‘Pie hole’, colloquial for one’s mouth, is believed to have evolved in the USA in the 1980s from the British expression ‘cake hole’ (coined in the mid 20th century). Pie hole refers to a mouth, as in: Shut your pie hole or, in this case: Put less in your pie hole.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Let's Get Digital, Digital...

In a world where the youth cherish online purchases, digital media, and simpler food... The landscape of food, nutrition, weight management, and much more are changing... Yes, you've got to say that with the dramatic deep movie-presenter voice. With the coming of age for Gen Z, nicknamed the "digital natives" come new food trends, attitudes, and food preferences. There are also a new set of weight challenges.
 
The Worrisome Weight Debate 
New research shows weight loss today is actually more difficult compared to weight loss in the 1970s. The bottom line is there are other factors underlying the "calories in calories out" equation.

Please explain... There are various other factors being studied that are highly likely to influence risk of obesity, including:
  • Hormonal changes - Men, you're on the hook too
    • Due to increased stress
    • Due to lack of sleep
      • Often caused by light exposure and extended screen time (more on that here)
      • New research presented at the annual dietetic conference (FNCE) describes how lack of sleep impairs decision making regarding food choices. Your lack of sleep equals lack of self control, so you're more likely to eat 5 cronuts and a bag of chips
  • Exposure to environmental pollutants
    • Environmental toxins, organic pollutants, chemicals and additives common in food
  • Gut bacteria (currently a very active area of research)
    • Obese vs non-obese persons have different bacterial colonies due to the types of food consumed (eg: The best bacteria thrive off a high fiber diet, rather than a diet of Oreos, Big Macs, donuts, and Easy Mac)
    • Bacterial colonies affect a variety of metabolic activities including: Glucose and fat metabolism, immune function, and energy expenditure (more on that here and here)
      • Bet ya never thought you'd be jealous of the bacteria in your friend's colon...
  • Rise in medication use
  • Higher maternal age
Ok, so that's the doom and gloom. Even so, it's not that doomy or gloomy because you can modify things like your stress levels, sleeping habits, and how much fruit and veg you eat.
It's the new generational trends that are exciting and perhaps even encouraging... Recent surveys completed by food service professionals at colleges report trends in Gen Z including:
  • Breakfast availability all day
  • Authentic and varied internationals/ethnic cuisine (incl: Mediterranean, Southeast Asian, Korean, Middle Eastern)
  • Fresh, local farm to table
  • Plant-based offerings
  • Healthier on-the-go options
  • Sustainable seafood
In general, food shoppers (all generations) are increasingly looking for:
  • Shorter ingredient lists
  • Recognisable ingredients
  • Minimally processed foods
  • Locally grown produce
These are all encouraging progressions. If we can get our stress and sleep under control, a large-scale move to simpler, less processed food should mean our western waist-lines will waste away (in a good way).

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