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To investigate the association between sensory-based food education implemented in early childhood education and care (ECEC) centres and children’s willingness to choose and eat vegetables, berries and fruit, and whether the mother’s education level and children’s food neophobia moderate the linkage.
The cross-sectional study involved six ECEC centres that provide sensory-based food education and three reference centres. A snack buffet containing eleven different vegetables, berries and fruit was used to assess children’s willingness to choose and eat the food items. The children’s parents completed the Food Neophobia Scale questionnaire to assess their children’s food neophobia.
ECEC centres that provide sensory-based food education and reference ECEC centres in Finland.
Children aged 3–5 years in ECEC (n 130) and their parents.
Sensory-based food education was associated with children’s willingness to choose and eat vegetables, berries and fruit. This association was stronger among the children of mothers with a low education level. A high average level of neophobia in the child group reduced the children’s willingness to choose vegetables, berries and fruit. No similar tendency was observed in the group that had received sensory-based food education. Children’s individual food neophobia had a negative association with their willingness to choose and eat the vegetables, berries and fruit.
Child-oriented sensory-based food education seems to provide a promising method for promoting children’s adoption of vegetables, berries and fruit in their diets. In future sensory food education research, more focus should be placed on the effects of the education at the group level.
To investigate the long-term effects of duration of postpartum lactation on maternal body composition and risk for cardio-metabolic disorders in later life.
Retrospective study. Body composition was measured using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry and serum glucose, insulin and lipids were analysed using enzymatic photometric methods 16–20 years after the last pregnancy. Medical history and lifestyle factors were collected via a self-administered questionnaire. Detailed information regarding weight change patterns during each pregnancy was obtained from personal maternity tracking records.
City of Jyväskylä and surroundings in Central Finland.
Two hundred and twelve women (mean age 48, range 36–60 years).
At 16–20 years after their last pregnancy, women who had breast-fed for less than 6 months had higher total body fat mass and fat mass percentage, particularly in the android region (46·5 (sd 8·2) %) than mothers who had breast-fed for longer than 6 months (39·0 (sd 10·2) %) or for longer than 10 months (38·4 (sd 10·9) %, P < 0·01). These differences were independent of pre-pregnancy weight and BMI, menopausal status, smoking status, level of education, participation in past and present leisure-time physical activity, and current dietary energy intake. Higher body fat mass was also associated with higher fasting serum glucose concentration and insulin resistance, TAG, LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol concentrations, as well as higher systolic and diastolic blood pressure (P < 0·05 for all).
Short duration of breast-feeding may induce weight retention and fat mass accumulation, resulting in increased risk of cardio-metabolic disorders in later life.
To determine the association between long-term leisure-time physical activity/inactivity and eating behaviours in twin pairs discordant for physical activity for 30 years.
Co-twin control design with cross-sectional data collection using questionnaire on eating habits and 5 d food diary. Differences in eating behaviours between physically active and inactive co-twins were analysed with pairwise tests.
Sixteen same-sex twin pairs (seven monozygotic and nine dizygotic, mean age 60 years) discordant for physical activity, selected from the Finnish Twin Cohort on the basis of physical activity discordance for 30 years, blinded to their possible differences in eating behaviours.
The eating habits questionnaire revealed that physically active co-twins more frequently reported that it is easy to eat according to need, whereas overeating and/or restrictive eating was more common among the inactive co-twins (P = 0·035). Avoiding calories was more common among the active than inactive co-twins (P = 0·034). Based on food diaries the physically active co-twins had daily energy intake on average 15·5 kJ/kg higher than their inactive co-twins (P = 0·030). The active co-twins also had a higher intake of vitamin C (P = 0·004), total water (P = 0·044), legumes and nuts (P = 0·015) and sweets (P = 0·036), as well as a lower energy-adjusted intake of meat (P = 0·013).
The physically active persons seem to eat more but not necessarily healthier food. However, habitual physical activity may help in eating according to need and in reaching and maintaining a healthy body composition. Therefore, it is necessary to incorporate both dietary and physical activity advice into health counselling.
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