Should I, and how, act on changes in managing diet and health?

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TomatoTomahto
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Should I, and how, act on changes in managing diet and health?

Post by TomatoTomahto » Sat Oct 06, 2018 11:28 am

I am not planning on changing my overall investment strategy (i.e., a Liability Matching Portfolio) with my equity portion mostly in Total Stock Market and Total International Stock Market. I am not generally an investor in individual shares. I recently realized that I have frequently “missed” opportunities based on my own personal choices, e.g., had I purchased some shares of Amazon way back in the day, when I began spending more and more of my disposable income there, I would have scored quite a bundle.

I don’t want this thread to get closed because of “medical topics not allowed.” That said, I have over the past couple of years made drastic changes in my lifestyle that might have consequences for some companies, if there are more and more people doing the same. For example, I have:
• Stopped eating foods made with flour, sugar, artificial sweeteners, rice, soy (generally low carb)
• Stopped using oils other than avocado, olive, coconut, butter (generally healthy fat)
• Stopped eating fruits other than some organic berries
• Stopped injecting insulin and will soon stop taking metformin

My changes obviously won’t affect companies materially, but I notice that this is becoming more mainstream (I’ve recently run into scores of people doing similar things: my contractor, my dentist, etc.), and I wonder if there will be actionable changes. I don’t think that Type 2 diabetes will disappear, but I wonder if it might become less profitable for pharmaceutical companies.

So, do you think that the effects will be felt in a substantial way by companies? How would I invest if I thought that the effects will be actionable? Am I tripping in thinking that this will be anything more than a trickle of people changing how they live?
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Re: Should I, and how, act on changes in managing diet and health?

Post by ExitStageLeft » Sat Oct 06, 2018 1:26 pm

You may be observing a large-scale trend in the national diet, or it is possible you are observing something more local.

The companies that produce and sell foods and medicines will likely see any changes coming long before your or I can discern them. My guess is they would respond by trying to stop the change (lobbying for legislation, marketing), adapt to the change, or not respond and lose market share.

So if you are accurately reading a societal change, and if your conclusions about a resulting change in medicines are correct, how would you figure out which company will adapt and which will die? I doubt there's anything actionable along these lines, at least from a Boglehead perspective.

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Re: Should I, and how, act on changes in managing diet and health?

Post by goodenyou » Sat Oct 06, 2018 1:40 pm

Save more money. You will live longer. Recalculate your SWR. :wink:

When I was in medical school, our witty epidemiologist professor once opined, "the thing about diets is that they may not make you live any longer, but they may make you feel like you have". I don't discount the importance of avoiding obesity and eating a healthy diet, but I still laugh about that comment.
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Re: Should I, and how, act on changes in managing diet and health?

Post by simplesimon » Sat Oct 06, 2018 1:45 pm

These diets are not affordable enough for it to go mainstream.

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Re: Should I, and how, act on changes in managing diet and health?

Post by retiredjg » Sat Oct 06, 2018 1:46 pm

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 11:28 am
How would I invest if I thought that the effects will be actionable?
Total Stock Market. Stay the course.

You may be correct about the market trend, but there is no way to predict which companies will benefit from the trend and which will not.

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Re: Should I, and how, act on changes in managing diet and health?

Post by TomatoTomahto » Sat Oct 06, 2018 1:56 pm

simplesimon wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 1:45 pm
These diets are not affordable enough for it to go mainstream.
Perhaps not, but with Intermittent Fasting (IF) (e.g., one meal per day) or Extended Fasting (EF) (2,3,4,5 day fasts) they are pretty affordable. I don't think I spend more on groceries today than I did 2 years ago. That said, I don't expect widespread adoption of EF, although IF might be a different matter -- it's not much more than skipping breakfast and having a late lunch, or as my kids would put it: sleeping in :D

Have you priced insulin lately? It's extremely expensive, to the point where many diabetics are rationing their doses or skipping them entirely.
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Re: Should I, and how, act on changes in managing diet and health?

Post by dm200 » Sat Oct 06, 2018 1:57 pm

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 1:56 pm
simplesimon wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 1:45 pm
These diets are not affordable enough for it to go mainstream.
Perhaps not, but with Intermittent Fasting (IF) (e.g., one meal per day) or Extended Fasting (EF) (2,3,4,5 day fasts) they are pretty affordable. I don't think I spend more on groceries today than I did 2 years ago. That said, I don't expect widespread adoption of EF, although IF might be a different matter -- it's not much more than skipping breakfast and having a late lunch, or as my kids would put it: sleeping in :D

Have you priced insulin lately? It's extremely expensive, to the point where many diabetics are rationing their doses or skipping them entirely.
Not a diabetic, but according to what I read - price of insulin has increased a lot. Why? Hasn't insulin been around for many, many years?

