The next three food trends predicted for 2011:
There will be more "light" products flooding the food aisles
Consumers are increasingly focusing on their weight and on weight control. Diet foods, diet drinks, weight management tools and foods, weight management services, surgical weight management, diet drugs and natural therapies totaled almost $26 billion in 2009. Diet foods and drinks alone totaled $18 billion or 73% according to one market research publisher. So a push to develop foods that satiate or provide hunger satisfaction with lower calorie counts is predicted as one of the continuing hot trends of next year. Low calorie - sugar free products like diet sodas, light juices, and light yogurts will continue to roll out. Though there are different perspectives on whether diet sodas do or don't support weight loss, the bottom line is that lowering calorie counts needs to be a cornerstone of preventing weight gain.
Corporate America needs healthy workers
Companies will have to remain focused on corporate wellness. Health-care costs associated with obesity are hovering around $147 billion yearly, which includes paid sick days (often more frequent when obese) and higher insurance premiums (due to obesity related health conditions). Companies will continue to create a variety of incentives to get workers exercising, eating healthier, reducing stress in order to reduce the rate of absenteeism and the actual costs of health insurance. One statistic suggests that 61% of large American companies (over 500 employees) currently offer some kind of a wellness program.
Restaurants will continue to add "calorie consciousness" to their menus
Some cities and states are requiring that restaurant chains offer total calorie and nutritional transparency by posting and offering nutritional breakdowns of all their products. A new federal law in 2011 will now mandate that requirement. The national policy will mirror the mandates already in place in Philadelphia, New York City, California and Massachusetts.
As a whole, the national health scene is trying to push for positive changes that can be managed in most people's daily lifestyle. Experts want to discourage extreme behaviors as a way to lose weight and emphasize small changes that can be maintained as the dieting doctrine of choice.
My comments: I'm delighted that "preventing weight gain" is solidly on the radar as a health goal. I also think that our dietary guidelines were due for review and a bit of an overhaul and I do think the new recommendations take the current obesity crisis into account. Buying "light foods" and swapping out ingredients is a technique that can certainly reduce the calorie load of your diet. The problem is that you sometimes choose products with lower nutrient density because they are advertised as light foods. So you might choose a "light bagel" thinking it's a healthy choice, when in fact a small handful of nuts might be somewhat higher in calories but be nutrient dense and contain healthy fats and protein which will satiate you for a longer period of time. We do need to try to offer workers, who spend much of the week on the job and away from home, opportunities to buy healthier food, sneak in some exercise and have other accessible health tools present in the workplace. I do think workers need to take advantage of these perks, and at present I don't think that many do. Finally, it is imperative for consumers to look at what they are eating and really assess calories and nutritional quality of these foods. We eat far too many meals outside the home and most of us are clueless as to how much we are eating and how unhealthy many of those choices are.
Do you think these trends will help you to lose weight in 2011??
Published On: December 29, 2010