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An abnormal Zn status has been suggested to play a role in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes. However, epidemiological studies of the relationship between plasma Zn concentrations and diabetes are sparse and inconclusive. We aimed to investigate the association between plasma Zn concentrations and glycaemic markers (fasting glucose, 2-h glucose and homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance) in rural and urban Cameroon. We studied 596 healthy adults (63·3 % women) aged 25–55 years in a population-based cross-sectional study. The mean plasma Zn concentration was 13·7 ± 2·7 µmol/L overall, with higher levels in men (14·4 ± 2·9 µmol/l) than in women (13·2 ± 2·6 µmol/l), P-value < 0·0001. There was an inverse relationship between tertiles of plasma Zn and 2-h glucose concentrations (P-value for linear trend = 0·002). The difference in 2-h glucose between those in the highest tertile of plasma Zn compared to the lowest was −0·63 (95 % CI − 1·02, −0·23) mmol/l. This remained significant after adjusting for age, sex, smoking status, alcohol intake, education level, area of residence, adiposity and objectively measured physical activity −0·43(–0·82, −0·04). Similar inverse associations were observed between plasma Zn concentrations and fasting glucose and homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance when adjusted for socio-demographic and health-related behavioural characteristics. The current findings of an inverse association between plasma Zn concentrations and several markers of glucose homeostasis, together with growing evidence from intervention studies, suggest a role for Zn in glucose metabolism. If supported by further evidence, strategies to improve Zn status in populations may provide a cheap public health prevention approach for diabetes.
Evidence from randomised controlled trials supports beneficial effects of total dairy products on body weight, fat and lean mass, but evidence on associations of dairy types with distributions of body fat and lean mass is limited. We aimed to investigate associations of total and different types of dairy products with markers of adiposity, and body fat and lean mass distribution. We evaluated cross-sectional data from 12 065 adults aged 30–65 years recruited to the Fenland Study between 2005 and 2015 in Cambridgeshire, UK. Diet was assessed with an FFQ. We estimated regression coefficients (or percentage differences) and their 95 % CI using multiple linear regression models. The medians of milk, yogurt and cheese consumption were 293 (interquartile range (IQR) 146–439), 35·3 (IQR 8·8–71·8) and 14·6 (IQR 4·8–26·9) g/d, respectively. Low-fat dairy consumption was inversely associated with visceral:subcutaneous fat ratio estimated with dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (–2·58 % (95 % CI –3·91, –1·23 %) per serving/d). Habitual consumption per serving/d (200 g) of milk was associated with 0·33 (95 % CI 0·19, 0·46) kg higher lean mass. Other associations were not significant after false discovery correction. Our findings suggest that the influence of milk consumption on lean mass and of low-fat dairy consumption on fat mass distribution may be potential pathways for the link between dairy consumption and metabolic risk. Our cross-sectional findings warrant further research in prospective and experimental studies in diverse populations.
High cost of healthy foods could be a barrier to healthy eating. We aimed to examine the association between dietary cost and adherence to the Mediterranean diet in a non-Mediterranean country. We evaluated cross-sectional data from 12 417 adults in the UK Fenland Study. Responses to 130-item FFQ were used to calculate a Mediterranean diet score (MDS). Dietary cost was estimated by matching food consumption data with retail prices of five major supermarkets. Using multivariable-adjusted linear regression, we examined the association of MDS and individual foods with dietary cost in absolute and relative scales. Subsequently, we assessed how much the association was explained by education, income, marital status and occupation, by conducting mediation analysis and testing interaction by these variables. High compared with low MDS (top to bottom third) was associated with marginally higher cost by 5·4 % (95 % CI 4·4, 6·4) or £0·20/d (95 % CI 0·16, 0·25). Participants with high adherence had higher cost associated with the healthier components (e.g. vegetables, fruits and fish), and lower cost associated with the unhealthy components (e.g. red meat, processed meat and sweets) (Pfor trend<0·001 each). In total, 20·7 % (95 % CI 14·3, 27·0) of the MDS-cost association was explained by the selected socio-economic factors, and the MDS-cost association was of greater magnitude in lower socio-economic groups (Pinteraction<0·005). Overall, greater adherence to the Mediterranean diet was associated with marginally higher dietary cost, partly modified and explained by socio-economic status, but the potential economic barriers of high adherence might be offset by cost saving from reducing unhealthy food consumption.
