Diet Trends & Changes During The Pandemic
Updated: May 11
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to measurable shifts in behaviour across the population. Many of these should be particularly interesting to health professionals.
In a recently published Stats Canada survey, for example, use of the internet was identified as the most commonly increased weekly habit among Canadians. While this shouldn’t be surprising, it does on some level speak to the importance of an increased and strong online presence via blogs and social media of dietitians. It also speaks to the increasing relevance of online dietetic practice, which of course can be supported and facilitated by the Nutrioso platform.
But how else has COVID-19 shaped health and lifestyle trends this last year?
In order to help respond to this question I will review some of the key findings of a comprehensive annual survey of dietitians published by Pollock Communications and Today’s Dietitian.
Let’s see what they found.
Dietary & Lifestyle Changes During COVID-19
The survey press release noted that social media, celebrities, friends and family continue to be among the most frequent sources of nutrition misinformation.
The role of social media for disseminating nutrition information, whether for better or for worse, does once again reinforce the value of an online presence in these realms for current and aspiring dietitians.
Here are some ways, according to the survey results, that diet trends have shifted this year:
1) Intermittent fasting has surpassed the ketogenic diet as the “number one” diet trend/fad.
2) There is a surge in interest around foods that may have a role in immune health
3) The trend observed in point #2 is supported by the fact that fermented foods have become an increasing topic of popularity.
4) As have antioxidant rich foods such as green tea, blueberries, and leafy greens, as well as sources of “healthy fat” like nuts, seeds, salmon and avocado. The theme of anti-inflammatory persists throughout.
5) Consumers are increasingly interested in products such as CBD, collagen and hemp. Do note as well that a Stats Canada survey identified increases in cannabis consumption post pandemic, making it perhaps even more important for dietitians to understand the interaction between CBD, cannabis use and nutrition/health outcomes.
I think each of these interest points offers unique insights and can be used by dietitians to drive their own online content and self-directed professional development to best anticipate and address client curiosities. You can be sure the team here at Nutrioso will release content in these subject areas to better support those looking for more knowledge in these niche areas.
We also have evidence from a survey commissioned by meal-kit delivery service HelloFresh, which found that Canadians are increasingly interested in planning grocery trips ahead of time and learning how to best utilize the ingredients they already have at home.
This is an area where Nutrioso’s recipe-sharing tool would really shine through in being able to better support clients who resonate with these types of objectives.
Certainly, some food for thought as you consider your next steps.
-Andy De Santis RD MPH