All Posts (64)

Sort by

The research commissioned by EIT Food, the world's largest food innovation ecosystem, supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), surveyed over 2,000 18-24 year olds from across the UK, France, Germany, Poland and Spain. The findings point to a generation that is very interested, knowledgeable and entrepreneurial when it comes to their eating habits, and especially how they link to their wellbeing and mental health.

  • Young people aged 18 – 24 turn to social media platforms, such as TikTok and Instagram, for advice on healthy eating to compensate for a lack of information from educators, industry and policy makers
  • Health-savvy young people want greater transparency from brands on how food is processed, as well as healthier options for ordering in from home delivery platforms, such as Deliveroo and Uber Eats
  • Gen Z want a narrative on healthy eating that prioritises their mental health instead of counting calories – with 82% of young women wanting advice on the link between food and mental health
  • EIT Food is launching a new initiative that will see 10 ‘FutureFoodMakers’ call for radical change in the food sector to promote access to healthy food.

To read the article Gen Z demand radical change from the food sector to tackle access to healthy and affordable food

Read more…

Inflammation is chronically and acutely affected by diet.  Chronic effects include those linked to the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), haemostatic function, lipoprotein remodelling, and endotoxemia.  These are mainly thought to be associated with postprandial spikes in insulin and triglycerides (TG) that are linked with the consumption of dietary CHO and fat.  Acute inflammatory responses are a physiological defence mechanism however a continuous activated response may result in a persistent low-grade inflammation and an increased risk of CVD.

Quick takes:

  • Current dietary approaches aimed to lower CVD risk are not aimed at reducing inflammation
  • The postprandial effect of diet can last up to 18 hours therefore the reduction of an individual’s postprandial inflammatory response could provide a dietary preventative mechanism against CVD
  • IL-6 is the only inflammatory marker consistently changing postprandially
  • Glycoprotein acetylation (GlycA) is an emerging inflammatory biomarker, with low intra-individual variability. High levels are linked with fatty liver disease, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, CVD and mortality
  • GlycA concentrations show a composite measure of systematic inflammation, unlike traditional markers like CRP and IL-6
  • This study shows an independent and cumulative association between postprandial glycemia and lipemia with GlycA
  • Lipemia and adiposity play a key role in food-induced inflammation
  • Potential dietary strategies to control fasting and postprandial TG include consumption of low GI foods, fibre, high intake of Omega 3 fatty acids, low alcohol consumption, and consumption of polyphenols / antioxidant rich foods.  Exercise and consuming larger meals earlier in the day are also recommended as lifestyle modification strategies
  • The large interindividual variability in postprandial inflammation highlights the potential for personalised strategies to target obesity and post prandial metabolic responses associated with low-grade inflammation

To read the article:

https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/advance-article/doi/10.1093/ajcn/nqab132/6293856

Read more…

This randomized controlled trial was conducted in 2019 to investigate the effects of longer seated lunch time (20 minutes) on food consumption, waste, and dietary intake for elementary and middle school age children.  Each meal component was analysed separately and the behaviour of children during meals was observed.

Quick takes:

  • Less fruit and vegetables were consumed during a shorter mealtime (10 min) in comparison to 20 minutes of seated mealtime
  • There was no difference in the consumption or waste of entrees and beverage consumption between the 10 min mealtime and the 20min mealtime
  • In general, children consumed more and wasted less during the longer (20 min) mealtime
  • Findings from this study support policies that require longer seated lunch time for the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). These policies are regarded as favourable in terms of reducing food waste and supporting the provision of an adequate dietary intake for children
  • Significantly fewer social interactions were observed during the shorter mealtime in comparison to a 20-minute mealtime which allowed for more time for peer interaction and socialisation amongst children
  • Further research is needed to ascertain the relationship between longer mealtimes and the consumption of fruit and vegetables; and to examine the effects of a seated lunchtime constraints on different age groups and children of different ethnicities

To read the article: 

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2781214

 

Read more…

Diet is known to influence heart health. Experts recommend a diet low in sodium and saturated fat to reduce the risk of heart disease. A heart-healthy diet also includes plenty of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Research shows that the Mediterranean diet—full of fruits, vegetables, fish, cereals, and legumes, with little meat and dairy—may reduce the risk of heart disease.

