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Economy Could Affect Your Diet

Good, and good for 'ya.

Good, and good for 'ya.

SANATOGA PA – If Sanatogans and others are what they eat, as food philosopher Brillat-Savarin suggested in 1826, then in 2009 the nation’s dieters may be categorized as “thrifty” (OK, “cheap,” if it suits them) but also “nutritionally aware.”

Registered dietician Beth Hubrich of the Georgia-based Calorie Control Council, a trade association representing low-calorie and reduced-fat food manufacturers, claimed Monday (Dec. 22, 2008) that “with a decline in the economy … many consumers (are) searching for quality nutrition on a budget.” They’re demanding more nutrition for their buck, she said, and expecting foods that provide added benefits.

Five trends she predicted for next year:

  1. Calories will still count. Many people want to lose weight, Hubrich said, and they know calories are a primary measurement of weight loss and gain. More consumers may be watching their caloric intake.
  2. Eating with added benefit. Consumers will be interested in more functional foods, those that let them control calories while increasing their sense of health and well-being.
  3. Greater reliance on personalized online dieting tools. An increasing number of websites help people record their calories, chat with others like themselves, and follow diet and exercise plans.
  4. Growth of functional fitness programs. More people are expressing interest in exercise programs that simulate real life activities, according to Hubrich. Workouts can be tailored to actual activities: new moms, for example, might repeatedly lift a baby stroller instead of a weight set, or a flight attendant could try bench-pressing luggage. Really.
  5. A rise in natural nutrition. Consumers are increasingly likely to prefer foods and beverages they perceive as natural, she said.

Photo by Sanja Gjenero

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