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The Food Standards Code regulates health claims on Australian food labels. General-level health claims highlight food–health relationships, e.g. ‘contains calcium for strong bones’. Food companies making claims must notify Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) and certify that a systematic literature review (SLR) substantiating the food–health relationship has been conducted. There is no pre- or post-notification assessment of the SLR, potentially enabling the food industry to make claims based on poor-quality research. The present study assessed the rigour of self-substantiation.
Food–health relationships notified to FSANZ were monitored monthly between 2013 and 2017. These relationships were assessed by scoping published literature. Where evidence was equivocal/insufficient, the relevant government food regulatory agency was asked to investigate. If not investigated, or the response was unsatisfactory, the project team conducted an independent SLR which was provided to the government agency.
Self-substantiated food–health relationships.
There were sixty-seven relationships notified by thirty-eight food companies. Of these, thirty-three relationships (52 %) from twenty companies were deemed to have sufficient published evidence. Four were excluded as they originated in New Zealand. Three relationships were removed before investigations were initiated. The project initiated twenty-seven food–health relationship investigations. Another six relationships were withdrawn, and three relationships were awaiting government assessment.
To ensure that SLR underpinning food–health relationships are rigorous and reduce regulatory enforcement burden, pre-market approval of food–health relationships should be introduced. This will increase consumer and public health confidence in the regulatory process and prevent potentially misleading general-level health claims on food labels.
The present study examined the energy (kilojoule) content of Australian fast-food menu items over seven years, before and after introduction of menu board labelling, to determine the impact of the introduction of the legislation.
Analysis of the median energy contents per serving and per 100g of fast-food menu items. Change in energy content of menu items across the years surveyed and differences in energy content of standard and limited-time only menu items were analysed.
Five of Australia’s largest fast food chains: Hungry Jack’s, KFC, McDonald’s, Oporto and Red Rooster.
All standard and limited-time only menu items available at each fast-food chain, collected annually for seven years, 2009–2015.
Although some fast-food chains/menu item categories had significant increases in the energy contents of their menus at some time points during the 7-year period, overall there were no significant or systematic decreases in energy following the introduction of menu labelling (P=0·19 by +17 kJ/100 g, P=0·83 by +8 kJ/serving). Limited-time only items were significantly higher in median energy content per 100 g than standard menu items (+74 kJ/100 g, P=0·002).
While reformulation across the entire Australian fast-food supply has the potential to positively influence population nutrient intake, the introduction of menu labelling legislation in New South Wales, Australia did not lead to reduced energy contents across the five fast-food chains. To encourage widespread reformulation by the fast-food industry and enhance the impact of labelling legislation, the government should work with industry to set targets for reformulation of nutrient content.
With the ultimate goal of distinguishing between various models describing the formation of galaxy halos (e.g., radial collapse, chaotic mergers), we present the results of a spectroscopic study of the globular cluster system of M31. We have obtained deep, intermediate-resolution spectra for several hundred of the M31 globular clusters using the WYFFOS fibre-fed spectrograph at the William Herschel Telescope. These observations have yielded precise radial velocities and metallicities for over 200 members of the M31 globular cluster population, the vast majority of which represent new data or significant improvements over pre-existing data.
Fruit and vegetable claims on food packages are not regulated under Australian food standards. The present study aimed to: (i) investigate the number and healthiness of products carrying fruit and vegetable claims in Australia; and (ii) compare the nutrition composition of these products with fresh fruit and/or vegetables.
Content analysis of fruit and vegetable claims on food packages. The Australian food standards nutrient profiling model was used to determine the proportion of products not meeting nutrient profiling criteria. The nutrient composition of products carrying claims referencing the servings of fruit and vegetables in the product were compared with that of the dominant fruit and/or vegetables in each product.
The five largest supermarket chains in Australia.
All available products in the fruit snacks, soups and fruit and vegetable juices/fruit drinks categories (n 762) were surveyed. Nutrition composition, ingredients and claims were recorded for each product.
Of the products surveyed, 48 % (n 366) carried at least one claim, of which 34 % (n 124) did not meet nutrient profiling. Products carrying claims referencing the number of servings of fruit and vegetables had more energy, sodium, saturated fat and sugar, and less fibre, than fresh fruit and/or vegetables (all P<0·001).
Many products carried fruit and vegetable claims and were significantly higher in energy, saturated fat, sugars and sodium than fresh fruit and vegetables. Marketing these products as a way of meeting fruit and vegetable intake is inaccurate and potentially misleading. Fruit and vegetable claims should be regulated using nutrient profiling.
This book provides an overview of the research related to psychological assessment across South Africa. The thirty-six chapters provide a combination of psychometric theory and practical assessment applications in order to combine the currently disparate research that has been conducted locally in this field. Existing South African texts on psychological assessment are predominantly academic textbooks that explain psychometric theory and provide brief descriptions of a few testing instruments. Psychological Assessment in South Africa provides in-depth coverage of a range of areas within the broad field of psychological assessment, including research conducted with various psychological instruments. The chapters critically interrogate the current Eurocentric and Western cultural hegemonic practices that dominate the field of psychological assessment. The book therefore has the potential to function both as an academic text for graduate students, as well as a specialist resource for professionals, including psychologists, psychometrists, remedial teachers and human resource practitioners.