  • A team led by Dr. James M. Shikany of the University of Alabama at Birmingham examined whether dietary patterns are associated with the risk of sudden cardiac death
  • The researchers analyzed the diets of more than 21,000 participants using a food questionnaire at the start of the study
  • Participants were asked how often and in what quantities they ate 110 foods in the past year
  • Based on the questionnaire responses, researchers calculated a Mediterranean diet score.
  • They also identified five dietary patterns

To read the article Diet may affect risk of sudden cardiac death

Read more…

A project developing healthier foods based on the slower release of energy is set to expand its range of products. By using different types of starch, the project hopes to introduce consumer-focused starchy products that can contribute to consumer’s health and reduce the risk of developing diet-related disease.

Highly digestible food products, especially starchy foods, are of concern as they may be digested so rapidly that their metabolic effect is comparable to that of free sugars, resulting in blood glucose peaks and the rapid release of insulin, which is linked to increased risk of type II diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

To read the article, click here Slower energy release points the way to healthier foods

Read more…

As series of studies have shown over the past few years the mechanism that causes type 2 diabetes.  Recent evidence shows that this mechanism can be reversed back to normal functioning through the restriction of food intake and a weight loss of around 15kg on average.  This article summarises new understandings of type 2 diabetes and explores changes to food intake that can help achieve the necessary weight loss for remission and maintenance of normal haemoglobin A1C concentrations.

Quick takes:

  • The interpretation of remission requires special attention as sometimes the word ‘remission’ is used to describe the state of meeting glycaemic targets even when the hypoglycaemic drugs are being administered
  • Different people have different threshold, which explains why only 50% of those with type 2 diabetes are obese
  • Avoiding weight regain can be achieved through different dietary interventions, based on an individual’s preferences.The inclusion of physical activity also supports weight loss and maintenance
  • RCT show caloric restriction, low carbohydrates diets, and intermittent fasting effective for weight loss, given adherence.
  • Factors that affect food intake include age, sex, genetics, percentage of body fat, family and sociocultural factors, in addition to food availability and accessibility, cost, and food advertising and promotion
  • Policy interventions are needed to support healthy dietary intakes in populations. These include but are not limited to education, clear dietary guidelines and food labelling, taxation on high caloric foods, and guidance on food portions

To read the article:

https://www.bmj.com/content/374/bmj.n1449

Read more…

Undernutrition in children remains to be a global public concern.  This article explores how using the radio to communicate nutrition education to mothers affects their children’s nutrition, feeding practices and growth.

 Quick takes:

  • Interventions to tackle undernutrition, and related stunting and childhood mortality continue to be vital, especially in middle-income countries
  • Malnutrition and stunting in children occur due to a combination of several factors including gender, socio-demographic, home environment, maternal, dietary practices, and hygiene
  • Nutrition knowledge is essential for adequate food intake and diet quality
  • Mothers who received health/nutrition education through the radio possessed better nutrition and health knowledge and a more positive attitude towards preventative health and diet diversity and quality, however, this had little effects on the nutritional status of children
  • The use of mass media for nutrition education at the population level could be an effective tool, especially when combined with other interventions that support the implementation of knowledge into practice

To read the article:

https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/journal-of-nutritional-science/article/effect-of-nutrition-behaviour-change-communication-delivered-through-radio-on-mothers-nutritional-knowledge-child-feeding-practices-and-growth/AC14414F381003DF1CB87CF46CD4033E

Read more…

This study explores the extent of which the players in the ultra-processed food industry have attempted to influence the global policy on non-communicable disease (NCD) at WHO 

Quick takes:

  • The interference of the food industry to influence policies aimed at reducing NCDs is widely documented on the national level, but not on the global level
  • Evidence show that the ultra-processed food industry has consistently engaged in political activities at the national level, through direct lobbying, independent third parties, and the production or strategic use of evidence; that which is similar to approaches followed by the tobacco industry
  • This study shows that attempts to influence WHO and its policies were mainly through action-based strategies like coalition management, involvement in policy formulation, and information management
  • A need for increased awareness of and safeguarding against commercial interference to influence NCD policy was identified as having the potential to strengthen the work of WHO on a global level