We aimed to identify sociodemographic, lifestyle and behavioural determinants of consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) and artificially sweetened beverages (ASB) among adults in Cambridgeshire, UK.
Cross-sectional data were obtained from a cohort of 9991 adults born between 1950 and 1975. An FFQ was used to assess consumption of beverages and other dietary factors. Multivariable logistic regression was used to examine potential determinants of consuming SSB and ASB (≥1 serving/d).
Recruitment from general practice surgeries to participate in the ongoing population-based Fenland Study.
Adults (n 9991) aged 30–64 years from three areas of Cambridgeshire, UK.
Prevalence estimates for daily SSB and ASB consumption were 20·4 % (n 2041) and 8·9 % (n 893), respectively. SSB consumption (OR; 95 % CI) was more common in men than women (1·33; CI 1·17, 1·50) and among those reporting lower income (<£20 000/year) than those reporting higher income (>£40 000/year; 1·31; 1·09, 1·58). In contrast, daily ASB consumption was more common among women than men (1·62; 1·34, 1·96), those on weight-loss diets than those who were not (2·58; 2·05, 3·24) and those reporting higher income than lower income (1·53; 1·16, 2·00). Factors associated with higher consumption of each of SSB and ASB included being a younger adult, being overweight/obese, having shorter education, eating meals or snack foods while watching television, and skipping breakfast (P<0·05 each).
Frequent consumers of SSB and ASB differ by several sociodemographic characteristics. However, increased BMI, younger age and unhealthy eating behaviours are common to both groups.
Improvements in colorectal cancer (CRC) detection and treatment have led to greater numbers of CRC survivors, for whom there is limited evidence on which to provide dietary guidelines to improve survival outcomes. Higher intake of red and processed meat and lower intake of fibre are associated with greater risk of developing CRC, but there is limited evidence regarding associations with survival after CRC diagnosis. Among 3789 CRC cases in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort, pre-diagnostic consumption of red meat, processed meat, poultry and dietary fibre was examined in relation to CRC-specific mortality (n 1008) and all-cause mortality (n 1262) using multivariable Cox regression models, adjusted for CRC risk factors. Pre-diagnostic red meat, processed meat or fibre intakes (defined as quartiles and continuous grams per day) were not associated with CRC-specific or all-cause mortality among CRC survivors; however, a marginal trend across quartiles of processed meat in relation to CRC mortality was detected (P 0·053). Pre-diagnostic poultry intake was inversely associated with all-cause mortality among women (hazard ratio (HR)/20 g/d 0·92; 95 % CI 0·84, 1·00), but not among men (HR 1·00; 95 % CI 0·91, 1·09) (Pfor heterogeneity=0·10). Pre-diagnostic intake of red meat or fibre is not associated with CRC survival in the EPIC cohort. There is suggestive evidence of an association between poultry intake and all-cause mortality among female CRC survivors and between processed meat intake and CRC-specific mortality; however, further research using post-diagnostic dietary data is required to confirm this relationship.
Evidence suggests that diets meeting recommendations for fruit and vegetable (F&V) intake are more costly. Dietary costs may be a greater constraint on the diet quality of people of lower socioeconomic position (SEP). The aim of this study was to examine whether dietary costs are more strongly associated with F&V intake in lower-SEP groups than in higher-SEP groups. Data on individual participants’ education and income were available from a population-based, cross-sectional study of 10 020 British adults. F&V intake and dietary costs (GBP/d) were derived from a semi-quantitative FFQ. Dietary cost estimates were based on UK food prices. General linear models were used to assess associations between SEP, quartiles of dietary costs and F&V intake. Effect modification of SEP gradients by dietary costs was examined with interaction terms. Analysis demonstrated that individuals with lowest quartile dietary costs, low income and low education consumed less F&V than individuals with higher dietary costs, high income and high education. Significant interaction between SEP and dietary costs indicated that the association between dietary costs and F&V intake was stronger for less-educated and lower-income groups. That is, socioeconomic differences in F&V intake were magnified among individuals who consumed lowest-cost diets. Such amplification of socioeconomic inequalities in diet among those consuming low-cost diets indicates the need to address food costs in strategies to promote healthy diets. In addition, the absence of socioeconomic inequalities for individuals with high dietary costs suggests that high dietary costs can compensate for lack of other material, or psychosocial resources.
