Our diets, we are what we eat?

What we put in our bodies as fuel is becoming increasingly scrutinized and with the proliferation of health focused  programmes on our TV screens; with RTÉ’s Sugar Crash,  Operation Transformation and Channel 4’s How to Lose Weight Well we are becoming more conscious of discussion around how and what we eat.

Bearing this in mind we decided to ask the people of Ireland about their current dietary habits and what trends they saw coming down the line for 2016…

Going back to our segments, we take a look at their latest and greatest dietary habits, what they are embracing, and what habits are mere fads. We can see below that clean eating is the most popular dietary trend across all of our groups. 

When we took a closer look at the dietary habits of our segments we found some interesting points of note;

Active+ Foodies

This group as we know exercise daily and actively monitor what they eat so it is no surprise that they are the least likely group to order a delivery or take away on a weekly basis scoring 13% lower than the average person. This group are also most likely to be participating in this year’s Operation Transformation with 48% of them likely to take part compared to only a third of our Resters.

When we look specifically at dietary habits, this group are most likely to have been following a vegetarian, high protein or gluten free diet for a longer time than other Irish adults. They are also the most likely cohort to have been living the ‘you are what you eat mantra’ with 63% having been following a clean eating (whole foods, unprocessed, non-refined foods) diet for some time compared with just 4 in 10 of the total population.

This group are the most health-focused with 7 in 10 eating less foods with artificial colours and flavourings, two third’s eating less salty foods, and a third eating more foods with healthy oils/fats and locally sourced/environmentally friendly foods.


Inactive Foodies

This group, who don’t exercise but do monitor what they eat are the least likely lot to participate in Operation Transformation this year (35% unlikely vs. 24% of total population). This group are more interested in the quick-fix faddy diets, with the highest proportion of all our groups having been practicing 5:2 diet (which promotes intermittent fasting) or following a weight loss diet such as Weight Watchers or Slimming World (17% vs. 9% of the total population) for some time.

When it comes to their dietary intentions for 2016, this group are the most likely group to try a gluten free diet with 1 in 8 intending on trying this out compared to just 1 in 16 of the total population.

Active Non-Foodies

This group is not concerned about their diet but like to exercise at least once a week. Unsurprisingly, they are the most likely group to be eating ready meals weekly with 4 in 10 also ordering a take away or delivery at least once a week.

When looking ahead to 2016, this cohort is more likely than any other to be eating the same or more chocolate and sugary sweets than in 2015.  They do not intend on changing how many foods with artificial flavours or colourings they are eating with over half consuming the same amount in 2016.



Perhaps the least health-conscious of all our groups, the resters don’t monitor what they eat nor do they exercise on a regular basis. It is unsurprising that they are least conscious of their appearance when compared to the total population (18% vs. 26%). They are also least likely to even watch the latest series of Operation Transformation let alone participate with only 1 in 7 planning on watching it compared to a third of the total population.

Active Foodies

Finally, our active foodies who monitor what they eat and exercise regularly (at least once a week) are the group with the highest proportion currently trying to lose weight 60% vs. 52% of the total population.

Their intentions for 2016 include 6 in 10 attempting to cut down on eating chocolate and sugary foods, 50% planning on including more natural, fresh foods in their diets, 4 in 10 eating smaller portions, preparing more food from scratch and cutting down on fats in their diets and a third hoping to eat more foods with healthy oils and fats in them.

Which brands are helping our health?

With these dietary habits in mind it is obvious that Irish people are looking for healthy solutions to their diets, as a people we are becoming more aware of what we consume, where it comes from and what effect it is having on ourselves and our environment. With this in mind, we asked the people of Ireland to tell us which brands they felt were helping them live a healthy life from a randomly selected list of brands.

Take a look at the chart below to see how each brand performs – get in touch if you would like to know who considers your brand helpful (or not!).


Anecdotally, it's not that surprising  to see the discounters topping the charts as the most helpful supermarkets when it comes to supporting a healthy lifestyle with their weekly offers on fruit and veg.  Lidl also have launched their new fitness collection 'Crivit' comprising of high-end performance wear that is both stylish and affordable making getting fit and healthy easier than ever. 

We have asked this about a number of brands, if you are interested in knowing more, get in touch below. 

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