The SparkPeople Blog

All Entries For trends

Cool Infographic: How Kids Consume Food Marketing



As some of you may remember, Coach Tanya recently blogged about how First Lady Michelle Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack joined celebrity chef Rachael Ray and announced last month that there will be changes to the school lunch program. To help support these new nutritional standards in schools, Teach.com has created and shared the following infographic with statistics that share lifestyle, consumption, and media activity relating to children, which contribute to obesity in childhood (and for some, into adulthood).


Posted 2/16/2012  2:00:00 PM By: Denise Tausig : 22 comments   12,040 views
Read More ›

Do Rising Food Costs Change Your Buying Decisions?


I am a creature of habit.  If you took a look in my grocery cart each week, you’d see many of the same foods- bread, produce, milk, cheese, etc.  I stick with the same foods and the same brands for a few reasons.  One is that I’m slightly lazy, and don’t like to take the time to comparison shop for the best deals.  My goal is to get through the store as quickly as possible (especially when my kids are with me), so once I find a brand I like, I stick with it.  Another reason is that once I find something my kids like (our sandwich bread, for instance), I don’t usually deviate from it for fear that I’ll hear: “This is different.  I don’t want to eat it.” 
Posted 2/3/2012  2:00:00 PM By: Jen Mueller : 108 comments   14,238 views
Read More ›

You Asked: What's the Best Diet/Fitness Program for Weight Loss?


There are thousands of diet plans available these days, and there are just as many different workout programs. The trendy diets and workout plans of the past couple of years (think Paleo, Dukan, the 17-Day Diet, hCG, PINK, P90X, Insanity and more) will rise, peak and fall just like the popular diet and workout plans of the past. There will always be a new, trendy diet or workout plan. As different as they all may be, they all have one thing in common: They promise to be "the program" to help you take off the weight. But can they all be telling the truth?
 
As a health and fitness professional, the question I get asked most often revolve around my opinion on other diet or fitness programs.

What do you think about the [insert name here] diet?
Does [insert workout program/DVD] really work?
What's the best diet (or workout program) for weight loss?
 
My answer to these common questions may surprise you.
Posted 1/5/2012  10:00:00 AM By: Nicole Nichols : 38 comments   23,605 views
Read More ›

Top Restaurant Trends to Watch in 2012


Here are some interesting statistics regarding restaurants –
  • Sixty-two percent of consumers have been cutting back on visits to casual-dining restaurants.

  • Forty seven percent of consumers want healthy restaurant options while just twenty-three percent select healthy food when dining away from home.

  • Fifty-two percent of consumers suggest that different and unique flavors influence their restaurant visits.
 
Technomic is a consulting and research firm that focuses on the food industry by providing proprietary studies and research based guidance. Their research has found many interesting consumer trends. Here are some of the top restaurant trends they want us to watch in 2012.  
 
Posted 1/2/2012  10:00:00 AM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 14 comments   7,539 views
Read More ›

What's Cooking for 2012? Our Experts Weigh In


In just the last few years, healthy eating and cooking have become much easier, thanks to the advent of "healthy" restaurant menus, the expansion of the health-foods aisle into entire sections, and the resurgence of farmers markets and backyard gardening--all due in large part to the demand from conscious consumers like you.

Old favorites like oatmeal are once again our breakfast of choice; once-foreign foods like Greek yogurt, flaxseed and pomegranates are familiar sights in supermarkets; and salads are no longer considered "rabbit food" but a chance to bulk up your meals with vegetables.

As 2011 draws to a close, our food and nutrition experts weighed in with their predictions for the future of food and what will be on their--and your--plate next year.
These trends are a collaboration among:

Let food be thy medicine:

Diabetes affects one in eight Americans (source); heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. (source). We're hearing from our more than 11 million members that they're not ready to become a statistic. They're taking control of their health through exercise and nutrition.

That means taking the salt shaker off the table, eating at home more often to control what's going into their food, and making health-conscious choices whenever possible. In "The SparkPeople Cookbook: Love Your Food, Lose the Weight," we kept a close eye on sodium, and Chef Meg shared numerous tricks for tricking taste buds and cutting fat but keeping flavor.

If the popularity of SparkPeople's diabetes program is any indication, 2012 is set to be a year of major change for many Americans. They might have diabetes, but it doesn't have them.

Expect to see more people fighting for their health--starting at the dinner table. 
Posted 12/28/2011  10:00:00 AM By: Stepfanie Romine : 19 comments   8,165 views
Read More ›

Follow SparkPeople on Pinterest!