To investigate nutrition literacy among adult grocery buyers regarding energy-related labelling terms on food packaging.
Qualitative interviews and quantitative surveys to determine shoppers’ understanding of energy terms (‘energy’, ‘calories’ and ‘kilojoules’) and how energy terms affect perceptions of healthiness and intentions to purchase breakfast cereals, muesli bars and frozen meals.
Individual in-depth interviews and surveys in two metropolitan supermarkets, Sydney, Australia.
Australian adults (interview n 40, survey n 405) aged 18–79 years.
The relationship between energy and perceived healthiness of food varied by product type: higher energy breakfast cereals were perceived to be healthier, while lower energy frozen meals were seen as healthier choices. Likewise, intentions to purchase the higher energy product varied according to product type. The primary reason stated for purchasing higher energy products was for sustained energy. Participants from households of lower socio-economic status were significantly more likely to perceive higher energy products as healthier. From the qualitative interviews, participants expressed uncertainty about their understanding of kilojoules, while only 40 % of participants in intercept surveys correctly answered that kilojoules and calories measured the same thing.
Australian consumers have a poor understanding of energy and kilojoules and tend to perceive higher energy products as healthier and providing sustained energy. This has implications regarding the usefulness of industry front-of-pack labelling initiatives and quick service restaurant menu labelling that provides information on energy content only. Comprehensive and widely communicated education campaigns will be essential to guide consumers towards healthier choices.
To examine the relationship of 6-n-propylthiouracil (PROP) sensitivity to BMI while statistically controlling for demographic characteristics in two age groups of children: 9–10 years and 17–18 years (n 1551).
Cross-sectional design with a multi-ethnic (White, African-American, Hispanic, Other) sample of 813 children aged 9–10 years and 738 children aged 17–18 years. Children were recruited from local elementary and high schools with at least 30 % minority ethnic enrolment. Children’s height, weight and waist circumference were measured along with their PROP taster status. PROP was measured using two paper discs, one impregnated with NaCl (1·0 mol/l) and the other with PROP solution (0·50 mmol/l).
A significant PROP sensitivity by socio-economic status (SES) interaction term (P = 0·010) was detected wherein supertasters had the largest BMI percentile and Z-score, but only among the group with highest SES.
The results suggest that other factors overwhelmed the influence of PROP sensitivity on adiposity in lower-SES groups. The percentage of variance accounted for by the interaction term was about 1 %. Thus, PROP supertasters had the largest BMI percentile and Z-score, but only among the highest-SES group.
Parents may influence children’s fruit and vegetable (F&V) consumption in many ways, but research has focused primarily on counterproductive parenting practices, such as restriction and pressure to eat. The present study aimed to assess the association of diverse parenting practices to promote F&V and its consumption among pre-school children.
An exploratory analysis was performed on cross-sectional data from 755 Head Start pre-school children and their parents collected in 2004–5. Data included parent practices to facilitate child F&V consumption (grouped into five categories); parent-reported dietary intake of their child over 3 d; and a number of potential correlates. K-means cluster analysis assigned parents to groups with similar use of the food parenting practice categories. Stepwise linear regression analyses investigated the association of parent clusters with children’s consumption of F&V, after controlling for potential confounding factors.
A three-cluster solution provided the best fit (R2 = 0·62), with substantial differences in the use of parenting practices. The clusters were labelled Indiscriminate Food Parenting, Non-directive Food Parenting and Low-involved Food Parenting. Non-directive parents extensively used enhanced availability and teachable moments’ practices, but less firm discipline practices than the other clusters, and were significantly associated with child F&V intake (standardized β = 0·09, P < 0·1; final model R2 = 0·17) after controlling for confounders, including parental feeding styles.
Parents use a variety of parenting practices, beyond pressuring to eat and restrictive practices, to promote F&V intake in their young child. Evaluating the use of combinations of practices may provide a better understanding of parental influences on children’s F&V intake.
This exploratory study assessed how 8–13-year-old children categorised and labelled fruit and vegetables (FaV), and how these were influenced by child characteristics, to specify second-level categories in a hierarchical food search system for a computerised 24 h dietary recall (hdr).
Two sets of food cards, sixty-seven for fruit (F) and sixty-four for vegetables (V), with pictures and names of FaV from ten professionally defined food categories were sorted, separately, by each child into piles of similar foods. Demographic data, BMI and 6-n-propylthiouracil (PROP) taster status were obtained.
Participants attended the Children’s Nutrition Research Center in the summer of 2006.
In all, 152 8–13-year-old children, predominantly English-speaking, of whom sixteen were predominantly Spanish-speaking.
Children created an average of 8·5 (5·3) piles with 7·9 (11·4) cards per pile for the F, and an average of 10·1 (4·8) piles with 6·2 (7·9) cards per pile for the V. No substantial differences in Robinson clustering were detected across subcategories for each of the demographic characteristics, BMI or PROP sensitivity. Children provided clusters names that were mostly ‘Taxonomic – Professional’ labels, such as salads, berries, peppers, for both F (51·8 %) and V (52·1 %).
These categories should be tested to assess their ability to facilitate search of FaV items in a computerised 24 hdr for children in this age group.