Published Nov 22, 2017 at 8:00 am
(Updated Nov 21, 2017 at 7:31 pm)
With healthcare costs at an all time high, local health stores are noticing a greater number of people taking a more proactive approach to their own wellbeing.
Toni Daniels, owner of the Down to Earth health food store, believes the industry is continuing to grow, mirroring worldwide trends.
“Health foods mainstreamed into grocery stores and pharmacies a long time ago,” Ms Daniels said. “The pharmaceutical companies did not embrace the products right away, but now they recognise the benefits.”
She believes more people are becoming more physically active and are using supplements.
“The health-food and natural supplements industry growth in Bermuda has been consistent with worldwide trends reflecting increased sales. This has primarily been driven by increased consumer awareness for prevention; an ageing population and increased healthcare costs,” she said.
Bisengi Gatare, manager of ABC Natural Foods says that he is noticing a trend of locals living healthier lives.
“People are becoming more health conscious, which is very positive,” he said.
Mr Gatare said that this change has kept the store busy.
He added: “This is keeping us on our feet and we aim to give the customers what they want.”
Mr Gatare believes people are gravitating towards a more plant-based lifestyle and choosing whole foods.
Obesity is a problem in Bermuda, with one out of three adults classed as obese.
More than 8,000 people suffer from lifestyle- and diet-linked type 2 diabetes, with 157 patients on dialysis.
Last month The Royal Gazette reported that experts estimated the island’s obesity epidemic will cost $15.8 million in health insurance costs alone over ten years.
Bermuda places second in obesity rate rankings, trailing only the United States.
In 2015, USA Today surveyed more than 30,000 consumers in more than 60 nations and revealed that younger people are far more concerned about the quality and healthiness of their food than previous generations. Indeed, an obsession with healthy and clean eating seems to be the order of the day.