Unhealthy dietary behaviours may contribute to obesity along with energy imbalance. Both positive and null associations of snacking and BMI have been reported, but the association between snacking and total adiposity or pattern of fat deposition remains unevaluated. The objective of this study was to investigate the associations between snacking frequency and detailed adiposity measurements. A total of 10 092 adults residing in Cambridgeshire, England, self-completed eating pattern snacking frequency, FFQ and physical activity questionnaires. Measurements included anthropometry, body composition using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry scan and ultrasound and assessment of physical activity energy expenditure using heart rate and movement sensing. Linear regression analyses were conducted adjusted for age, socio-demographics, dietary quality, energy intake, PAEE and screen time by sex and BMI status. Among normal-weight individuals (BMI<25 kg/m2), each additional snack was inversely associated with obesity measures: lower total body fat in men and women (−0·41 (95 % CI −0·74, −0·07) %, −0·41 (−0·67, −0·15) %, respectively) and waist circumference (−0·52 (−0·90, −0·14) cm) in men. In contrast, among the overweight/obese (BMI≥25 kg/m2), there were positive associations: higher waist circumference (0·80 (0·34, 0·28) cm) and subcutaneous fat (0·06 (0·01, 0·110) cm) in women and waist circumference (0·37 (0·00, 0·73) cm) in men. Comparing intakes of snack-type foods showed that participants with BMI≥25 kg/m2 had higher intakes of crisps, sweets, chocolates and ice-creams and lower intakes of yoghurt and nuts compared with normal-weight participants. Adjusting for these foods in a model that included a BMI–snacking interaction term attenuated all the associations to null. Snacking frequency may be associated with higher or lower adiposity, with the direction of association being differential by BMI status and dependent on snack food choice. Improving snack choices could contribute to anti-obesity public health interventions.
Pattern analysis has emerged as a tool to depict the role of multiple nutrients/foods in relation to health outcomes. The present study aimed at extracting nutrient patterns with respect to breast cancer (BC) aetiology.
Nutrient patterns were derived with treelet transform (TT) and related to BC risk. TT was applied to twenty-three log-transformed nutrient densities from dietary questionnaires. Hazard ratios (HR) and 95 % confidence intervals computed using Cox proportional hazards models quantified the association between quintiles of nutrient pattern scores and risk of overall BC, and by hormonal receptor and menopausal status. Principal component analysis was applied for comparison.
The European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC).
Women (n 334 850) from the EPIC study.
The first TT component (TC1) highlighted a pattern rich in nutrients found in animal foods loading on cholesterol, protein, retinol, vitamins B12 and D, while the second TT component (TC2) reflected a diet rich in β-carotene, riboflavin, thiamin, vitamins C and B6, fibre, Fe, Ca, K, Mg, P and folate. While TC1 was not associated with BC risk, TC2 was inversely associated with BC risk overall (HRQ5 v. Q1=0·89, 95 % CI 0·83, 0·95, Ptrend<0·01) and showed a significantly lower risk in oestrogen receptor-positive (HRQ5 v. Q1=0·89, 95 % CI 0·81, 0·98, Ptrend=0·02) and progesterone receptor-positive tumours (HRQ5 v. Q1=0·87, 95 % CI 0·77, 0·98, Ptrend<0·01).
TT produces readily interpretable sparse components explaining similar amounts of variation as principal component analysis. Our results suggest that participants with a nutrient pattern high in micronutrients found in vegetables, fruits and cereals had a lower risk of BC.
