Technology: Marching towards a Healthier Future

Niraj Jetly
SVP-COO & CIO-NutriSavings
Thursday, September 29, 2016
Niraj Jetly
An epidemic of lifestyle diseases has spread throughout the U.S. annually, $700 billion, or 75 percent of total U.S. healthcare costs, are spent on treating chronic diseases. Majority of these chronic conditions are easily preventable through lifestyle changes like nutritious and healthy food consumption coupled with active lifestyle. In the day and age of wearable's, it's easy to get carried away with the sex appeal of newer fitness tracking devices, snazzy websites touting various forms of walking and running challenges. However, unless we focus on nutritious eating, we cannot walk ourselves out of this epidemic.

This begs the question, if nutrition is so important, what is holding us back from eating healthy? What are the friction points in healthy eating? What can technology do address these friction points?

Healthy eating is a complex problem marred with confusion on how to identify healthy foods, consumer brand affinity, our taste buds, and lack of ability to objectively track our eating behavior. Let's discuss these challenges in detail.

1. Comprehending nutritional fact panel-If posed a question to identify healthy food, everyone would attempt to figure it out using their own perception-some will gravitate towards total calories and assume lower calories equals improved healthiness, others might try to limit fat and cholesterol while some section of population might pay more attention to protein and ignore the rest and the list goes on. As you can imagine, there is no consistency in analysis process hence the results cannot be consistent either.

2. Impact of marketing messages-As human beings we end up paying more attention to marketing messages like "extra calcium" or "heart healthy" etc. on product packaging.

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