WASHINGTON, Dec. 30, 2014 – Kale and coconut – and a lot more health news, much of it misleading.

They’re just a few trends consumers can look forward to in 2014, according to a survey of more than 500 registered dietitians by nutrition trade magazine Today’s Dietitian and public relations firm Pollock Communications. The report identifies 14 top diet trends for 2014 – and points to the decidedly mercurial nature of the U.S. consumer.

Take trends 12 and 14, for example. Number 12 posits that Americans are becoming complacent about bulging waistlines, with 44 percent of respondents agreeing that “consumers are becoming OK with an unhealthy weight.”

But the public also has an “insatiable appetite” for diet and nutrition information, survey respondents said. Some 66 percent of them forecast an increased interest in nutrition and weight loss in 2014.

Winners among the trends include: “ancient grains” like quinoa, amaranth, spelt and Kamut; kale; coconut oil; chia seeds; and TV doctors and chefs, who increasingly show up on U.S. sets to peddle their diet wares.

Consumers will also continue to turn to bloggers –- be they credentialed dietitian s, so-called “mommy bloggers” or lifestyle experts -– for nutrition and health information.

Losers could include a variety of disparate trends and food products, including fact-based information, “low fat” labels and wheat.

About two-thirds of those surveyed say nutrition information is often “based on personal beliefs and half-truths rather than published peer-reviewed research,” and 75 percent say the flow of misinformation will probably continue in 2014.

Misinformation could be lending itself to a growing anti-wheat sentiment, the dietitians say. Fad, wheat-free food crazes like the Paleo diet (which urges adherents to eat unprocessed foods, mimicking the habits of cavemen) and gluten-free will be popular in 2014.

“Despite the lack of evidence to support wheat- or gluten-elimination diets for weight loss or health –  not associated with a clinical disorder or disease –- consumers are still looking for ways to control their weight," said Jenna Bell, senior vice president of food and wellness at Pollock Communications.

For a full list of 14 diet trends of 2014, click here.


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