Consumption of healthy foods (fruits, vegetables and fresh fish and foods low in salt, sugar and fat) increased by 15% during 2020, according to the virtual meeting on healthy eating organized by the Consum DecirHazando cooperative.
The study ‘Health and sustainability mark the food of the future’, presented by the Retail Knowledge Area of the Spanish Association of Commercial Codification (AECOC), which brings together manufacturers and distributors, says that 8 out of 10 consumers spend more on healthy food than before the pandemic.
On the other hand, healthy eating has an important digital component as, according to the study ‘The new health awareness’, which was also conducted by AECOC, 56% of consumers search for information about products online and also on social networks.
Google searches for the words ‘healthy eating’ in Spain grew by 22%, with 5.4 million searches; 3 out of 10 consumers follow a food influencer and 35% search for information on web pages.
For Elisa Escorihuela, influencer in nutrition and dietetics, with more than 74.4K followers on Instagram, “social networking and the democratization of information have contributed to the visualization of health workers who through scientific dissemination have made the population sensitive in matters of health and nutrition.
The concern about eating a healthy diet is due to several factors, according to AECOC: on the one hand, the concern about a strong immune system that can fight the virus, and on the other hand take care of physical health and the fight against obesity, a problem that increased significantly during the pandemic.
“The current century has been defined as the century of the metabolic disease epidemic. We have obesity figures of 18.3% and overweight of 26.2%, which means that only 55% of the population in Spain is of normal weight “, says Juan Francisco Merino, director of the Endocrinology Joint Research Unit, Nutrition and Diet Therapy of the La Fe Health Research Institute in Valencia.
Merino warned that the increase in obesity is associated with the increase in type 2 diabetes mellitus and predicted that “we will go from a global prevalence of 463 million people with diabetes today to 700 million in 2045, if we do not reach the maximum do not apply healthy eating habits and daily exercise.
“Child obesity is a public health problem that affects 1 in 3 children in our country, according to the World Health Organization. Its importance is not only due to the impact during childhood, but also due to the potential projection to adulthood, with an increase in cardiovascular and metabolic risk “, says Empar Lurbe, Head of the Pediatric Service of the General Hospital of Valencia and responsible for the PAIDO program for the prevention of obesity in children.
According to Ricardo Fabregat, CEO of Food Safety and Product Quality at Consum, “the work lines to reduce sugar, salt and saturated fats, according to the NAOS strategy, have been successfully tackled in jobs that lasted two years and many areas of Consum, as well as our suppliers, as the challenge is not to make a reduction and that is it, but to do so while maintaining product warranties, without compromising on taste, aroma, etc. It has been hard and satisfying work. ”
Consum has reduced a total of 502 tonnes of sugar, salt and saturated fat in its own branded products. The Co-operative is fulfilling its commitment to the NAOS strategy and has reformulated its own branded foods and beverages, significantly reducing these three components by more than 18% of all Consum branded products available in its supermarkets.