I have a confession. I am obsessed with a website that isn't SparkPeople. com. I think about it during the day. I visit the site before I go to bed each night. I even had a dream about it once. Don't get me wrong, I love SparkPeople and would recommend it to anyone for all of your healthy lifestyle needs, but I have a new flame. It's name is Pinterest. I could waste spend hours a day looking for cool ideas and pinning the ones I stumble upon on Pinterest. Sometimes I do! Pinterest has changed my online world for the better.
 
Those of you who have a Pinterest account probably "get it." Those of you who have no idea what Pinterest is are probably scratching your heads and saying, "Huh?"
 
Allow me to explain.
Posted 12/23/2011  6:00:00 AM By: Nicole Nichols : 30 comments   17,011 views
Read More ›

Nutrition Year in Review – 2011



The American Dietetic Association conducted a survey this year to evaluate people's attitudes about nutrition and physical activity and found a variety of interesting statistics. One interesting finding was that today 46 percent of those interviewed actively seek information about nutrition and healthy eating compared to only 19 percent in 2000. TV and magazines are the top two sources people use to gather their nutrition information. The internet has increased 18 percent since 2008 to become the number three source especially for those between the ages of 25-44.
 
While there are plenty of poor nutritional options available, this year has also provided information and options to help you make healthier choices and changes. Here are some of the highlights from this year that you might have missed.
Posted 12/22/2011  10:00:00 AM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 5 comments   7,331 views
Read More ›

8 Fitness Trends and Predictions for 2012


The last few decades have brought so many changes in the fitness industry.  When VCRs became affordable, the first home exercise videos (thanks, Jane Fonda!) revolutionized the way people worked out. Aerobics even inspired fashion trends in the '80s. Fitness has become such a part of American culture that gym-based fitness programs like Zumba and Spinning are household names, even among people who have never set foot in a gym.

The fitness industry is ever-evolving with new faces, concepts, and workouts. That's great news for exercisers who are interested in establishing a lifelong fitness habit—and those who are just getting started—because it allows you to explore countless options to find what really does work for you and keep you excited about exercising.

Here are the workout trends I'm predicting you'll see more of in 2012.
Posted 12/13/2011  6:00:00 AM By: Nicole Nichols : 32 comments   19,629 views
Read More ›

Stop Exercising So Hard! Why Moderate Workouts Really Do Work


Have you noticed how intense workout programs have become in recent years? The top-selling fitness DVDs are by "America's Toughest Trainer" Jillian Michaels (think 30 Day Shred) and also include P90X and Insanity (advertised as "the hardest fitness program ever put on DVD"). Even Crossfit, which combines gymnastics, power lifting, and plyometrics and was originally used by athletes, firefighters, and soldiers, is gaining popularity among unfit beginners and housewives alike. The ever-popular "Biggest Loser" TV series also depicts people exercising to the point of injury, hospitalization, and vomiting.
 
I remember a time when commercials for fitness products used to show how easy and effortless it was to lose weight and tone up in just minutes a day. But now, we see the sweat and strain and want to be a part of it. Are we crazy? Am I the only one concerned about this trend?
Posted 11/2/2011  6:00:00 AM By: Nicole Nichols : 125 comments   41,066 views
Read More ›

Could Healthtainment Be a Key to Your Health Success?


Gone are the days of going to the library to learn more about a health condition. Most of us can quickly do an online search to learn the basics about what we are experiencing BEFORE we contact a doctor. The new MyPlate guidelines are outlined on the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) website with detailed guidelines for healthy eating. Before that, people could easily find similar information outlined about the Food Pyramid. There are many online sites to provide guidelines and information for healthy living. However, despite the abounding information readily available to help people live healthier lives, Americans are as unhealthy as ever before.

Communication professionals have known for a long time that there is an entertainment factor that can be used to engage an audience. Teachers began experiencing it when those of us in the Sesame Street Generation entered the classroom forcing changes in teaching methods to hold our attention in school. Now, a new survey demonstrates how popular TV shows influence viewer's health behaviors. Whether learning topical health information through Grey's Anatomy, being inspired to learn how to dance through Dancing with the Stars or coming to terms with the need for weight loss by watching the struggles of contestants on The Biggest Loser, television brings the relevance of health into our homes. We at SparkPeople.com have known that health and wellness don't have to be boring. That's why we invented the word healthtainment®.
Posted 10/6/2011  2:00:00 PM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 11 comments   9,460 views
Read More ›

Gear Up: 5 Fitness Apparel Trends for Fall


Summer swimming gives way to fall hiking, and our once too-hot-to-handle weather is whisked away by cool breezes and darker mornings.

As the seasons change, so do our workouts—and our wardrobes.

