One of my favorite past-times as a nutrition professional is to head over to google trends and take a peek at where the world is headed. Below are a few of the key words I’ve touched on throughout my writing so far, see if you can spot some of the trends, some should make you laugh, others will make you cry.
Good news for Dietitians, we’re on the up and up as far as worldwide recognition goes. It hasn’t been an easy journey, but people are definitely waking up to the fact that Doctors have, on average, 2 weeks of nutrition education. RDs on the other hand, well, let’s just say compared to what they’re paid, they’re getting scraps for what is at a minimum a 5 year degree.
Another peculiarity, it seems that global interest in overweight and obesity has been steadily on the decline. Though I’m not quite sure what led to this. As far as the US goes, adult obesity really hasn’t changed much in recent years, it has leveled for sure, but state-by-state obesity has leveled on the upper end of the spectrum. What this means is that we’ve gotten to a certain level of fatness where gaining more weight is just as difficult as losing it. Go figure.
Not surprising at all given the degree of antibiotic use around the world. What I wouldn’t give to see probiotics overtake the use of antibiotics. Isn’t it about time we started seeding the good bacteria to aid our immune systems rather than waiting for the bad bacteria to overtake them? Poor prebiotics, hardly a blip on the radar.
Pay very close attention to this one. In all three, calorie, diet, new years, we see a very precise bump in google searches. Anyone want to throw out a guess as to why?
I’ll give you a hint… resolutions.
Even though global interest in diets declined throughout most of the worlds financial crisis, the drop from January 1st to December 31st has remained almost perfectly stable throughout the years.
Another shocker. Many of you remember from my article on BPA that most people simply forgot about the chemical after its spotlight in the sun. Yes, it’s largely disappeared from reusable water bottles, that still leaves Styrofoam, cellophane, paper receipts, and regular reusable water bottles, just to name a few.
Trouble in organic paradise? Even with more companies jumping on the GMO labeling band-wagon, it seems consumers are slowly slipping away from actual concern between GMO and Organic products.
I’ve never really sat back and realized how insightful watching global trends can be. Clearly people have a rhythm, one that’s overly enthusiastic after a year of eating poorly, but gradually fades after they approach the high-calorie holidays. Maybe that’s just human nature, a hibernation of sorts. Either way, I feel that informing the public is the first step towards changing what is largely unconscious behavior. As we head into the tail end of 2013, fight the urge to pack on the annual 1-2 holiday pounds.
It will mean months less work to get back your summer body and a sense of accomplishment while hardly lifting a finger. Eating 3500 calories (the amount in a pound of fat), is far easier to eat than to burn, just remember that.
Be good to each other.
– Joshua Iufer, RD
The New Years/Calorie/Diet one is amazing!! It seriously looks like a heart beat or something, ha!
Interesting! People excel in detecting patterns and the Internet is helping us do this better. I’m reading “The Signal and the Noise… Why most predictions fail – But some don’t”, an attempt to explain how to analyze patterns effectively. Maybe you would like it too. It’s by Nate Silver 2012.
That sounds like an awesome read and I’m a total forecasting nerd. I will definitely check it out, thanks for bringing it to my attention!
The New Year’s Eve and Calorie one is actually funny to me. Funny and sad.
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