It’s been only a couple of days since Victorian Opposition Leader Matthew Guy announced that were the Coalition to be elected next month, he would relaunch the cult 1970s health campaign Life. Be In it. This is an apt example of the times we live in, where the societal shift towards health and wellness has made everyone from politicians to young mothers think long and hard about their nutritional choices.
Increasing knowledge of the impact of nutrition on people’s bodies, more easily accessible than ever before thanks to the internet, has been supplemented with a wide variety of diets and alternative eating habits to the point where keto, paleo and intermittent fasting are now part of the modern vernacular.
This has resulted in significant demand for the likes of nutritionists and dieticians, with nutrition professionals predicted to experience very strong future growth according to Job Outlook data. However, this isn’t the only sector that has been impacted by people’s renewed commitment to their health.
Social media has had a substantial effect and Instagram has transformed into the ideal platform for not only qualified dieticians but a host of other influencers, such as fitness models, chefs and personal trainers, to build followings and share their opinions with a large audience. This shift hasn’t been without controversy though – while there is no doubt Instagram is a great tool for businesses and personal branding, it has been criticised in fitness circles for its role in people comparing themselves to the individuals they follow and suffering low self-esteem when they feel they don’t meet certain standards of how they think they should look.
Restaurants, food delivery services and the hospitality industry in general have also been forced to adapt to an insatiable appetite for better dining options. From fast food giants like McDonalds, which offers apple slices instead of fries in Happy Meals, to eateries with menus specifically designed to cater to vegans and the gluten intolerant, the sector is forever adapting. Ordering delivery was long deemed to be a process reserved for pizza or Thai, whereas it is common practice in 2018 for someone to jump on UberEats for a bowl of poke or some bibimbap.
Whether it’s complimentary fresh fruit in the office, a gluten free alternative at the Italian restaurant around the corner or the latest fad diet, there is no doubt the way we think about nutrition has changed drastically in the past decade.