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Nutritionists in the UK are at the start of an exciting time of professional development. The establishment of the Association for Nutrition in 2010 has presented an opportunity to review, revitalize and expand the UK Voluntary Register of Nutritionists. In the UK and elsewhere, there is a need for a specialist register of nutritionists with title protection as a public safeguard.
The new structure will base professional registration on demonstration of knowledge and application in five core competencies. Initially, there will be five specialist areas: animal; public health; nutritional scientist; food; sports and exercise. The wording and requirements linking the specialist areas to the competencies have been carefully defined by leading individuals currently on the existing register in these specialist areas. These have been evaluated by a random sample of existing registrants to check for accuracy of definitions and examples. Other work aims to establish a clear quality assurance framework in nutrition for workers in the health and social care sectors (UK Public Health Skills and Career Framework Levels 1–4) who contribute to nutrition activity, such as community food workers, nutrition assistants and pharmacists. Students, co-professional affiliates and senior fellows will also find a place in the new Association. The title ‘nutritionist’ is not currently legally protected in the UK and it is used freely to cover a range of unregulated practice.
The establishment of a professional register to protect the public and to provide a clear identity for nutritionists is a vital step forward.
Despite the increasing dependence on systematic reviews to summarise the literature and to issue public health recommendations, the formal assessment of the reliability of conclusions emerging from systematic reviews has received little attention. The main goal of the present study was to evaluate whether two independent centres, in two continents, draw similar conclusions regarding the association of food, nutrition and physical activity and endometrial cancer, when provided with the same general instructions and with similar resources.
The assessment of reproducibility concentrated on four main areas: (1) paper search and selection; (2) assignment of study design; (3) inclusion of ‘key’ papers; and (4) individual studies selected for meta-analysis and the summary risk estimate obtained.
In total 310 relevant papers were identified, 166 (54 %) were included by both centres. Of the remaining 144 papers, 72 (50 %) were retrieved in the searches of one centre and not the other (54 in centre A, 18 in centre B) and 72 were retrieved in both searches but regarded as relevant by only one of the centres (52 in centre A, 20 in centre B). Of papers included by both centres, 80 % were allocated the same study design. Agreement for inclusion of cohort-type and case–control studies was about 63 % compared with 50 % or less for ecological and case series studies. The agreement for inclusion of 138 ‘key’ papers was 87 %. Summary risk estimates from meta-analyses were similar.
Transparency of process and explicit detailed procedures are necessary parts of a systematic review and crucial for the reader to interpret its findings.
To develop a concise, simple tool for use by non-specialists to assess diet in children aged 3–7 years attending primary schools.
A 24-hour food tick list covering all aspects of the diet and with a focus on fruit and vegetable consumption was developed. This was compared against a 24-hour semi-weighed food diary obtained for the same day as the tick list.
Six primary schools with a range of socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds from a large city in the north of England (Leeds).
One hundred and eighty children returned completed packs of information; a response rate of 77% of those who were willing to take part, 48% of those approached.
On average, 2.4 items of fruit including juice (2.1 items as 5-a-day count) were eaten and 1.6 items of vegetables (excluding potato). Twenty-seven per cent and 36% of boys and 23% and 24% of girls reported not eating any fruit or vegetables, respectively, on the recording day. Correlations comparing the diary and tick list were high for both foods (range r = 0.44 to 0.89) and nutrients (range r = 0.41 to 0.68). The level of misclassification was much less than would be expected by chance. Parent and teacher evaluation of the tick list was very positive. Parents felt the tick list was easy and quick to complete.
The Child and Diet Evaluation Tool (CADET) tick list has been used successfully for rapid collection of food and nutrient information from children aged 3–7 years from diverse social and ethnic backgrounds. The tool has performed better than many food-frequency questionnaires in comparison to a food diary.
Longitudinal research has shown that eating fruit and vegetables during childhood has a positive impact on long-term health outcome from heart disease and asthma. However, recommendations for fruit and vegetable intakes in pre-school children are not as explicit as those for adults and few data exist on actual intakes of fruit and vegetables in this particular age group.
To describe fruit and vegetable intakes in the daily diets of a sample of pre-school children in Bradford, West Yorkshire, and to compare the findings with existing national UK data.
Pre-school children aged 3 and 4 years (n = 207). All subjects attended nurseries in the Airedale and Bradford South and West regions at the time of the study.