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Re: Should I, and how, act on changes in managing diet and health?

Post by TomatoTomahto » Sat Oct 06, 2018 2:01 pm

goodenyou wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 1:40 pm
Save more money. You will live longer. Recalculate your SWR. :wink:

When I was in medical school, our witty epidemiologist professor once opined, "the thing about diets is that they may not make you live any longer, but they may make you feel like you have". I don't discount the importance of avoiding obesity and eating a healthy diet, but I still laugh about that comment.
I recently saw Ricky Gervais on one of the talk shows. He had become fit some years ago, but indicated that he was letting himself go. His explanation was that the additional 10 years of life he would get from being more fit come on the bad end. If someone could give him good years, like those when he was 20 or 30, he'd be all in, but an additional 10 years as an 80-year old man, he'll pass.

Re my SWR: that's not a joke. I truly believe that I've added at least a decade to my lifespan, and a decade with all my toes, my eyesight, etc. Now the trick is to avoid getting run over by a car.
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Re: Should I, and how, act on changes in managing diet and health?

Post by dm200 » Sat Oct 06, 2018 2:04 pm

My belief is that the US health and medical care system is good at keeping folks alive -- but not well. And at a very high cost.

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Re: Should I, and how, act on changes in managing diet and health?

Post by TomatoTomahto » Sat Oct 06, 2018 2:06 pm

dm200 wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 1:57 pm
TomatoTomahto wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 1:56 pm
simplesimon wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 1:45 pm
These diets are not affordable enough for it to go mainstream.
Perhaps not, but with Intermittent Fasting (IF) (e.g., one meal per day) or Extended Fasting (EF) (2,3,4,5 day fasts) they are pretty affordable. I don't think I spend more on groceries today than I did 2 years ago. That said, I don't expect widespread adoption of EF, although IF might be a different matter -- it's not much more than skipping breakfast and having a late lunch, or as my kids would put it: sleeping in :D

Have you priced insulin lately? It's extremely expensive, to the point where many diabetics are rationing their doses or skipping them entirely.
Not a diabetic, but according to what I read - price of insulin has increased a lot. Why? Hasn't insulin been around for many, many years?
I imagine it's the same reason that epi pens became ungodly expensive.

From what I understand, they release slightly altered forms of insulin, which starts the clock on the patents again. I know that I have taken a number of different kinds of insulin, which frankly all seemed to work the same as the one before, but the insurance formulary would no longer allow one and a new one came in. For example, I recently had to change from Lantus to Basaglar.
Basaglar, from Eli Lilly and Company and Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is not technically a generic to Lantus but it does have an amino acid sequence identical to Lantus and has been FDA approved as a long-acting insulin for patients of all ages with type 1 diabetes and adults with type 2 diabetes.
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Re: Should I, and how, act on changes in managing diet and health?

Post by Doom&Gloom » Sat Oct 06, 2018 2:07 pm

Travel the US more and survey the physiques and eating habits of other people. The vast majority of people I see are obviously not in step with you. If I were to invest on that basis, I would take the exact opposite side of what you are considering.

I agree with the suggestions not to base your investing decisions on your personal steps to a healthier life. And congratulations!

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Re: Should I, and how, act on changes in managing diet and health?

Post by mouses » Sat Oct 06, 2018 2:12 pm

dm200 wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 1:57 pm

Not a diabetic, but according to what I read - price of insulin has increased a lot. Why? Hasn't insulin been around for many, many years?
I guess you've missed all the news articles about pharmaceutical companies jacking up even old med prices to the stratosphere, why, because... they can. Cases in point, cancer meds, epipen, and numerous more. They engage in various practices to make it harder for other companies to produce generics as well, so some of them are the only game in town for specific meds.

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Re: Should I, and how, act on changes in managing diet and health?