Here's some of the cutest, coolest and newest trends in fitness apparel that you can find this fall.
Posted 9/30/2011  6:00:00 AM By: Nicole Nichols : 33 comments   12,939 views
Read More ›

What to Expect in a Barre Workout Class


Editor's Note (Nicole Nichols): I've been getting bored with my usual strength-training workouts lately, so I started experimenting with barre workout DVDs. I truly love the new challenge and variety that they provide. Barre workouts are super trendy and don't appear to be going away any time soon, so I asked Andrea Rogers, creator of the Xtend Barre workouts (and the Xtend Barre DVD I recently reviewed) to share her insight with you. Here's a little more info about barre exercises and what you can expect when trying your first class.
 
By Andrea Rogers, Xtend Barre workout creator

If you are staying on top of fitness trends you know that "barre workouts," which are designed to give you a long, lean dancer-like physique, are all the rage these days. Barre studios are popping up in every major city across the globe, along with a variety of DVDs you can do at home. While all barre workouts differ slightly in structure, most methods incorporate exercises done at a ballet barre (you can use the back of a chair at home) combined with elements of ballet, Pilates, and yoga.  Barre exercises rely mainly upon one's bodyweight for resistance, and the moves challenge your core stability and balance. Barre workouts are designed to help an individual achieve a “dancer’s body” — strong, sleek, and streamlined.
 
So why are barre workouts so popular among celebrities (think Madonna and Kelly Ripa) and regular folks alike?
Posted 9/2/2011  6:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 16 comments   121,403 views
Read More ›

Suffering from Celiac? Tips for Going Gluten-Free


Editor's Note: According to the Celiac Disease Foundation, 1 in 133 Americans are affected by this ailment, which causes them to fall ill if they come in contact with even a trace amount of gluten, the protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. Abbie Roth, a freelance writer and academic editor, found out she had the disease in early 2009. She wrote a blog to help others who face a life with celiac or gluten intolerance.

By Abbie Roth

I’ve been living gluten free for more than two years now. Like many people, I was less than thrilled with my diagnosis. I remember crying over my beautiful dinner of grilled salmon and steamed rice because all I wanted was a piece of bread. Initially, I even rebelled against my diagnosis and binged on pizza, which I soon regretted. Once the reality sank in that I could actually feel good by eating the right foods, I never looked back.

Posted 6/8/2011  2:34:08 PM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 44 comments   12,060 views
Read More ›

I Survived the Warrior Dash!


Trek up steep trails. Wade through neck-deep water. Crawl under barbwire through two feet of thick mud. Jump over fire-burning coals. Climb a 30-foot cargo net. Cross over creeks. Roll down hills. Scrape up your hands and knees in the dirt. Walk the plank. Scale a rope wall. Run through tires. Puzzle through a junkyard of cars. And when you're finished? Get sprayed down by a fire hose.

Yeah, I did that all. Before lunch. And I jumped at the chance to pay $60 to be a part of it. Why? I suppose because it sounded fun.

Last weekend, I drove 2.5 hours to compete in the Warrior Dash, a Viking-themed 3.1-mile race through steep trails, peppered with obstacles along the way.

You see, as much as I still do enjoy running, I'm getting a little bored with the actual races. Each one blends into the next, and even though the courses and the crowds are all different, I need something more to get excited about. That's why every race I've signed up for this year has been something special. (Remember my Krispy Kreme Challenge?) And it doesn't get more "special" than the Warrior Dash, which takes place across the country (and even has events in Canada and Australia)!

As crazy as it sounds, what looked like a bunch of torture was actually a rolling good time. People come from far and wide to take part in these adventures—people of all sizes, shapes and fitness levels, too. They dress up in crazy costumes: I saw multiple superheroes, men in kilts, a man running in nothing but tighty whities, women in pink tutus, and young kids dressed as cavemen! Then we all get dirty (and I have the photos to prove it).
Posted 6/8/2011  5:00:00 AM By: Nicole Nichols : 158 comments   27,329 views
Read More ›

VIDEO: Watch the U.S. Get Fatter


It is often said that a picture is worth a thousand words, but does that still hold true when viewing an animated map demonstrating the rising rate of obesity here in the United States over the past 25 years?

We all know that obesity, defined as a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater, has been steadily rising across the country, especially in the south. It is a major risk factor for type II diabetes, liver disease, cancer and cardiovascular disease, however, even with these staggering statistics, we, as a nation, only continue to put on the pounds with each passing year as seen in the maps below.

Posted 5/20/2011  6:00:02 AM By: Denise Tausig : 29 comments   9,132 views
Read More ›

‹ Back | Read More Entries ›