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To explore if and how female adolescents engage in shared eating and joint food choices with best friends within the context of living in urban Soweto, South Africa.
A qualitative, exploratory, multiple case study was conducted using semi-structured duo interviews of best friend pairs to ascertain their eating patterns, friendship and social interactions around dietary habits.
Participants were recruited from three high schools in the urban township of Soweto, South Africa.
Fifty-eight female adolescents (twenty-nine friend pairs) still in high school (mean age of 18 years) were enrolled.
Although overweight rates were high, no association between friends was found; neither did friends share dieting behaviours. Both at school and during visits to the shopping mall, foods were commonly shared and money pooled together by friends to make joint purchases. Some friends carefully planned expenditures together. Foods often bought at school were mostly unhealthy. Availability, price and quality were reported to affect choice of foods purchased at school. Preference shaped joint choices within the shopping mall environment.
Food sharing practices should be investigated in other settings so as to identify specific behaviours and contexts for targeted and tailored obesity prevention interventions. School-based interventions focusing on price and portion size should be considered. In the Sowetan context, larger portions of healthy food may improve dietary intake of fruit and vegetables where friends are likely to share portions.
Improvements in long-term survival of children undergoing the Norwood staged procedure and the arterial switch operation have resulted in the need to prepare these at-risk children for each stage of their developmental trajectory, including school readiness. This study describes and compares functional outcomes following the Norwood staged procedure and arterial switch operations.
This prospective inception cohort study comprised a sample of 73 children (71% boys) who had the Norwood staged procedure (n = 28) or the arterial switch operation (n = 45) at the age of 6 weeks or younger at the Stollery Children’s Hospital, Edmonton, Alberta, between 2002 and 2005. We excluded children who had chromosomal abnormalities or cerebral palsy. When children were 18–24 months of age, parents completed the Adaptive Behavioral Assessment System II. Standard scores for the domains are mean 100, standard deviation (15); skill area scaled scores, 10 (3). Student’s t-test with Bonferonni correction was used to compare groups.
This population has greater than four times the number of children delayed on the General Adaptive Composite than the normative group. Functional outcomes were similar in the two groups other than those of home living (Norwood: 8.8 (2.8) compared with arterial switch: 11.2 (3.1), t = 3.389, p = 0.001) and self-care (Norwood: 5.9 (3.5) versus arterial switch: 8.1 (2.6), t = 3.140, p = 0.002).
These survivors are at increased risk for delayed functional abilities. Self-care, necessary for independence and confidence as children reach school age, was particularly low in the Norwood group. Reasons for low self-care abilities require further study.
While adult populations have been well described in terms of nutritional status, such as the concentration of nutrient biomarkers, little work has been done in healthy paediatric populations.
The primary objective of this analysis was to explore the determinants of plasma micronutrients in a group of healthy infants and children.
The Diabetes Autoimmunity Study in the Young (DAISY) has enrolled 1433 newborns at increased risk for type 1 diabetes in Denver, Colorado. A representative random sample of 257 children from the DAISY cohort between the ages of 9 months and 8 years with a total of 815 clinic visits over time was used in this analysis. Annual dietary intake was assessed over time with Willett food-frequency questionnaires that were validated in this population. Environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) was assessed using a validated survey. Plasma samples were tested for vitamins, carotenoids and total lipids. Predictors of plasma micronutrients were evaluated using mixed models for longitudinal data, while adjusting for age, human leukocyte antigen genotype, type 1 diabetes family history and other potential confounders and covariates.
Increased micronutrient intake was associated with increased levels of their respective plasma nutrient, with the exception of γ-tocopherol. Independent of dietary intake, levels of α- and β-carotene and β-cryptoxanthin were significantly lower, and γ-tocopherol was significantly higher, in children who were exposed to ETS.
Dietary intake predicts plasma micronutrient levels. Exposure to ETS potentially could have negative health effects in this young population.
A comparison of a parent-completed Willett food-frequency questionnaire (FFQ) and a self-completed Youth/Adolescent Questionnaire (YAQ) has not yet been conducted.
In the Diabetes Autoimmunity Study in the Young (DAISY), parents report their child's diet on the FFQ annually from birth until age 10 years, when the child begins to report their own diet using the YAQ.
To determine the comparability of these collection methods, 89 children aged 10–17 years and their parents completed the YAQ and FFQ, respectively, for the child's previous year's diet.
We compared reported intakes for energy, the macronutrients and a variety of micronutrients of interest to the DAISY study.
Bland–Altman plots of energy-adjusted differences between questionnaire responses against their means suggested that the two collection methods gave similar results. The average Spearman correlation coefficient of all energy-adjusted nutrient intakes was 0.50, and did not differ significantly by gender (males, r = 0.48; females, r = 0.46) or age (10–11 years, r = 0.49; 12–17 years, r = 0.51). While correlated, the nutrient values from the FFQ were higher than the nutrient values from the YAQ.
While reported nutrient intakes are correlated, an indicator variable defining which survey method a nutrient was collected with should be included in any longitudinal data analyses examining nutrient intakes collected with the YAQ and the FFQ as independent predictors of a disease outcome.
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