Post by simplesimon » Sat Oct 06, 2018 2:17 pm

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 2:01 pm
goodenyou wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 1:40 pm
Save more money. You will live longer. Recalculate your SWR. :wink:

When I was in medical school, our witty epidemiologist professor once opined, "the thing about diets is that they may not make you live any longer, but they may make you feel like you have". I don't discount the importance of avoiding obesity and eating a healthy diet, but I still laugh about that comment.
I recently saw Ricky Gervais on one of the talk shows. He had become fit some years ago, but indicated that he was letting himself go. His explanation was that the additional 10 years of life he would get from being more fit come on the bad end. If someone could give him good years, like those when he was 20 or 30, he'd be all in, but an additional 10 years as an 80-year old man, he'll pass.

Re my SWR: that's not a joke. I truly believe that I've added at least a decade to my lifespan, and a decade with all my toes, my eyesight, etc. Now the trick is to avoid getting run over by a car.
I've made similar lifestyle changes in the last five years (I'm 33) after being overweight with high blood pressure in my 20's and believe the same thing. I add weight lifting into the mix investing in a "physiologic 401k".

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Re: Should I, and how, act on changes in managing diet and health?

Post by dm200 » Sat Oct 06, 2018 2:18 pm

mouses wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 2:12 pm
dm200 wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 1:57 pm

Not a diabetic, but according to what I read - price of insulin has increased a lot. Why? Hasn't insulin been around for many, many years?
I guess you've missed all the news articles about pharmaceutical companies jacking up even old med prices to the stratosphere, why, because... they can. Cases in point, cancer meds, epipen, and numerous more. They engage in various practices to make it harder for other companies to produce generics as well, so some of them are the only game in town for specific meds.
No, I see the articles - and they make NO SENSE to me. Guess I am fortunate that the three prescription drugs I take now are all "generic" and cost me only about $30 per month for all three.

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Re: Should I, and how, act on changes in managing diet and health?

Post by timshel » Sat Oct 06, 2018 2:20 pm

TomatoTomahto - I found this post pretty interesting, as I am essentially doing everything you are and have wondered about whether this could have investment implications.

The diet side of this is not something I can get behind as an investment opportunity. Diets are too transitory/faddish.

I do like the technology side of this proposition, though. For me, using a CGM (continuous glucose meter) device has been life-changing. Getting close to real-time data on my reactions to food gave me dramatic results, particularly combined with changes in diet and exercise. As the technology improves, I believe there is tremendous upside here.

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Re: Should I, and how, act on changes in managing diet and health?

Post by TomatoTomahto » Sat Oct 06, 2018 2:24 pm

Doom&Gloom wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 2:07 pm
Travel the US more and survey the physiques and eating habits of other people. The vast majority of people I see are obviously not in step with you. If I were to invest on that basis, I would take the exact opposite side of what you are considering.

I agree with the suggestions not to base your investing decisions on your personal steps to a healthier life. And congratulations!
I think you might be right, but I've been shocked at the number of people who are coming along for the ride. I eavesdropped on a conversation between my hardscaping guy and my roofer. The roofer, easily 50 pounds overweight, asked the hardscaping guy how he got so fit (apparently, he weighed a lot more before I met him) and then listened intently as he heard all about keto diets. I don't know, but I have a strong sense that those conversations didn't take place 10 years ago.

I think, and perhaps I'm over-generalizing from my personal experience, that the Internet, among other things, has reduced the influence of doctors and medical associations. People are sharing their experiences with each other. There are shared histories that directly contradict medical dogma, to the extent that many patients say (silently) to their doctors: "who am I going to believe, you or my lying eyes?" I don't know that, without the Internet and the easy availability of books through Amazon, that I would have resisted my doctor's instructions to eat 6 smaller meals a day, with large number of carbs, low fat, reduce caloric consumption, and by the way, let's up your insulin dose one more time, and shame on you for gaining weight since our last checkup.

Anyway, I digress, and I don't want this thread shut down.
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Re: Should I, and how, act on changes in managing diet and health?

Post by Cycle » Sat Oct 06, 2018 2:30 pm

OP, you and I are on the same diet. I also eat just one meal a day (weekdays).

Look at the garbage people get in line at the grocery store. Look at the average weight of Americans. There is an insatiable demand for junk food in the us. That won't change anytime soon.

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Re: Should I, and how, act on changes in managing diet and health?

Post by Christine_NM » Sat Oct 06, 2018 2:42 pm

this is a trend, but the big food companies are way ahead of you. They sell most of both the good and bad foods everywhere in proportion to demand. Total Stock Market gets the job done. So from an investing standpoint it doesn't matter.

