Recently we’ve seen a sudden rise in the trend of “wellness”, but what does it mean?
For everyone who remembers the years before the wellness journey, words like “processed foods” and “raw ingredients” weren’t used commonly. Barely anyone had a problem with eating a snack where you couldn’t recognize a single word on the ingredient list and drinking a can of Coke a day was a complete norm.
Nowadays, you’ll hear a 14-year-old order their latte with “almond milk”, or turn their nose up at a soft drink and a fast-food burger, and opt for a smoothie bowl. So what happened? In the last decade, a new wave of conscious eating and awareness of the food we’re ingesting or the activities we’re pursuing has hit the average consumer.
People are looking after themselves, their bodies and the planet in hopes of a brighter future, which doesn’t sound like such a bad thing. Let’s look at some of the wellness statistics that highlight this fact:
Quick Roundup Of Wellness Industry Facts
- Plant-based diets have become one of the top wellness trends, with an estimated third of the UK population being privy to the lifestyle.
- The wellness industry has caused a spike in eating disorders, with the diagnosis going by the name of “orthorexia”.
- “Gut health” is the biggest wellness trend of 2022 with online searches for the term rising by 83% in 2021
- The sexual wellness market is estimated to reach 125.1 billion dollars by 2026
- Pets are even getting involved, with the global pet supplement market expected to reach $1 billion by 2027
The term “plant-based” is commonly used to describe a diet that seeks out the importance of vegetables over meat. Before the 2010s, you’d commonly see a diet that heroes a protein such as beef or poultry, followed by a hefty dairy intake like a glass of milk or a fair portion of cheese. The conversation has completely changed, and the wellness industry has shown that many great forms of protein come from what was usually considered a “side”.
The plant-based term is a popular one as it is considered broader than something as strict as veganism or vegetarianism, or the extreme “raw-vegan” diet that has seen an increase in popularity. In the UK alone, a third of the population is said to follow some kind of plant-based diet. This can mean anything from cutting out meat but still enjoying it occasionally, to following a raw vegan diet, which takes out any cooked animal product or cooked anything at all.
Hyperfixation On A Healthy Lifestyle
The wellness industry was set with good intentions but has now become a €23 billion industry with a growth rate of 6.4%. This kind of power comes with its disadvantages. A lot of the wellness products and trends that are marketed don’t have the best intentions, and because it’s a new industry, there aren’t many regulations when it comes to claims these companies are allowed to use.
Companies can claim wellness statistics and figures that are simply inaccurate or have only been proved by a few small studies, which can overload the consumer with a bunch of conflicting information and cause hyper fixation on facts that may not even be true. Psychologists haven’t even officially recognized the diagnosis of orthorexia, as the definition is so specific to the current times.
However, there has been a rise in orthorexia symptoms, such as fixating on a healthy lifestyle such as veganism or raw diets, excessive exercising, and following trends such as fasting, which can result in harmful behaviours and anxieties.
Fasting and raw diets can be harmful and cause malnutrition, and the studies promoting their benefits have not been fully concluded by professionals. This has become a problem in the health and wellness industry, as the opinions of professionals can be conflicting, and it may be hard to make an informed decision.
What Is Gut Health?
Gut health is one of the latest wellness trends where some dietitians have come to discover the harmful long term side effects of the diets that previous generations thought were healthy. This is also a trend that does not have much research to back it up, but what has been done is promising. Searches for “gut health” have risen by 83% over the last year, so research is currently underway.
Microbiome research is set to triple by 2022, as the result of previous studies has been so positive. Gut health may be the root cause of many disorders that have been difficult to treat in the past such as acne, diabetes, fatigue, mental health issues and even cancer. What may seem like a wellness trend might hit the pharmaceutical markets soon, and a surge in probiotic treatments will begin to take course.
The Good Side Of The Wellness Industry
With all the products currently on the market, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. It’s important to look back at the real wellness industry facts and intentions and how they help people to live their best and healthiest lives.
A great philosophy that has come out of the wellness industry is the notion that we are humans with bodies, and whatever ailment, impulse, or struggle you may be feeling is completely normal. Taboo topics like sexual wellness and mental health have been at the forefront of the wellness industry and have become a safe space for people to communicate their struggles with the intention of bettering themselves.
Tools and methods to improve the sex lives and mental health of those who have struggled previously have become more readily available, and are marketed freely without judgement and shame. The sexual wellness market is estimated to reach 125.1 billion dollars by 2026, so it’s obvious that the taboo surrounding the subject is no more.
Mental health services have also become a norm, with tools like therapy apps to help those who can’t afford or aren’t comfortable with a weekly therapist visit. The general discussion surrounding mental health has become a big one, with social media platforms being a place where many seek advice or relatable content to help them.
Pets Deserve A Healthy Lifestyle Too
Gone are the days when dogs slept in kennels outside and ate canned horsemeat. Over the last two decades, pets have become family, with an increase in the millennial generation opting to have pets instead of children.
You wouldn’t feed your child canned horsemeat, so why would you feed it to your dog. The pet wellness industry has introduced products like organically sourced meat and vegetables, mixed with vitamins and oils to keep our pets looking shiny and healthy.
Although the fixation on wellness can be detrimental, the benefits of being a conscious consumer are immeasurable and the health of you and your loved ones is priceless.
So, take advantage of all the amazing wellness trends and the products they bring, and be more aware that what we consume can have some great outcomes!