Reimagining Nutrition in a Post-COVID-19 EraBy Miriam Bello | Thu, 08/05/2021 - 09:59
The high prevalence of chronic diseases associated with poor nutritional habits, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease or obesity, have pushed several countries to shift their public health focus and promote simple every day habits that break negative long-term patterns.
Mexico, for example, has seen several public policies that prohibit the sale of packed, high-calorie products at schools and replaced them for nutritious breakfast. The country also introduced new labels for packed foods and beverages and encouraged physical activity.
These measures are relatively new, so their long-term impact has not been assessed. However, these measures demonstrate the importance of nutrition, exercise and other healthier habits in the public agenda. Just like policy makers, startups are also encouraging healthier habits in food consumption and physical activity.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, demand for food and beverages delivery apps doubled, according to Market Watch. These services often leave consumers options that are rarely healthy and measured. These are also more expensive. Cooking is no longer a central point of life at home, according to Hipertextual, which argues that free time is no longer devoted to elaborate recipes and food delivery has become dominant.
This has opened the door to entrepreneurial initiatives such as MyReadFood app, in which users can scan, share and record their food according to their nutritional quality. MyRealFood helps users get a balanced diet based that avoids ultra-processed foods.
Yuka is another example on self-guidance on food consumption. Yuka analyzes food items and provided a detailed data sheet for each product to explain how it was evaluated. If the app finds that a foodstuff has a negative health impact, it recommends an alternative.
Other entrepreneurs are developing precise clinical guidance apps for nutrition such as nutriADN, a platform that offers preventive and personalized solutions tailored to individual genetic profiles. Based on the integration of genetics, exercise and functional medicine to optimize health, nutriADN supplies personalized plans to base the user’s lifestyle decisions.
“We have the perception that a healthy lifestyle can be expensive due to all new products (organic, non-gluten, keto, etc) that increase the price of our diet,” explains to MBN Gustavo Rodríguez, Founder and CEO of nutriADN, “nonetheless, we recommend having a balanced nutrition, regular physical activity, take care of your sleep and stress levels.”