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Chances are, you’ve heard a friend or acquaintance talking about their ‘Paleo diet’—then talking about it again… and again… and again. But new data from Pinterest shows that interest in Paleo and other diets are on the decline while more holistic approaches to wellness are more popular.
According to data analysis done by Pinterest in the first week of 2016, users are pinning topic that show a greater interest in mind and body. They saw a 55 percent increase in pins for “holistic,” a 49 percent increase in pins for “meditation space,” and 46 percent increase in pins for “detox.”
“As a dietitian, I’m actually relieved to see that people are looking at more moderate approaches to healthy eating, as very restrictive plans can be hard to sustain in the long run,” Jessica Cording, a New York-based registered dietician, told the Daily Dot via email.
On the flipside, Pinterest took a look at terms associated with more extreme forms of wellness and how the stats have changed between January 2015 and now. Pins for “crash diet” are down 70 percent since the start of 2015, while “low carb diet” pins have seen a decline of 40 percent. Pins for the aforementioned “Paleo diet” have seen a 32 percent decline. and even the term “flat stomach” experienced a 20 percent decrease during this time period.
For those unfamiliar with the Paleo diet, the health plan’s official website explains that it “is based upon everyday, modern foods that mimic the food groups of our pre-agricultural, hunter-gatherer ancestors.” It is marked by higher protein and fiber intake with a lower carbohydrate intake. Paleo has also become both an Internet mainstay—with nearly six million Instagram posts devoted to the diet—and the butt of a joke, among the likes of those obsessed with Crossfit.
Cording was surprised to see that “detox” was a term being championed by Pinterest as a sign of a healthier attitude towards health and wellness. She noted that a detox is “another broad term for a diet or plan with an emphasis on cleansing the body.” Detox diets are often marked by restricting certain foods or beverages that could be considered toxins. On the other hand, detoxes are a more natural approach to wellness—as opposed to filling your body with low-fat products and aspartame.
While the stats from Pinterest seem to signal an encouraging shift towards a less extreme approaches to weight loss and wellness, Cording isn’t so quick to celebrate.
“I actually feel like the Paleo/low-carb craze is still in high gear,” she told the Daily Dot, based on evidence she sees in the nutrition field. “But I have definitely noticed a shift away from crash diets. I think that people are starting to get the message that more moderate lifestyle changes related to health and diet can lead to lasting success.”
Photo via Nickolai Kashirin/Flickr
Marisa Kabas is a lifestyle reporter and activist. Her work has been published by Fusion, Fast Company, and Today. She’s also served as an editorial campaigns director for Purpose PBC, a social movement incubator.