Consumption of a Mediterranean diet (MD) and genetic variation in the glucokinase regulatory protein (GCKR) gene have been reported to be associated with TAG and glucose metabolism. It is uncertain whether there is any interaction between these factors. Therefore, the aims of the present study were to test the association of adherence to a MD and rs780094 (G>A) SNP in the GCKR gene with the markers of cardiometabolic risk, and to investigate the interaction between genetic variation and MD adherence. We studied 20 986 individuals from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer (EPIC)-Norfolk study. The relative Mediterranean Diet Score (rMED: range 0–18) was used to assess MD adherence. Linear regression was used to estimate the association between the rMED, genotype and cardiometabolic continuous traits, adjusting for potential confounders. In adjusted analyses, we observed independent associations of MD adherence and genotype with cardiometabolic risk, with the highest risk group (AA genotype; lowest rMED) having higher concentrations of TAG, total cholesterol and apoB (12·5, 2·3 and 3·1 %, respectively) v. those at the lowest risk (GG genotype; highest rMED). However, the associations of MD adherence with metabolic markers did not differ by genotype, with no significant gene–diet interactions for lipids or for glycated Hb. In conclusion, we found independent associations of the rMED and of the GCKR genotype with cardiometabolic profile, but found no evidence of interaction between them.
In the present study, we investigated the association between dietary intake of carbohydrates and the risk of type 2 diabetes. Incident cases of diabetes (n 749) were identified and compared with a randomly selected subcohort of 3496 participants aged 40–79 years. For dietary assessment, we used 7 d food diaries administered at baseline. We carried out modified Cox proportional hazards regression analyses and compared results obtained from the different methods of adjustment for total energy intake. Dietary intakes of total carbohydrates, starch, sucrose, lactose or maltose were not significantly related to diabetes risk after adjustment for confounders. However, in the residual method for energy adjustment, intakes of fructose and glucose were inversely related to diabetes risk. The multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios (HR) of diabetes comparing the extreme quintiles of intake were 0·79 (95 % CI 0·59, 1·07; P for trend = 0·03) for glucose and 0·62 (95 % CI 0·46, 0·83; P for trend = 0·01) for fructose. In the nutrient density method, only fructose was inversely related to diabetes risk (HR 0·65, 95 % CI 0·48, 0·88). The replacement of 5 % energy intake from SFA with an isoenergetic amount of fructose was associated with a 30 % lower diabetes risk (HR 0·69, 95 % CI 0·50, 0·96). Results of the standard and energy partition methods were similar to those of the residual method. These prospective findings suggest that the intakes of starch and sucrose are not associated, but that those of fructose and glucose are inversely associated with diabetes risk. Whether the inverse associations with fructose and glucose reflect the effect of substitution of these carbohydrate subtypes with other nutrients (i.e. SFA), their net higher intake or other nutrients associated with their intake remains to be established through further investigation.
Phenolic acids are secondary plant metabolites that may have protective effects against oxidative stress, inflammation and cancer in experimental studies. To date, limited data exist on the quantitative intake of phenolic acids. We estimated the intake of phenolic acids and their food sources and associated lifestyle factors in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study. Phenolic acid intakes were estimated for 36 037 subjects aged 35–74 years and recruited between 1992 and 2000 in ten European countries using a standardised 24 h recall software (EPIC-Soft), and their food sources were identified. Dietary data were linked to the Phenol-Explorer database, which contains data on forty-five aglycones of phenolic acids in 452 foods. The total phenolic acid intake was highest in Aarhus, Denmark (1265·5 and 980·7 mg/d in men and women, respectively), while the intake was lowest in Greece (213·2 and 158·6 mg/d in men and women, respectively). The hydroxycinnamic acid subclass was the main contributor to the total phenolic acid intake, accounting for 84·6–95·3 % of intake depending on the region. Hydroxybenzoic acids accounted for 4·6–14·4 %, hydroxyphenylacetic acids 0·1–0·8 % and hydroxyphenylpropanoic acids ≤ 0·1 % for all regions. An increasing south–north gradient of consumption was also found. Coffee was the main food source of phenolic acids and accounted for 55·3–80·7 % of the total phenolic acid intake, followed by fruits, vegetables and nuts. A high heterogeneity in phenolic acid intake was observed across the European countries in the EPIC cohort, which will allow further exploration of the associations with the risk of diseases.