Dietary data were collected using the pre-validated CADET (Child and Diet Evaluation Tool) diary. All children were also seen individually in order to assess their awareness and preference for a range of fruit and vegetables.
Intakes of fruit and vegetables in this sample of pre-school children were below recommended levels. Only 16% of children in this sample were successfully eating fruit and vegetables on five occasions a day and conversely 14% ate no fruit and vegetables at all. Vegetable intakes were far lower than fruit intakes with 39% of the sample consuming no vegetables. There were statistically significant differences in median fruit and vegetable intakes between children with different demographic and lifestyle variables, such as which nursery they attended and what the highest educational qualification in the household was. Children's awareness of and preferences for different fruit and vegetables significantly affected their median intakes of fruit and vegetables.
Fruit and vegetable intakes in this sample of pre-school children were far lower than the recommended levels of 5 portions a day. A greater diversity of intakes should be encouraged and these data suggest that this may be attained by increasing children's awareness by exposing them to a wider range of fruit and vegetables.
This paper describes the development of the UK Women's Cohort Study and presents cohort baseline characteristics.
In total, 35 372 women, aged 35–69 years at recruitment, were selected to ensure a wide range of dietary intakes. Diet was assessed by a 217-item food-frequency questionnaire (FFQ). Detailed lifestyle information was collected by postal questionnaire. Vegetarians, fish-eaters and meat-eaters were compared.
The cohort women are mainly white, well-educated, middle-class and married with children. They are health-conscious with only 11% current smokers and 58% taking dietary supplements. Twenty-eight per cent of subjects self-report as being vegetarian and 1% as vegan. However, only 18% are defined as 'vegetarian' from the FFQ. Fat provides 32% of energy; vitamin and mineral intakes are high, with a broad range of intakes. Meat-eaters are older, with a higher body mass index (BMI) and the lowest intakes of carbohydrate, fibre, vitamin C, folate, iron and calcium. Other fish-eaters are similar to vegetarians. Vegetarians have the lowest intakes of protein, fat and saturated fat. Oily fish-eaters have the lowest BMI; are the least likely to smoke or use full-fat milk; and are the most likely to use dietary supplements and consume the most fruit and vegetables. Oily fish-eaters have the highest total energy intake and vegetarians the lowest. Semi-skimmed milk, bread, potatoes, wine, bananas and muesli are important contributors to energy for all groups.
A large cohort of middle-aged women has been created encompassing a wide range of different eating patterns, including diets currently of interest to research into protection against cancer and coronary heart disease. Participants will be followed up to study the effects of different food and nutrient intakes on long-term health outcomes.
The insulin-like growth factor (IGF) system has been implicated in the aetiopathogenesis of cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Since dietary factors and ethnicity are considered contributory to the development of these diseases, we examined the IGF system in relation to nutritional intake by ethnic group.
Design, subjects and setting:
Dietary intake in 257 subjects of White European, African-Caribbean and Pakistani ethnic origin living in Manchester, UK was assessed using ethnic-group-specific food-frequency questionnaires to assess habitual nutrient intake over the previous 12 months. Fasting IGF-I, IGF-II and IGF-binding protein-1 (IGFBP-1) concentrations were determined and their relationship to specific dietary constituents was analysed.
Analysis by quintiles of nutrient intake showed a significant increase in circulating IGF-I concentration with increasing dietary fat intake (F for trend = 3.9, P < 0.01), saturated fat intake (F = 3.3, P = 0.01) and for protein intake (F = 4.2, P < 0.01). There was also a significant increase in IGF-II by quintiles of dietary protein intake (F = 2.7, P < 0.05). There was a trend for increasing IGF-I with increasing energy intake. The relationships between circulating concentration of IGFBP-1, an acute regulator of IGF action, and fat/protein intake were opposite to those for IGF-I and IGF-II. Multiple linear regression modelling showed that people of Pakistani origin and older subjects had lower levels of IGF-I (Pakistani origin vs. others, P < 0.001) (age, P < 0.001 for both). There was an independent inverse relationship between IGF-I and dietary carbohydrate intake (P = 0.036).
This study provides evidence for a dietary contribution to regulation of the IGF system, although the effects of ethnicity on circulating IGF levels remain dominant. We propose that the IGF system's influences on cancer risk in specific ethnic groups are potentially modifiable by dietary intervention.
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