New Zealand is the fourth most diet-obsessed country
New Zealand is the fourth most diet-obsessed country in the world a recent analysis of Google search data has found. The analysis, conducted by Chef's Pencil, looked at Google Trend's search data on the topic of 'Diet (nutrition)' which included diet-related searches made in local languages. Google then showed the local interest level for diet-related searches both by countries and by cities.
While the data doesn't reveal how many people actually commit to a diet, search data is usually well-linked to intent to take action, Chef's Pencil explains.
Of all the countries in the world, New Zealand ranked fourth with a Google Trends score of 77 when it came to how often Kiwis are searching for diets, just one point behind the United States which ranked third with a score of 78, while Canada ranked ninth and the UK tenth.
The host of low calorie meal kits and ready to eat microwave meal deliveries may have further fuelled New Zealand's obsession with dieting. Food box subscription models have made it easier than ever to jump onto the diet bandwagon.
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Meanwhile Aussies ranked second in the world, with three Australian cities – Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney – making the top 5 diet-obsessed cities in the world with Poland topping both the top country and city lists. Google's data also showed the interest in dieting is at a five-year high in New Zealand, and it likely won't surprise you to hear that it's the ketogenic 'keto' diet which Kiwis are searching for the most.
The keto diet, a low carb, high fat diet, has proved incredibly popular over the past couple of years, likely because of the diet's alleged ability to help people lose weight quickly, along with a long list of celebrity endorsements by the likes of Halle Berry, Kim Kardashian and Vanessa Hudgens.
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The goal of the eating plan is to shift your body in ketosis – where the body uses ketones (fat) as a source of energy instead of glucose (sugar/carbs), resulting in rapid weight loss.
However it's highly restrictive nature has many experts questioning how realistic this way of eating is long-term with nutritionist Rachel Scoular previously telling Now To Love: "While it's proven to be successful for short-term weight loss, it's extremely difficult to maintain and adapt to social settings.
"You're also at risk of nutrient deficiencies such as calcium, fibre, vitamins and minerals, due to the many food groups that are excluded from the eating plan."
Accredited dietitian Aidan Muir had similar sentiments adding: "It also cuts out a lot of foods that are high in prebiotics [that] are beneficial for gut-health.
"I am yet to come across a single client who has been able to stick to it closely enough to remain in ketosis for an extended period of time."
They instead suggest focusing on a balanced diet, aiming to cut down on processed foods while prioritising a diverse range of fruit and vegetables.
The Mediterranean diet has been found to be one of the healthier and more manageable eating plans, even recommended by the New Zealand Ministry of Health, which focuses on the consumption of plant-based foods – think plenty of fruit and vegetables, legumes, seafood and heart-healthy fats such as extra virgin olive oil, nuts and avocados.
While the Chef's Pencil says the keto diet craze is still going strong on Google, they predict there will be a shift soon, with a new fab diet likely to take its place, just as the once immensely popular Atkins diet was overtaken by the Paleo diet in 2012, which then moved aside for current Keto craze since 2017.
The analysis also unsurprisingly showed that the peak diet-craze occurs around the new year, when people are most likely to want to commit to the #NewYearNewMe philosophy, by mid-year though interest has steadily dropped… until the next New Year's Day comes around.
Ever wondered why so many people set themselves new year goals, only for their commitment to wane after just a few weeks?
According to eating psychologist Eugenia Nikiforow she finds many of her clients set themselves up to fail because they set goals that are too unrealistic.
Instead, she recommends setting smaller goals that you can build on incrementally and in the long-run you're more likely to finish your year feeling proud of all the smaller things you've accomplished, rather than feeling disappointed.
"Focus on progress, instead of end destination," Eugenia says.
Top 10 Countries For Diet Searches
- United States
- New Zealand
- South Africa
- United Kingdom
Top 10 Cities For Diet Searches
- Warsaw, Poland
- Brisbane, Australia
- Sydney, Australia
- Melbourne, Australia
- Houston, USA
- New York, USA
- Los Angeles, USA
- Rome, Italy
- Chicago, USA
- Toronto, Canada
Words: Anya Truong-George x Erin Berryman. This story originally appeared on our sister site Now To Love.
Main image: @brodiejeankane
What are your thoughts on dieting?