet soda: Introducing a Soda Tax – while I do think that it will decrease sales to some extent, it won’t be for the right reason. People will completely change their diet, and continue to eat/drink healthier, if it is by their own choice through readiness and education. By increasing price and making the product “unaffordable”, it simply creates a barrier, not a choice.
Last, but certainly not least, these are three things that I sincerely hope start to resonate and have an impact on the way we eat, and the way we think about Nutrition needs:
- Reading and understanding nutrition labels and/or calorie counts (e.g. menu items) – The information is available, but not helpful if consumers don’t understand what the numbers mean to/for them.
- Benefits of consuming healthy fats in moderation
- Benefits of consuming natural foods with real ingredients, vs processed fortified foods – If anything comes to fruition, this would be the ONE I would focus on. Ingredient lists should be full of things we recognize, and could use in our own kitchens if we made the product ourselves. Simple as that.
Above all – Social Media is changing the way all of this happens, and how quickly all of it unfolds. This blog post is a perfect example of that – as will be the tweet I send out in a few minutes to grab your attention! So, What do you think of these trends? What do YOU predict for 2011’s Nutrition News headlines?