 To read the article: https://gh.bmj.com/content/6/6/e005216?utm_source=alert&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=bmjgh&utm_content=latest&utm_term=15062021

Read more…

This article advocates a shift from excessive reliance on hierarchal models of causal evaluation based on RCTs towards context-specific evidence evaluation

Quick takes:

  • Robust and consistent evidence from individual and pooled studies support folic acid fortification as an effective public health intervention for reducing the incidence of Spina Bifida and Anencephaly
  • Skepticism to implement fortification by some policymakers in countries with no folic acid fortification programs arises from a concern that evidence of causation and efficacy is not supported by RCTs
  • Several studies highlighted limitations of RCTs in providing information to guide public health interventions, highlighting that the pyramid of evidence may vary, giving more weight to specific study designs, depending on the kind of decision to be made
  • A paradigm shift towards context-specific evidence evaluation, and away from excessive reliance on experimental study designs, is advocated in modern epidemiology to support public health policy decisions
  • Current evidence should be sufficient to generate the political will to implement fortification programs 

To read the article: https://www.nutritionintl.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/Food-fortification-with-folic-acid-prevents-spina-bifida-and-anencephaly_A-need-for-paradigm-shift-in-evidence-evaluation-for-policy-making.pdf

Read more…

A population-based case-control study in six countries was recently conducted to investigate the association between dietary patterns and COVID-19

Quick takes:

  • Prior studies suggest a connection between comorbidities and the severity of COVID-19
  • The aetiology of non-communicable diseases like obesity, type 2 diabetes, CVD, and hypertension, each of which considered a risk factor associated with COVID-19 severity, is largely driven by poor nutrition and unfavourable lifestyle choices
  • In six countries, following plant-based or pescatarian diets were associated with lower odds of moderate to severe COVID-19 severity
  • Those consuming low-carbs high protein diets were more susceptible to COVID-19 severity
  • Plant-based or pescatarian dietary patterns may be considered for protection against severe COVID-19 and duration of symptoms

To read the article: https://nutrition.bmj.com/content/early/2021/05/18/bmjnph-2021-000272

Read more…

Research continues to investigate the causality of the association of serum vitamin D with the risk and severity of COVID-19 infection. A Mendelian Randomised study was recently conducted to address causality using genetic variants that are associated with serum vitamin D as instrumental variables to represent long-term usual exposure.  Findings suggest that genetically predicted long-term vitamin D nutritional status does not causally affect susceptibility to and severity of COVID-19 infections, including severe respiratory infection and hospitalisation.  However, results do not exclude the possibility that therapeutic doses of vitamin D may be effective in preventing or treating COVID-19 infection, warranting the need for future larger randomised controlled studies to investigate potential therapeutic effects of vitamin D supplementation in the prevention and treatment of COVID-19.

 

For access to the full article, click the link below

https://nutrition.bmj.com/content/early/2021/05/04/bmjnph-2021-000255?utm_source=alert&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=nph&utm_content=latest&utm_term=19052021

Read more…

Quick Takes

  • Ultra-processed foods have been known to be associated with risk of CVD, cancer, and the obesity epidemic.
  • The fast-food, beverage, and food industries have made progress in reducing the unhealthy ingredients but continue to advertise the unhealthy.
  • Increasing the national and local community investment in health literacy with an emphasis on nutrition could be very cost-effective from the public perspective but have a negative impact on the economy and compete with many other priorities.

To read the article Ultra-Processed Foods and Incident Cardiovascular Disease

Read more…

The search continues for the origins of the virus that causes COVID-19—and the pathway that it took to leap from animals to humans, wreaking havoc across the globe, infecting more than 129 million people, and killing more than 2.8 million.

