While nutrition experts continue to debate the risks and benefits of dietary fats, consumers seem to have made up their minds, judging by their changing eating habits – consuming more foods rich in saturated and monounsaturated fats and cutting the amount of carbohydrates in their diets, a report by Credit Suisse has concluded (Credit Suisse Research Institute, 2015).
Credit Suisse, an international financial services company, prepared the 76 page report (published in in September 2015) to provide guidance for its clients’ investing strategies.
The Credit Suisse report states that, although a survey covering six countries had found that most consumers agreed with most current recommendations to lower their intake of saturated fats and increase their intake of polyunsaturated fats and carbohydrates, consumption trends showed that their views were changing. For example:
- Butter sales were up 14% in the US and 9% in the UK in 2014;
- Egg sales rose by 2% in both countries in 2014; and
- Durum pasta sales have fallen in the past five years by 6% in the US, 13% in western Europe, and 25% in Italy.
Credit Suisse predicts that these trends will continue and that fat consumption worldwide will accelerate in the coming years owing to higher per capita wealth in developing countries and “the gradual acceptance in the developed world that fat is at least not bad, if not actually healthy.” (Credit Suisse Research Institute, 2015, p.60).
“We believe the winners will be eggs, dairy, red meat, and fish. The losers will be carbohydrates and particularly sugar.” (Credit Suisse Research Institute, 2015, p.64).
Credit Suisse also predicts that:
- Global fat consumption will rise from 26% of total energy intake in 2011 to nearly 31% by 2030, with fat intake in the US rising from the current 33% to 38% and in the rest of the developed world from 35% to 40%.
- Among fats, saturated fat is likely to show the fastest growth, rising from 9.4% of daily energy intake in 2011 to 12.7% by 2030, while monounsaturated fats will rise from 10.2% to 12.2%.
- Global carbohydrate consumption will decline from 60% of global energy intake in 2011 to 55% in 2030, falling from 51% to 45% in the US and from 52% to 46% in Europe.
- Protein consumption will rise slightly, from 11% of daily energy intake to 12% globally, while remaining stable in the developed world and the US at 15-17%.
- Overall energy intake in the 1.3 billion people in the developed world is expected to decline from the current level of 3340 calories a day to 3180 calories, and the intake of the 5.5 billion people in emerging markets is projected to rise from the current 2760 calories a day to 3060 by 2030.
Nearly all (90%) of these additional calories will come from the increase in fat consumption, and saturated fat alone will account for two thirds of the increase, the report said.