What eating approaches do consumers take today and what rules (if any) do they use to guide their diets? Our latest report, Modern Approaches to Eating, observes that eating approaches in 2022 reflect consumer identity and values and are shaped by larger cultural contexts including, but not limited to, weight management.

Modern Approaches to Eating finds that historically consumers have strongly associated health and healthy eating with weight and body size, resulting in a complex relationship to the word “diet." While the term diet can refer both to the way that a person eats and a restrictive eating approach oriented toward weight loss, it has a strong tendency to lean toward the latter in consumer parlance.

However, as consumers become increasingly open to the idea that weight may be less central to health than once believed, the term “diet” and the act of adhering to a specific eating, approach may become increasingly decoupled from explicit goals of weight loss. However, most consumer still bring a degree of intentionality to their eating with over a third (36%) of consumers subscribing to a clear set of rules about how to eat, and most remaining consumers at least maintaining a consistent approach from day to day.

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