Coke used to sell cocaine in a bottle (c. 1900?) now they sell water, no-cal, low-cal, full sugar drinks and generally try to keep up with the times and tastes.
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Re: Should I, and how, act on changes in managing diet and health?

Post by TomatoTomahto » Sat Oct 06, 2018 2:46 pm

Cycle wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 2:30 pm
Look at the garbage people get in line at the grocery store. Look at the average weight of Americans. There is an insatiable demand for junk food in the us. That won't change anytime soon.
Okay, maybe I should rephrase the question. Let’s say that 5% of previously bad eaters succeed in changing their way of eating. Is there an investment that will benefit from this?
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Re: Should I, and how, act on changes in managing diet and health?

Post by Doom&Gloom » Sat Oct 06, 2018 2:51 pm

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 2:46 pm
Cycle wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 2:30 pm
Look at the garbage people get in line at the grocery store. Look at the average weight of Americans. There is an insatiable demand for junk food in the us. That won't change anytime soon.
Okay, maybe I should rephrase the question. Let’s say that 5% of previously bad eaters succeed in changing their way of eating. Is there an investment that will benefit from this?
OK, now I think you have phrased the question more precisely and realistically. Unfortunately, I can't even hazard a guess. I would fear that the fast food industry would outrun that 5% (or whatever the actual number is). I am interested in seeing others' responses.

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Re: Should I, and how, act on changes in managing diet and health?

Post by LadyGeek » Sat Oct 06, 2018 2:59 pm

This thread is now in the Investing - Theory, News & General forum (general discussion).

An actionable question:
TomatoTomahto wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 2:46 pm
Okay, maybe I should rephrase the question. Let’s say that 5% of previously bad eaters succeed in changing their way of eating. Is there an investment that will benefit from this?
Please stay focused on the investing aspects. Medical advice (e.g. health benefits of certain diets, diabetes info) is off-topic.

Update: Quote fixed, see below (sorry about that).
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Re: Should I, and how, act on changes in managing diet and health?

Post by Doom&Gloom » Sat Oct 06, 2018 3:04 pm

LadyGeek wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 2:59 pm
This thread is now in the Investing - Theory, News & General forum (general discussion).

An actionable question:
Doom&Gloom wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 2:51 pm
Okay, maybe I should rephrase the question. Let’s say that 5% of previously bad eaters succeed in changing their way of eating. Is there an investment that will benefit from this?
Please stay focused on the investing aspects. Medical advice (e.g. health benefits of certain diets, diabetes info) is off-topic.
To clarify the above: The quote attributed to me was written by OP--not me.

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Re: Should I, and how, act on changes in managing diet and health?

Post by UpperNwGuy » Sat Oct 06, 2018 3:18 pm

The food industry loves diets of all shapes and sizes because they can manufacture new food products that cater to those diets. As for which diet to choose, I recommend that you consult with your medical professional.

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Re: Should I, and how, act on changes in managing diet and health?

Post by Cycle » Sat Oct 06, 2018 3:19 pm

Food manufacturers are absolutely aquiring start ups that cater to the Paleo crowd. Aside from being an angel investor or startup employee, I don't know how you would capitalize on that. Also, it's a tough business to be successful in, when using good ingredients your cost may be unattainable by most consumers.

From an environmentally conscious standpoint, I think getting your produce that is grown hydroponically in a vertical farm on your block would be interesting.

https://youtu.be/XhYcDKfgi7M

Soon petri or cultured meats will be a thing and those could be grown locally as well.

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Re: Should I, and how, act on changes in managing diet and health?

Post by dm200 » Sat Oct 06, 2018 3:20 pm

A growing market seems to be in things "perceived" to be healthier, such as "organic", non-GMO, natural, gluten-free, antioxidants, and so on.

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Re: Should I, and how, act on changes in managing diet and health?

Post by not4me » Sat Oct 06, 2018 3:32 pm

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 11:28 am

So, do you think that the effects will be felt in a substantial way by companies? How would I invest if I thought that the effects will be actionable? Am I tripping in thinking that this will be anything more than a trickle of people changing how they live?
Taking these in order...(1) substantial effect? at least in the near term, I think you'd have to look for a micro/small cap for this. The larger companies may not be early adapters of movements & will be more gradual in implementing. Now, 15 years from now it may have a sizable line of business -- priced in as it grows;
(2) how to invest? depends on what you think the trend is...food, equipment, services, etc...& digging through & finding a good company. This is like the Peter Lynch idea of buying what you know/use.
(3) more than a trickle? Time will tell. All my life these things have come...then gone. Might be interesting to think of a trend that started x years back & now you wish you had gotten in on ground floor. What were indications then? I would caution against reading too much into your "local" situation. Within the USA, there is wide variation between regions, economic groups, age groups....not that any of those are uniform across the group. Outside the USA is another story. Emerging markets are growing their taste for protein, especially as a middle class develops. Many food deserts across the globe

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Re: Should I, and how, act on changes in managing diet and health?

