The trend for following different diets is a booming industry that has implications for the KBB market

Do you have any dietary requirements?” is the question that always gets asked whenever you accept an invitation, and the reason for this is that these days so many people do. From preferring to be carb-free right through to being strictly vegan, there are endless potential answers to this simple question.

Of course in the background to this is the serious issue of food allergies. Recent figures reported by the BBC state that food allergies now affect around 7% of children in the UK and the view is that the global population is becoming more allergic. Severe reactions can be life threatening and the consequences devastating, to the extent that in September the Government introduced legislation to provide further protection for people who need to avoid allergens.

However, dietary advice for the ‘worried well’ has become big business, driven to a large extent by the wellness trend. Atkins, paleo, keto, gluten-free, non-dairy, vegan diets and many more have been adopted as lifestyle choices by those who are free of allergies but desire to look and feel ‘better’.

The alluring combination of health and weight-loss benefits have birthed a whole new aspirational trend of recipe books, blogs, social media accounts and food products. The captivating stories of those like Ella Woodward, who transformed her health – and her career – by adopting a vegan diet, act as inspiration for those who wish to achieve those things for themselves.

The concept that health is affected so directly by diet is not always medically sound. The notion of ‘clean eating’ implies that certain food choices are pure and others are toxic, and claims that sticking to a certain regime means diseases such as cancer can be avoided are not scientifically proven. A grave side effect of the dietary requirements trend is orthorexia, an eating disorder that has its roots in the unhealthy obsession with eating healthily.

But in the arena of the ‘worried well’ catering for a crowd has now got immensely complicated, and for families with teenage children the struggle is real. The fact that each member of a household may have different eating times and dietary requirements has significance for kitchen design.

Creating enough storage and refrigeration space for a greater number of ingredients is a challenge, especially where food allergies mean cross contamination is an issue, as is the ability to cook different meals simultaneously.

But it’s not just the kitchen that this affects – it’s the bathroom too.

With technological advances meaning that an array of self-quantifying products will be readily available, soon the kitchen and the bathroom will never have been more closely aligned.

With technological advances meaning that an array of self-quantifying products will be readily available, soon the kitchen and the bathroom will never have been more closely aligned. Click To Tweet

From smart toilets that can analyse waste to suggest alterations and enhancements to diets, to smart mirrors that can assess appearance to tell if nutrients are lacking, and body trackers to identify weight loss and weight gain, what happens in the bathroom now has potential to dictate what happens in the kitchen.

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