Last week, the World Health Organisation released a report from a team of international researchers that travelled to China to investigate four possible scenarios in which the SARS-CoV-2 virus might have caused the initial outbreak. In the days since, however, world governments have expressed concern that the investigators lacked access to complete data, while scientists say that the report has shed little light on how the virus got jumpstarted.

That’s unsurprising given that it typically takes years to trace a virus back to its roots—if it’s possible at all, says Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at the Centre for Global Health Science and Security at Georgetown University Medical Centre. But in this case, she says, “I think we do have enough evidence to say that some are more likely than others.”

 

To read the article click here We still don’t know the origins of the coronavirus. Here are 4 scenarios.

Read more…

Personalised Nutrition

As individuals seek increasingly individualised nutrition and lifestyle guidance, numerous apps and nutrition programmes have emerged. However, complex individual variations in dietary behaviours, genotypes, gene expression and composition of the microbiome are increasingly recognised. Advances in digital tools and artificial intelligence can help individuals more easily track nutrient intakes and identify nutritional gaps. However, the influence of these nutrients on health outcomes can vary widely among individuals depending upon life stage, genetics and microbial composition. For example, folate may elicit favourable epigenetic effects on brain development during a critical developmental time window of pregnancy. Genes affecting vitamin B12 metabolism may lead to cardiometabolic traits that play an essential role in the context of obesity. Finally, an individual's gut microbial composition can determine their response to dietary fibre interventions during weight loss. These recent advances in understanding can lead to a more complete and integrated approach to promoting optimal health through personalised nutrition, in clinical practice settings and for individuals in their daily lives. The purpose of this review is to summarise presentations made during the DSM Science and Technology Award Symposium at the 13th European Nutrition Conference, which focused on personalised nutrition and novel technologies for health in the modern world.

Read full article

 

Read more…

8750625696?profile=RESIZE_710x

 

Background

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has led to unprecedented changes in the way we live, particularly for people at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19. People with pre-existing health conditions have been markedly impacted and, in some instances, left unsupported due to reduced provision of routine healthcare services. People living with obesity (PLWO) are identified as at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 infection. Currently, there is a paucity of evidence about the impact of the first COVID-19 lockdown on PLWO, including those accessing weight management and bariatric surgery services (WMS).

Methods

543 adults (16–80 years) with obesity (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2) were recruited between 14th May and 9th July 2020 through social media advertisements, professional and patient obesity organisations and WMS. Participants completed an online survey regarding the impact of the first COVID-19 lockdown upon, mental health, well-being, health-related behaviours, risk mitigating behaviours, access to WMS and weight stigma.

Findings

During the first COVID-19 lockdown, the majority of PLWO reported deterioration of their mental health and health-related behaviours such as diet, physical activity (PA) and sleep. With 55% reporting an unhealthier diet, 61% reduced PA and 80% worsening of their sleep. Higher depression and lower wellbeing scores were found to associate with the greatest adverse impact upon health-related behaviours. PLWO who were attending WMS prior to the first lockdown reported a greater deterioration of their diet, with nearly 50% reporting worsening of their diet and PA worsening compared to PLWO who were not attending WMS. Most participants took two or more risk mitigating actions (73%). PLWO attending WMS reported reduced access (44%) with insufficient information (49%) from their clinical service providers. The majority of participants reported no change in perceived weight stigma.

Interpretation

This study shows the detrimental impact of the first COVID-19 lockdown on PLWO in relation to health-related behaviours, mental health and access to WMS. Our findings show that PLWO with poor mental health and those attending WMS were most adversely impacted and highlights the need for greater mental health support and continued provision of support from WMS for PLWO during future lockdowns.

Read full article.

 
Read more…

1-s2.0-S221226722100099X-gr1.jpg

Health care providers (HCPs) globally, including dietitians, are encountering genetic testing for personalized nutrition (ie, nutrigenomics) in their clinical practice. Although considerable basic research examining diet–gene interactions exists in the literature, comparatively less knowledge is available regarding the use of nutrigenomics in clinical practice to alter dietary outcomes. Despite this, patients are bringing direct-to-consumer nutrigenomics reports to HCPs for interpretation, and more HCPs are now offering nutrigenomics tests to their patients. However, HCPs currently lack clinical guidance documents in nutrigenomics and several steps are needed before full clinical practice guidelines are developed.

