Each year, new weight loss fads move in and out of favor. In 2013, it looks like the wheat belly or gluten-free diets and commercial diet programs will be top of mind for consumers, say America’s nutrition experts – registered dietitians (RDs). According to the annual Registered Dietitian Nutrition Trends survey conducted by Pollock Communications, over 200 RDs ranked the wheat belly or gluten-free as the most popular diet approach trending for consumers (42%) with commercial weight loss programs coming in as number 2 with 41% of the vote.
Just Because it’s a Trend, Doesn’t Mean it’s Right
Despite the popularity of the wheat belly diet (a plan that removes all wheat products from the diet) or gluten-free, it doesn’t mean that it’s a good weight loss choice. A recent article in Food Navigator USA quotes nutrition experts, Jenna A. Bell, PhD, RD, as saying, “dietitians recognize this as a fad and a trend for 2013 among consumers, but it’s not a recommended strategy for weight reduction.” While gluten-free is an important strategy for managing celiac disease, Dr. Bell adds that, “research does not support that a gluten-free diet is an effective way to reduce body weight.”
Food Navigator USA also sites evidence from the August 2012 Packaged Facts Consumer Survey saying that only 7% of respondents said that they were buying gluten-free products because a household member had celiac disease. Similar to what the RDs responded in the Pollock survey, consumers said that they bought gluten-free because it was “generally healthier” and used as a way to “manage their weight.”
To learn more about the 2013 trends, read more of the Top Five Diet Trends of 2013.
Gluten free most popular approach to weight loss for 2013 but it doesn’t work say dietitians. Food Navigator USA. Accessed January 11, 2012. http://www.foodnavigator-usa.com/Market/Gluten-free-most-popular-approach-to-weight-loss-for-2013-but-it-doesn-t-work-say-dietitians