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Increased attention has been paid to circadian patterns and how predisposition to metabolic disorders can be affected by meal timing. Currently, it is not clear which role can be attributed to the foods selected at meals. On a cross-sectional sub-cohort study (815 adults) within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition-Potsdam study, we investigated whether the same foods (vegetables, fruits, refined grains, whole grains, red and processed meats) eaten at different meals (breakfast, lunch or dinner) show different associations with biomarkers of cardiometabolic risk. Meal-specific usual intakes were calculated from multiple 24-h dietary recalls. Multivariable-adjusted linear regression models showed that intake of vegetables at breakfast was associated with lower LDL-cholesterol (−0·37 mmol/l per 50 g; 95 % CI −0·61, −0·12) and vegetables at dinner was associated with higher HDL-cholesterol (0·05 mmol/l per 50 g; 95 % CI 0, 0·10). Fruit intake at breakfast was associated with lower glycated Hb (HbA1c) (−0·06 % per 50 g; 95 % CI −0·10, −0·01) and fruits at dinner with lower C-reactive protein (CRP) (−0·21 mg/l per 50 g; 95 % CI −0·42, −0·01). Red and processed meat intake at breakfast was associated with higher HbA1c (0·25 % per 50 g; 95 % CI 0·05, 0·46) and CRP (0·76 mg/l per 50 g; 95 % CI 0·15, 1·36). Our results suggest that by preferring fruits and vegetables and avoiding red and processed meats at specific meals (i.e. breakfast and dinner), cardiometabolic profiles and ultimately chronic disease risk could be improved. Lunch seemed to be a less important meal in terms of food–biomarker associations.
To examine timing of eating across ten European countries.
Cross-sectional analysis of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) calibration study using standardized 24 h diet recalls collected during 1995–2000. Eleven predefined food consumption occasions were assessed during the recall interview. We present time of consumption of meals and snacks as well as the later:earlier energy intake ratio, with earlier and later intakes defined as 06.00–14.00 and 15.00–24.00 hours, respectively. Type III tests were used to examine associations of sociodemographic, lifestyle and health variables with timing of energy intake.
Ten Western European countries.
In total, 22 985 women and 13 035 men aged 35–74 years (n 36 020).
A south–north gradient was observed for timing of eating, with later consumption of meals and snacks in Mediterranean countries compared with Central and Northern European countries. However, the energy load was reversed, with the later:earlier energy intake ratio ranging from 0·68 (France) to 1·39 (Norway) among women, and from 0·71 (Greece) to 1·35 (the Netherlands) among men. Among women, country, age, education, marital status, smoking, day of recall and season were all independently associated with timing of energy intake (all P<0·05). Among men, the corresponding variables were country, age, education, smoking, physical activity, BMI and day of recall (all P<0·05).
We found pronounced differences in timing of eating across Europe, with later meal timetables but greater energy load earlier during the day in Mediterranean countries compared with Central and Northern European countries.
A major advantage of analyses on the food group level is that the results are better interpretable compared with nutrients or complex dietary patterns. Such results are also easier to transfer into recommendations on primary prevention of non-communicable diseases. As a consequence, food-based dietary guidelines (FBDG) are now the preferred approach to guide the population regarding their dietary habits. However, such guidelines should be based on a high grade of evidence as requested in many other areas of public health practice. The most straightforward approach to generate evidence is meta-analysing published data based on a careful definition of the research question. Explicit definitions of study questions should include participants, interventions/exposure, comparisons, outcomes and study design. Such type of meta-analyses should not only focus on categorical comparisons, but also on linear and non-linear dose–response associations. Risk of bias of the individual studies of the meta-analysis should be assessed, rated and the overall credibility of the results scored (e.g. using NutriGrade). Tools such as a measurement tool to assess systematic reviews or ROBIS are available to evaluate the methodological quality/risk of bias of meta-analyses. To further evaluate the complete picture of evidence, we propose conducting network meta-analyses (NMA) of intervention trials, mostly on intermediate disease markers. To rank food groups according to their impact, disability-adjusted life years can be used for the various clinical outcomes and the overall results can be compared across the food groups. For future FBDG, we recommend to implement evidence from pairwise and NMA and to quantify the health impact of diet–disease relationships.
Adherence to a Mediterranean diet is associated with significant improvements in health status. However, to date no systematic review and meta-analysis has summarized the effects of Mediterranean diet adherence on the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Electronic searches for randomized controlled trials and cohort studies were performed in MEDLINE, SCOPUS, EMBASE and the Cochrane Trial Register until 2 April 2014. Pooled effects were calculated by an inverse-variance random-effect meta-analysis using the statistical software Review Manager 5·2 by the Cochrane Collaboration.
Meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials and cohort studies.
Eligibility criteria: 19+years of age.
One randomized controlled trial and eight prospective cohort studies (122 810 subjects) published between 2007 and 2014 were included for meta-analysis. For highest v. lowest adherence to the Mediterranean diet score, the pooled risk ratio was 0·81 (95 % CI 0·73, 0·90, P<0·0001, I2=55 %). Sensitivity analysis including only long-term studies confirmed the results of the primary analysis (pooled risk ratio=0·75; 95 % CI 0·68, 0·83, P<0·00001, I2=0 %). The Egger regression test provided no evidence of substantial publication bias (P=0·254).
Greater adherence to a Mediterranean diet is associated with a significant reduction in the risk of diabetes (19 %; moderate quality evidence). These results seem to be clinically relevant for public health, in particular for encouraging a Mediterranean-like dietary pattern for primary prevention of type 2 diabetes mellitus.
The aim of the present systematic review and meta-analysis was to examine the long-term effects ( ≥ 12 months) of high-fat (HF) v. low-fat (LF) diet consumption on the indicators of glycaemic control as well as cardiovascular risk factors in pre-diabetic and diabetic individuals. Literature search was carried out using the electronic databases MEDLINE, Embase and the Cochrane Trial Register until November 2013. Study-specific weighted mean differences (MD) were pooled using a random-effects model of the Cochrane software package Review Manager 5.1 and Stata 12.0 was used for meta-regressions. A total of fourteen trials met the inclusion criteria and a maximum of 1753 subjects were included in the meta-analysis. HF regimens were found to result in a significant decrease in TAG levels (MD − 0·19 mmol/l, 95 % CI − 0·23, − 0·14, P< 0·001; I2= 0 %, P= 0·58) and diastolic blood pressure (MD − 1·30 mmHg, 95 % CI − 1·73, − 0·87, P< 0·001; I2= 0 %, P= 0·60) and a significant increase in HDL-cholesterol levels (MD 0·05 mmol/l, 95 % CI 0·01, 0·08, P= 0·01; I2= 57 %, P= 0·01). In addition, MD in the reductions of fasting glucose levels ( − 0·41 mmol/l, 95 % CI − 0·74, − 0·08, P= 0·01; I2= 56 %, P= 0·02) were significantly high in patients with type 2 diabetes adhering to a HF diet. HF and LF diets might not be of equal value in the management of either pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes, leading to emphasis being placed on the recommendations of HF diets.