As a first step in these efforts, our objective was to develop a care map to provide HCPs with a tool for considering nutrigenomics in clinical practice based on the current state of knowledge. An Expert Advisory Panel consisting of 6 nutrigenomics researchers, 3 of whom are also registered dietitians (RDs), developed a care map draft while consulting nutrigenomics literature and incorporating the 3 key pillars of personalized nutrition. To optimize generalizability, the draft was reviewed by 12 HCPs with representation from 6 continents (Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, and South America) who have experience using nutrigenomics in their clinical practice. The Expert Advisory Panel revised the care map based on HCP feedback and all members of the Expert Advisory Panel approved the final version. A 4-step care map was developed, with sections related to HCP training in nutrigenomics (Step 1), patient screening, assessment and informed consent (Step 2), providing nutrigenomics in clinical practice (Step 3), and patient follow-up (Step 4). Continuing education was incorporated throughout the care map. A nutrigenomics care map was successfully developed and should be used as a starting point to guide clinical practice. This care map is generalizable to dietetics practice globally.

Read full article.

Read more…

Prioritizing Nutrition Security in the US

sliced carrots and green bell pepper on brown wooden chopping board The prevalence of nutrition-sensitive conditions such as obesity and type 2 diabetes has increased substantially in the US during the past 30 years. These conditions, combined with other diet-related ones such as cardiovascular diseases and certain cancers, are associated with the majority of morbidity, mortality, and health care spending nationally. Simultaneously, income inequality has increased, with accompanying self-reported food insecurity disproportionately affecting individuals with lower incomes. Food insecurity has been defined as the state of being without reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food, and in 2019 was estimated to affect 10.5% of US households.1 Food insecurity and poor nutrition are closely linked: individuals who report being most food insecure also have higher risks of developing obesity, diabetes, hypertension, coronary disease, stroke, cancer, and associated conditions, even after adjusting for other risks such as age, sex, employment, marital status, race/ethnicity, smoking, insurance status, family size, education, and income.2

For decades, US policies to address hunger and food insecurity have focused largely on providing sufficient calories or quantities of food. However, effectively addressing the current diet-related challenges in the US will require a shift beyond these concepts to the broader concept of nutrition security. Addressing nutrition security, which can be defined as having consistent access, availability, and affordability of foods and beverages that promote well-being and prevent (and if needed, treat) disease, may be the next needed approach to inform clinical care and public policy.

Read full article
 
Read more…

300#FoodTrustReport.

What's damaging consumer trust? 
Anthony Warner - known as The Angry Chef - says: "there's too much information [about food choices]. It's all very confusing."

In this episode of 
#EITFoodFight, he and Liesbet Vranken explore:

➡️ Food marketing and health claims like 'detox'
➡️ The role of social media influencers
➡️ Where consumers can get trustworthy information.

Read more…

COVID-19 has boosted interest in functional foods that deliver wellbeing benefits like immunity and stress management. But while the pandemic may have accelerated this trend, functional foods are no flash in the pan, experts insisted at FoodNavigator’s Positive Nutrition Digital Summit yesterday.

To read the article click Functional food is no COVID fad: ‘Consumers have fundamentally changed their attitudes to health and wellness’

Read more…

The COVID-19 pandemic has upended the lives of families around the world. Across virtually every key measure of childhood, progress has gone backward in the 12 months since the pandemic was declared, leaving children confronting a devastating and distorted new normal.

The past year has seen an increase in children who have been left hungry, isolated, abused and anxious. The education of hundreds of millions of children has been disrupted. Access to protection services and health services – including routine vaccinations – has been severely impacted. The pandemic is also affecting young people’s mental health and pushing their families into poverty. Such social and economic disruptions can increase the likelihood of child marriage.

Even as remarkable, life-saving progress is made in distributing COVID-19 vaccines, the latest available data from UNICEF reveal the devastation already wrought on the world’s children:

To read the article: How the COVID-19 pandemic has scarred the world’s children

 

Read more…