The nutrition trends forecast is in – what fad diets are hot? What’s out? Which foods top the list? What are consumers eating?
Nutrition trade magazine Today’s Dietitian and Pollock Communications surveyed more than 500 registered dietitians to find out what diet trends will be big in 2014. Whether right on or nutritionally wrong, they identified 13 diet, nutrition and food trends that will make headlines, influence food-purchasing decisions and shape waistlines in 2014. For better or for worse, here’s what to watch out for:
1. Anti-wheat sentiment
Consumers will continue to lean on wheat-deprived diet plans like the Paleo diet, gluten-free or “wheat belly” in 2014. “Despite the lack of evidence to support wheat- or gluten-elimination diets for weight loss or health – not associated with a clinical disorder or disease – consumers are still looking for ways to control their weight,” explains Jenna A. Bell, PhD, RD, Senior Vice President and Director of Food & Wellness at Pollock Communications. Just over half of the respondents agreed that the Paleo diet, gluten-free or “wheat belly” would top the list of most popular diet fads for 2014.
2. Ancient grains are new again
Despite the popularity of some low grain diets, ancient grains are being served up in 2014.
3. Add kale, coconut or chia seeds
While 32% of dietitians forecast a fondness for ancient grains, 27% say that kale is hot (or served cold) in 2014. When it comes to ingredients, 37% dietitians report that coconut oil is all the rage, followed by omega-3, ALA-rich chia seeds (32%).
4. “Low fat” falls flat
While low carb remains strong, low fat gets weaker. Dietitians predict that the low fat diet will be the least talked about plan for 2014.
5. “Health” is important in the grocery store
When it comes to shopping for food, 95% of dietitians say that “health” is important to shoppers. And supermarkets know this more than anyone – the Supermarket Dietitian is the fastest growing job classification in grocery stores nationwide.
6. I’m a doctor… and I play one on TV.
Dietitians agree that consumers are exposed to more health information on their flatscreens than ever before. Sixty-six percent of dietitians predict that television doctors will up the diet discussions in 2014, along with more views about food from celebrity trainers and chefs.
7. I’m as healthy as my friends
When it comes to weight and health, consumers are comparing themselves to recommendations from TV personalities and health-focused shows, say 34% of dietitians. How else do they gauge their health and weight? They look to their friends and family.
8. Bloggers blog about nutrition and health
Whether it’s a lifestyle, mommy or credentialed dietitian blogger, consumers are booting up their devices for diet advice. Dietitians report that the topic of nutrition and health is booming on blogs and websites.
9. The (mis)information age
Dietitians report that most (67%) of nutrition information is based on personal beliefs and half-truths rather than published peer-reviewed research. And, 75% say that there will be a preponderance of misinformation to digest in 2014.
10. More eco-conscious eats
According to dietitians, consumers are looking for more eco-labels in 2014. About 38% say that local is where it’s at and 31% tell us that their clients look for sustainable foods when shopping.
11. We’re becoming a little too comfortable
The national averages for body weight have not budged and dietitians worry that we may be becoming complacent about our unhealthy weight. Forty-four percent feel that as we move into 2014, more consumers are becoming OK with an unhealthy weight.
If consumers made one positive nutrition change, what would that be? It’s no surprise: dietitians say that the most important first step to improve overall health is to eat more servings of fruits and vegetables.
13. Consumers have an insatiable appetite for nutrition and diet information
According to 66% of the respondents, consumers’ interest in nutrition and weight loss will only grow in 2014.
What do you think will be the biggest diet trends in 2014? Let us know your favourite health and fitness regimes!