Prediction: by 2025, the biggest disruptor in healthcare is going to be - Nutrition

Namrata Rastogi, MD

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

Food is Medicine

We are living in an epidemic of chronic disease related to diet. What we eat affects our risk of developing a range of conditions from hypertension to diabetes, cancer, depression and even dementia.

These conditions lead to a loss of daily adjusted life years and preventable deaths. In 2017, 11M deaths were attributed to the SAME dietary risk factors: 1. high intake of salt, 2. low intake of whole grains and 3. low intake of fruits (amongst adults over 25 years, in 195 countries).

To address the chronic disease epidemic, a Food is Medicine campaign is being adopted across health systems, including medically tailored meals, medically tailored groceries, and food prescription programs. This reimbursement adds to existing reimbursement for structured diet education and weight loss programs for Type 2 Diabetes.

Virta Health (Series D) is a unicorn in this space, providing medical and behavioral support for patients with Type 2 Diabetes. The company has demonstrated impressive clinical trial results, with users achieving 60% diabetes reversal at one year follow-up.

Whilst nutrition is becoming part of medical training, consumers are also learning more about how their lifestyle impacts their health, through a host of fitness trackers including Fitbit, Apple watch, Peloton, as well as apps for meal planning, weight monitoring & hydration.

Levels (Series A), is a game-changing remote monitoring platform for metabolic fitness. Using a continuous glucose monitor, subscribers learn in real-time how their blood sugar level is affected by what they eat, helping them improve their diet and exercise routines; and live longer, healthier lives.

Planetary Health

Plant-based meat substitutes, vegan options, dairy-free alternatives and sustainable food supply chains are all growing as part of a broader movement towards a healthier and more sustainable way of life, termed Planetary Health.

Plant-based milk accounts for 14% of sales of retail milk, whilst plant-based meat accounts for only 2% of sales of packaged meat. Plant-based meat sales have the potential to reach parity with plant-based milk sales, growth worth a value of $12B. The global human nutrition market is expected to be worth $465.4B by 2025.

Startups have a phenomenal opportunity to build products that leverage health data, lifestyles and individual preferences to help consumers make more informed decisions about what they eat, how it impacts their health & the planet. The global personalized nutrition market is expected to be worth $16.4B by 2025, growing at a CAGR of 15.0%.

As an MD, I’m always helping patients transition to a more healthy and sustainable diet. If you are looking to make some changes, check out this article by plant-based diet educator, Dr Shireen Kassam. Other top influencer recommendations include Pick up Limes and The Doctor’s Kitchen whose recipes I swear by.

If you are a founder building a remote monitoring platform, a sustainable food company or a biotech solution for personalized nutrition or chronic disease prevention - reach out, I'd love to have a conversation. If you’d like to collaborate or have a view on the article, drop a comment here, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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Namrata is a Healthcare Investor in the US & Europe and a Primary Care MD