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The future of foods

Watch Helen discuss the future of foods as medicine and how the way we approach food and nutrition may change in the future.
HELEN TRUBY: So if we think about the future and where we’re heading as food as medicine, perhaps what we’re seeing is a sort of a dichotomy in practice really, and also where people seem to be wanting to get their food from. One end of that spectrum is that people in clinical practice, and particularly in dietetics, are experiencing more people coming to see them that are living on very restricted diets and sort of fad-type diets, and either running into some nutritional depletion issues, or indeed their diets are not particularly adequate for their needs– so in other words, not right for their life stage.
So we’re seeing quite a number of quite high-profile type of fad diets coming through, which have always existed, but perhaps take food to one extreme. At the other end of the spectrum, we’re also seeing people go much more back to basics– so trying to source their food locally, trying to think about the environment more in sustainability, perhaps eating more seasonally– almost like how people would have eaten when they relied on living from the food that was grown around them. We’ve seen a huge growth in the functional food industry, so in terms of food that are being manufactured specifically with health benefits in mind.
And this is an area that has enormous amount of interest and indeed could potentially impact quite positively on our health and health outcomes, again, at four specific groups of people. So the functional food elements are going to be very important for us to understand them. But they do need to be clinically proven so members of the public are not misled by claims. And I think this will be a very interesting area to follow into the future. The other area that we’ve seen rapid increase in is the need for personalized nutrition, so how as individuals might get much more tailored and specific advice, and to eat specifically for their needs. And this is another area of massive growth.
And as we understand more about tailoring of nutritional requirements, perhaps to people’s genetic background or their specific health needs, I think this is going to be a massive area in the future. Certainly seeking advice about tailoring specific needs for your health really needs to be done in consultation with a health professional.

Watch Helen discuss the future of foods as medicine and how the way we approach food and nutrition may change in the future.

Talking point

Within the Comments, consider sharing with other learners your thoughts on the dichotomy of reconnecting with nature, alternate or restricted diets and functional foods.

Also consider reading, EAT-Lancet Commission Summary Report or Food in the Anthropocene: the EAT–Lancet Commission on healthy diets from sustainable food systems, a report released by The Lancet that brings together nutrition recommendations with creating a sustainable food supply.

The commissioned report has raised some interesting discussion and debate between scientists, health professionals and the public, with some people hailing this a step in the right direction, and others in disagreement with the suggested ‘diet’. What are your thoughts on the recommendations in the report released by The Lancet?

You might like to take some time to read comments made by other learners, and if you find these comments interesting, respond to them. Remember you can also ‘Like’ comments or follow other learners throughout the course.

Managing comments

Comments on a step can be ‘filtered’ which helps you access them in a way that’s best for you. You can do this by selecting comments by ‘All comments’, ‘Bookmarked’, ‘Your comments’ or ‘Following’ from the drop-down menu in the comments section of the step. You can can also sort by ‘Newest’, ‘Oldest’ or ‘Most liked’.

You can also bookmark comments to remind yourself of certain contributions that you might wish to refer back to at a later stage.

Mentioning other learners

When replying to a comment, you can also mention other learners that are taking part in the comment thread. You can do this by entering the learner’s profile name as part of your reply. For example, @User3320607 That’s an excellent description! @User4499578 What do you think?

Please note, you can only mention others who are in the thread and cannot use the mention functionality in stand alone comments.

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Food as Medicine

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