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To describe which functions potential employers of public health nutritionists in Norway find important for a person trained in public health nutrition to be able to carry out. Further, to illustrate how the findings were used in the development of a curriculum for a bachelor in public health nutrition at Akershus University College.
A non-random, cross-sectional survey using a questionnaire with both pre-coded and open-ended questions.
Ninety-one establishments working in various fields more or less related to nutrition responded (response rate of 45 %).
Local offices of the Norwegian Food Safety Authority were over-represented among respondents. Functions related to communication and food and nutrition laws and regulations were most frequently rated as important by the respondents. Functions in nutrition research, project work and policy and planning were also regarded important by more than half of the respondents. The priorities of the potential employers together with the additional comments and suggestions were taken into account when a new curriculum on public health nutrition was developed.
The assessment of functions prioritised by employers of public health nutritionists gave a valuable input for developing a new curriculum in public health nutrition. It reflected the challenges of the real world that public health nutritionists will work in and therefore helped making the curriculum potentially more relevant.
To assess iodine status and its determinants in women of childbearing age in a rural area in the Kayes region, Mali, West Africa.
Cross-sectional study where women's iodine status was indicated by urinary iodine concentration (UIC) and level of goitre based on palpation. Salt iodine was assessed semi-quantitatively at household level. Individual characteristics were collected using questionnaires.
Fifteen villages in a rural area in the Kayes region of Mali.
Women aged 15–45 years (n = 423).
Median UIC was 2.7 μg dl−1, and only 6% of the women had adequate iodine status of UIC > 10 μg dl−1. Most women (60%) had visible goitre, and only 9% were classified as without goitre. Only 39% of the households were using salt with any iodine, and level of knowledge about salt iodisation was low. Main determinants of UIC were breast-feeding and level of salt iodisation; currently breast-feeding women had lower UIC, and UIC increased with increasing level of iodine in household salt. Prevalence of goitre was lower in older women with higher body mass index.
The study indicates severe iodine deficiency in the study area. Urgent action is needed to improve the situation through enforcing salt iodisation legislation and increasing the level of knowledge about the importance of iodised salt in the population.
To assess the relative validity of the second version of a quantitative food-frequency questionnaire (QFFQ), designed to measure the habitual food and nutrient intake in one season in rural populations in Western Mali, West Africa.
The dietary intake during the previous week was assessed with the 164-item QFFQ administered by interview. This was compared with the intake from a 2-day weighed record (WR) with weighed recipes.
The village of Ouassala in the Kayes region, Western Mali.
Thirty-four women and 36 men aged 15–45 years, from 29 households.
The QFFQ gave a lower intake of lunch and dinner and a higher intake of snacks than the WR. The discrepancies were larger for women than for men. The median proportion of subjects classified in the same quartile of intake was 29% for food groups and 36% for energy and nutrients. For classification into extreme opposite quartiles, the median proportion was 6% for food groups and 7% for energy and nutrients. Spearman's rank correlation for energy and nutrients ranged from 0.16 (% energy from protein) to 0.62 (retinol equivalents).
The second version of the QFFQ tends to underestimate total food weight. The methods used for estimating food portion size should therefore be applied with caution. The changes made from the first version had little effect. The ability to rank subjects according to dietary intake is similar with both versions. The improved layout of the new QFFQ makes it a more user-friendly tool for comparing dietary intake between population groups and for measuring changes over time.
The purpose of this study was to validate a quantitative food-frequency questionnaire (QFFQ) created for assessing the usual intake of foods and nutrients in the prevailing season in Western Mali.
Intake of foods and nutrients over the week preceding the interview was measured with a 69-item QFFQ. Intakes were compared with intakes as measured with 2-day combined weighed and recalled diet records.
A rural village in Western Mali, West Africa.
Twenty-seven men and 48 women (15–59 years of age) representing 18 households.
Spearman rank correlations between intake of food groups from the QFFQ and the diet record ranged from 0.09 (meat/fish) to 0.58 (tea/coffee). Median coefficient was 0.37. Median Spearman correlation coefficient for nutrient intake was 0.40. Men had higher median correlation coefficients than did women. The proportion of subjects being classified into the same quartile of food intake was on median 33%, while a median of 7% was misclassified into extreme quartiles. Correct classification into the same quartile for intake of nutrients was on median 34% while a median of 4% was grossly misclassified. Intakes of most food groups and nutrients as measured by the QFFQ were higher than those measured by the diet records. However, while men had higher estimated intakes for foods eaten in-between meals, women in general had higher intake of foods eaten in the main meals.
This QFFQ can be used for comparing the intake of foods and nutrients between groups within this study population. It therefore represents a useful tool in the surveillance of food intake in the population, both in identifying vulnerable groups and for tracking food intake over time. The differences between men and women in overestimating food intake need to be taken into account when using the method.
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