Post by GoldenFinch » Sat Oct 06, 2018 3:48 pm

I am not a senior, but I spend a lot of time in the gym with mostly well off seniors who are regulars there. I have seen newly retired folks come and go over the years. What I have noticed is a lot of people try to improve their lives and fail. There are a few dedicated ones who who stick to the plan, but most can’t keep it up long term. I also shop at a farmers market with other health minded shoppers, but this is absolutely not the most popular grocery store in the area. I’m in the Midwest and obesity is extremely prevalent. I think what you are noticing is more a trend in a tiny subset of the population and not in the country as a whole. I’m sure someone out there can dig up some real data. :wink:

I would not change my investments based on any small trends in this area given the emphasis in our culture on eating out and junk food.

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Re: Should I, and how, act on changes in managing diet and health?

Post by TomatoTomahto » Sat Oct 06, 2018 3:57 pm

GoldenFinch wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 3:48 pm
I would not change my investments based on any small trends in this area given the emphasis in our culture on eating out and junk food.
Fwiw, I wouldn’t make this any more than 5% of our equity stake.

The reason i think this particular way of life has staying power is how profound the change is. To take a 20-year diabetic, on insulin for 10 of those years, and make him a “diabetic in remission,” is powerful and has a way of focusing one’s attention.
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Re: Should I, and how, act on changes in managing diet and health?

Post by Hockey10 » Sat Oct 06, 2018 4:32 pm

Tomato, for every person like yourself who has become very disciplined in their eating habits, there are many more who are currently sitting in the drive-thru line at McDonalds. America has an obesity epidemic, and I don't see it changing anytime soon.

There will always be some, like yourself, who take the proper course of action with their diet, but the majority are too lazy to do so. I would just stick with Total Stock Market or the S&P 500 Index.

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Re: Should I, and how, act on changes in managing diet and health?

Post by dm200 » Sat Oct 06, 2018 4:38 pm

Many of the fast food and places like Ruby Tuesday are not doing that well financially.

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Re: Should I, and how, act on changes in managing diet and health?

Post by GoldenFinch » Sat Oct 06, 2018 7:37 pm

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 3:57 pm
GoldenFinch wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 3:48 pm
I would not change my investments based on any small trends in this area given the emphasis in our culture on eating out and junk food.
Fwiw, I wouldn’t make this any more than 5% of our equity stake.

The reason i think this particular way of life has staying power is how profound the change is. To take a 20-year diabetic, on insulin for 10 of those years, and make him a “diabetic in remission,” is powerful and has a way of focusing one’s attention.
I think what you have done is amazing. Very good news! :sharebeer

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Re: Should I, and how, act on changes in managing diet and health?

Post by SoAnyway » Sat Oct 06, 2018 8:48 pm

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 2:46 pm
Okay, maybe I should rephrase the question. Let’s say that 5% of previously bad eaters succeed in changing their way of eating. Is there an investment that will benefit from this?
I think that 5% is highly unlikely in this country, for all the reasons others have said - even with all of the various incentives, wellness programs, other programs and differential insurance rates designed to make people bear at least some measure of the costs to the system of their poor health choices. (It'd be nice if they didn't also punish people for having chosen the wrong ancestors and/or lost the DNA lottery, but that's a different thread, different forum.) SoAnyway....

The above being said, I will assume for the sake of argument - this is the "theory" sub-forum, after all - that 5% of previously bad eaters succeed in accomplishing the amazing feat that you have, OP (Yay you, btw!!!), and are able to sustain it. To answer your question quoted above: Yes. I'm 100% certain that there IS an investment (likely more than one) that would benefit from it. The problem is, how will you know which one(s)? :confused

There will be any number of start-ups seeking to capitalize, and plenty of companies you could short in an effort to capitalize on their coming downfall if they fail to adapt. Again, how will you know? Answer: You won't. Hence the "buy the haystack" approach. The two equity funds that are part of the 3-fund portfolio will surely be invested in the "needles" you speak of. Just as you ARE invested in Amazon if your equity allocation includes any fund that includes it. (Without knowing squat about your investments, I'm willing to bet you are invested in such a fund since you're here, and that AMZN is one of the top holdings.)

