New Trends in Healthcare Will Put Consumers Back in Control of Their Own Health, Wellness

The Radial Group's new 2011 Health and Wellness Trend Report identifies healthcare trends for the new year.  According to Leslie Nolen, president of The Radial Group, "Self-​care, DIY healthcare trends, back-​to-​basics fitness and Lifestyle Change 2.0 trends" will put consumers back in control of their own health and wellness.  The Health and Wellness Trend Report discusses fitness trends, nutrition trends, and healthcare trends plus conventional, complementary and alternative healthcare trends, obesity and diabetes, and longevity and aging. 

Some of the key healthcare trends anticipated for 2011 include:


Public health recommendations and science are rarely aligned, however, health recommendations are expected to evolve into mandates as obesity and diabetes concerns rise. Examples include junk food taxes, sodium restrictions and restaurant calorie disclosure, as well as guidelines on Happy Meals.


Consumers face a baffling wave of ever-​changing data plus conflicting recommendations. For example, experts disagree about how best to lower cholesterol, and whether cholesterol is even the right target.  As each day passes, they feel less and less capable of uncovering that coveted mix of health and wellness services that can truly address their problems.


The predictable response to complexity and uncertainty: getting back to basics.  For fitness, nutrition and healthcare trends, that means simplicity and self-​reliance over complexity: functional fitness, transparent labels, simple home cooking, gardening, whole foods, and non-​drug non-​surgical complementary, integrative and conventional healthcare trends like acupuncture and yoga therapy.


Alarming obesity and diabetes increases, rising healthcare costs, limited access to conventional healthcare and dissatisfaction with its results intensify the pressure on consumers to become 'CEOs of their own health and wellness.'  Self-​care drives new healthcare behaviors, like diagnosis by Internet, new complementary and alternative healthcare trends, even 'undoctored by choice' consumers.


There's some good news for overwhelmed consumers plus a boost for self-​care and self-​efficacy: the message that small-​step, do-​it-​yourself wellness actually works.  In fact, research supports big health benefits from comparatively small changes — like exercise snacks or dieting through addition.  Yet information overload makes it impractical for many consumers to truly embrace this healthcare trend.  Wellness businesses will therefore respond to this healthcare trend by integrating the functional silos of fitness, nutrition, mind-​body and healthcare.


Lifestyle Change 1.0 — 'Eat less, move more' — was a flop. Successful lifestyle change requires actionable, individualized counsel, not superficial 'one size fits all' advice.  To meet consumers' needs, health and wellness businesses will become health information curators, picking and choosing the most relevant, best-​supported information from healthcare trends and transforming this knowledge into Lifestyle Change 2.0 programs.  These comprehensive solutions solve consumer problems by integrating all the tools of health and wellness: fitness, nutrition, mind-​body practices, and conventional, complementary and alternative medicine.

[Source:  2011 Health and Wellness Trend Report.  The Radial Group.  30 Aug. 2010.  Web.  31 Dec. 2010.]