As for using one's personal behavior and observations of others as a basis for investing: I could've invested 5% of my equity allocation in Webvan and Borders way back when they were new, and I was spending plenty of money as a customer of both. My friends and I all swore they were the greatest thing since the advent of the touch-tone phone. (Millennials and younger, please google "rotary phone" if you're not familiar with that reference, hahaha.) I'm VERY glad I didn't. True, I also could've invested in AAPL, MSFT, GOOG, etc. as they came about. Anyone remember AOL and MySpace? You get the picture, OP. I'm sure that through my mutual fund holdings, I was invested in all, the winners AND the losers. It's worked out better than me trying to pick the winners and losers.
TomatoTomahto wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 2:46 pm
Re my SWR: that's not a joke. I truly believe that I've added at least a decade to my lifespan, and a decade with all my toes, my eyesight, etc.
I've NO doubt about it, TT. That is HUGE. A type 2 diagnosis is not something to be trifled with. I'm sure your DW and kids are sooo grateful for your hard work and discipline....
TomatoTomahto wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 2:46 pm
Now the trick is to avoid getting run over by a car.
That's no joke, either: I saw in the foliage thread that you've recently moved to the Boston area. Boston drivers - otherwise known as "M*ssholes" - have earned their reputation and are proud of it. Be careful out there, y'hear!! :happy

EDIT: I just realized your OP said that most of your equity allocation is in Total Stock/Total International. So I was right: You ARE invested in AMZN, OP. FWIW, the top 10 holdings of VTSMX as of 8/31 comprise nearly 19% of the fund's investments. The top 5 holdings are: Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Alphabet and Facebook. Feel better, now? ; )

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Re: Should I, and how, act on changes in managing diet and health?

Post by shess » Sat Oct 06, 2018 9:46 pm

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 2:46 pm
Cycle wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 2:30 pm
Look at the garbage people get in line at the grocery store. Look at the average weight of Americans. There is an insatiable demand for junk food in the us. That won't change anytime soon.
Okay, maybe I should rephrase the question. Let’s say that 5% of previously bad eaters succeed in changing their way of eating. Is there an investment that will benefit from this?
I improved myself along these lines well over a decade ago, and my suggestion is that the fact that you have become more attuned to these areas of industry doesn't mean that anything has changed about these industries relative to the overall economy. For the most part, these things were chugging along before you discovered them, but you probably mostly ignored them. Like some co-worker would be all chuffed about the amazing new workout strategy they had discovered, and you listened politely and otherwise treated (aka ignored) them like your co-worker who's a fly-fishing enthusiast, or who the one who's into woodworking. Since the change is in you, not in the industries, I don't think you should rush to invest based on this.

Keep in mind that there have been MANY health-related fads over the decades. This is not a new thing at all. The majority of them fall into obscurity, and even the relative successes often aren't really all that successful in terms of taking over the world.

Of course, if this change causes you to become interested enough in these industries to spend time analyzing their finances and doing other relevant research, _that_ might give you an advantage investing in them.

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Re: Should I, and how, act on changes in managing diet and health?

Post by mrc » Sun Oct 07, 2018 2:57 am

UpperNwGuy wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 3:18 pm
The food industry loves diets of all shapes and sizes because they can manufacture new food products that cater to those diets. As for which diet to choose, I recommend that you consult with your medical professional.
That is akin to asking an Edward Jones rep, "What should I do with my $2M nest egg?" We all know how that will turn out.

I can't say more and remain withing the board guidelines, but your own research (always with an eye toward who benefits financially) is made possible now by social media, crowd science, and looking at the man behind the curtain. Nutritional and healthy-living help is available if you look for it.

The irony here is that good living is remarkably inexpensive and doesn't involve much corporate interests. It's not difficult either. I am struck constantly how much managing diet and health is like investing: it doesn't have to be difficult, or costly, to be very effective. Many professionals do not have your best interest first, or are trained by institutions wedded to corporate funding. Always pull back the curtain and decide for yourself.
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Re: Should I, and how, act on changes in managing diet and health?

Post by carolinaman » Sun Oct 07, 2018 7:03 am

No doubt there will be some winners and losers as American diets evolve. It is hard to predict who these will be. My personal observations is that there are still way too many people more than willing to "supersize" their fast food meal for this to make enough of a difference in investing. My observation is that the average American diet is pretty lousy and not likely to change.

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Re: Should I, and how, act on changes in managing diet and health?

Post by TomatoTomahto » Sun Oct 07, 2018 7:05 am

I would like to thank all of you, especially SoAnyway, for reminding me to buy the haystack and not the needle. The reason that I didn’t buy Amazon directly is because I remembered having bought DEC (whose OS, VMS, is still better than these new fangled OSes, so get off my lawn). Ditto Beta vs VHS.

One of my favorites, Primal Kitchens, is privately VC backed, it turns out. This is a game for professionals. I will just continue to own Amazon indirectly through TSM and keep growing my TSM pile, which one day might include Primal Kitchens. As goodenyou suggests, I might need to adjust my SWR :)

For those who gave me an “atta boy” for taking more responsibility for my health, thanks.
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Re: Should I, and how, act on changes in managing diet and health?

Post by TomatoTomahto » Sun Oct 07, 2018 7:15 am

timshel wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 2:20 pm
TomatoTomahto - I found this post pretty interesting, as I am essentially doing everything you are and have wondered about whether this could have investment implications.

The diet side of this is not something I can get behind as an investment opportunity. Diets are too transitory/faddish.

I do like the technology side of this proposition, though. For me, using a CGM (continuous glucose meter) device has been life-changing. Getting close to real-time data on my reactions to food gave me dramatic results, particularly combined with changes in diet and exercise. As the technology improves, I believe there is tremendous upside here.
I also got a CGM, right around the time I no longer needed the information to adjust my insulin dosage :D , for which I had been doing finger sticks 5x daily. It has been eye opening. For example, I had to take prednisone for a week and had known that it affects blood sugar, but seeing the results was a revelation. I wish there were an easy way to monitor insulin levels.

Diets are transitory, which is why I think of this as a WOE (way of eating) instead. Words can matter.
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Re: Should I, and how, act on changes in managing diet and health?

Post by LadyGeek » Sun Oct 07, 2018 8:33 am

Please stay focused on the investing aspects.
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Re: Should I, and how, act on changes in managing diet and health?

Post by dm200 » Sun Oct 07, 2018 8:51 am

Almost always, the money is in the unhealthy stuff and more expensive drugs.

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Re: Should I, and how, act on changes in managing diet and health?

Post by goodenyou » Sun Oct 07, 2018 8:58 am

You could be like Oprah and become a spokesperson for Weight Watchers and rake in the money. You too can turn $40 million into $400 million.

Is that actionable?
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Re: Should I, and how, act on changes in managing diet and health?

Post by dm200 » Sun Oct 07, 2018 9:14 am

goodenyou wrote:
Sun Oct 07, 2018 8:58 am
You could be like Oprah and become a spokesperson for Weight Watchers and rake in the money. You too can turn $40 million into $400 million.
Is that actionable?
What I find [financially] so fascinating about most of the weight loss products and services is that (unlike most products and services) failure leads to more revenue and profit. So, if a weight loss product or service worked - and the customer never gained the weight back - no more revenue or profit.

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Re: Should I, and how, act on changes in managing diet and health?

Post by stoptothink » Sun Oct 07, 2018 9:41 am

Doom&Gloom wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 2:07 pm
Travel the US more and survey the physiques and eating habits of other people. The vast majority of people I see are obviously not in step with you. If I were to invest on that basis, I would take the exact opposite side of what you are considering.

I agree with the suggestions not to base your investing decisions on your personal steps to a healthier life. And congratulations!
+1. As someone who is in this sphere (health/epidemiology/obesity) both professionally and academically, I can assure the OP that the general trend he sees in his circle is not consistent with what is happening on a large scale nationally and globally.

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Re: Should I, and how, act on changes in managing diet and health?

Post by goodenyou » Sun Oct 07, 2018 9:46 am

dm200 wrote:
Sun Oct 07, 2018 9:14 am
goodenyou wrote:
Sun Oct 07, 2018 8:58 am
You could be like Oprah and become a spokesperson for Weight Watchers and rake in the money. You too can turn $40 million into $400 million.
Is that actionable?
What I find [financially] so fascinating about most of the weight loss products and services is that (unlike most products and services) failure leads to more revenue and profit. So, if a weight loss product or service worked - and the customer never gained the weight back - no more revenue or profit.
Gym membership subscriptions explode after New Year's Day. Attendance always recedes. Our country is blessed and cursed by the abundance of low cost per calorie food, especially protein. I am glad TT is doing his part in trying to reduce the enormous cost of obesity on the healthcare system while improving his life. He (hopefully) will couple the rewards of financial riches with longevity and decreased morbidity. It is mostly a testament to financial discipline and behavioral discipline. The rest being good luck.
"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge" | "The best years you have left are the ones you have right now"

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Re: Should I, and how, act on changes in managing diet and health?

Post by Watty » Sun Oct 07, 2018 9:58 am

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 11:28 am
So, do you think that the effects will be felt in a substantial way by companies? How would I invest if I thought that the effects will be actionable? Am I tripping in thinking that this will be anything more than a trickle of people changing how they live?
The big question is why you think these potential trends would not already be priced into the stock market.

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Re: Should I, and how, act on changes in managing diet and health?

Post by TomatoTomahto » Sun Oct 07, 2018 11:09 am

Watty wrote:
Sun Oct 07, 2018 9:58 am
TomatoTomahto wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 11:28 am
So, do you think that the effects will be felt in a substantial way by companies? How would I invest if I thought that the effects will be actionable? Am I tripping in thinking that this will be anything more than a trickle of people changing how they live?
The big question is why you think these potential trends would not already be priced into the stock market.
I think that companies, such as Primal Foods, are not yet IN the market. What is in the market are many companies that IMO are failed models (Weight Watchers) or the food companies that push low fat and other pseudo foods. Based on the difficulty finding appropriate foods at local markets, I don’t think the mega companies have quite “got” it yet, at least for anyone who reads ingredient lists (Which admittedly is a small percentage).

I had to join a CSA (community supported agriculture) share and find some local organic farmers to buy produce.
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Re: Should I, and how, act on changes in managing diet and health?

Post by J295 » Sun Oct 07, 2018 11:20 am

Food consumption is not altering my index investing.

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Re: Should I, and how, act on changes in managing diet and health?

Post by TomatoTomahto » Sun Oct 07, 2018 11:33 am

J295 wrote:
Sun Oct 07, 2018 11:20 am
Food consumption is not altering my index investing.
Nor mine, and I guess I don't have the energy and gumption to figure out a good way to invest a 5% mad money stash. It's especially inappropriate for me since I'm not allowed to go short, and that's a good thing: I might have gone short Weight Watchers just in time for Oprah to send the stock up.
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Re: Should I, and how, act on changes in managing diet and health?

Post by S&L1940 » Sun Oct 07, 2018 11:58 am

goodenyou wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 1:40 pm
Save more money. You will live longer. Recalculate your SWR. :wink:

When I was in medical school, our witty epidemiologist professor once opined, "the thing about diets is that they may not make you live any longer, but they may make you feel like you have". I don't discount the importance of avoiding obesity and eating a healthy diet, but I still laugh about that comment.
I think that originated with Mark Twain in reference to non-smokers of cigars missing the pleasures of smoking with no appreciable gains in longevity...
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Re: Should I, and how, act on changes in managing diet and health?

Post by Sandtrap » Sun Oct 07, 2018 12:12 pm

Changes in lifestyle and diet in "developed countries and regions", i.e.: plethora and rise of stores like Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, and countless website based products, do indeed change the investing landscape. But, perhaps, not globally. It takes money to live a "health lifestyle", have the time to read health and fitness magazines, go to the gym, etc. Not a lifestyle so easily achieved and maintained in much of the world.
Evidence of this is looking at the very tiny percentage of pure healthy organic food at the Walmart Grocer compared to highly processed food.
All the ore reason to diversify to a % of equities in international?

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Re: Should I, and how, act on changes in managing diet and health?

Post by Que1999 » Sun Oct 07, 2018 12:44 pm

I have been thinking of this exact topic lately myself.

I don't invest in individual companies, just do my index funds so I don't have to worry about the diet and lifestyle changes that seem to be occurring right now.... Just pondering them for the most part. But I'll tell you after reading some of these books, a few of which are, "The Obesity Code", "The Complete Guide to Fasting" and "The Big Fat Surprise" and deciding to adopt these lifestyle changes myself... I feel very strongly, from what I've seen and felt myself that change is definitely coming. The market will adapt tho, like it always does...

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