Fish consumption is the major dietary source of EPA and DHA, which according to rodent experiments may reduce body fat mass and prevent obesity. Only a few human studies have investigated the association between fish consumption and body-weight gain. We investigated the association between fish consumption and subsequent change in body weight. Women and men (n 344 757) participating in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition were followed for a median of 5·0 years. Linear and logistic regression were used to investigate the associations between fish consumption and subsequent change in body weight. Among women, the annual weight change was 5·70 (95 % CI 4·35, 7·06), 2·23 (95 % CI 0·16, 4·31) and 11·12 (95 % CI 8·17, 14·08) g/10 g higher total, lean and fatty fish consumption per d, respectively. The OR of becoming overweight in 5 years among women who were normal weight at enrolment was 1·02 (95 % CI 1·01, 1·02), 1·01 (95 % CI 1·00, 1·02) and 1·02 (95 % CI 1·01, 1·04) g/10 g higher total, lean and fatty consumption per d, respectively. Among men, fish consumption was not statistically significantly associated with weight change. Adjustment for potential over- or underestimation of fish consumption did not systematically change the observed associations, but the 95 % CI became wider. The results in subgroups from analyses stratified by age or BMI at enrolment were not systematically different. In conclusion, the present study suggests that fish consumption has no appreciable association with body-weight gain.
Fish consumption is the major dietary source of EPA and DHA, which according to rodent experiments may reduce body fat mass and prevent obesity. However, human studies have suggested that fish consumption has no appreciable association with body-weight gain. We investigated the associations between fish consumption and subsequent change in waist circumference. Sex, age and waist circumference at enrolment were considered as potential effect modifiers. Women and men (n 89 432) participating in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) were followed for a median of 5·5 years. Mixed-effect linear regression was used to investigate the associations between fish consumption and subsequent change in waist circumference. Among all participants, the average annual change in waist circumference was − 0·01 cm/10 g higher total fish consumption per d (95 % CI − 0·01, 0·00) and − 0·01 cm/10 g higher fatty fish consumption per d (95 % CI − 0·02, − 0·01), after adjustment for potential confounders. Lean fish consumption was not associated with change in waist circumference. Adjustment for potential over- or underestimation of fish consumption measurements did not systematically change the observed associations, but the 95 % CI became slightly wider. The results in subgroups from analyses stratified by sex, age or waist circumference at enrolment were not systematically different. In conclusion, the present study suggests that fish consumption does not prevent increase in waist circumference.
Whether there are differences between countries in the validity of self-reported diet in relation to BMI, as evaluated using recovery biomarkers, is not well understood. We aimed to evaluate BMI-related reporting errors on 24 h dietary recalls (24-HDR) and on dietary questionnaires (DQ) using biomarkers for protein and K intake and whether the BMI effect differs between six European countries. Between 1995 and 1999, 1086 men and women participating in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition completed a single 24-HDR, a DQ and one 24 h urine collection. In regression analysis, controlling for age, sex, education and country, each unit (1 kg/m2) increase in BMI predicted an approximately 1·7 and 1·3 % increase in protein under-reporting on 24-HDR and DQ, respectively (both P < 0·0001). Exclusion of individuals who probably misreported energy intake attenuated BMI-related bias on both instruments. The BMI effect on protein under-reporting did not differ for men and women and neither between countries on both instruments as tested by interaction (all P>0·15). In women, but not in men, the DQ yielded higher mean intakes of protein that were closer to the biomarker-based measurements across BMI groups when compared with 24-HDR. Results for K were similar to those of protein, although BMI-related under-reporting of K was of a smaller magnitude, suggesting differential misreporting of foods. Under-reporting of protein and K appears to be predicted by BMI, but this effect may be driven by ‘low-energy reporters’. The BMI effect on under-reporting seems to be the same across countries.
Flavonols, flavanones and flavones (FLAV) are sub-classes of flavonoids that exert cardioprotective and anti-carcinogenic properties in vitro and in vivo. We aimed to estimate the FLAV dietary intake, their food sources and associated lifestyle factors in ten European countries participating in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study. FLAV intake and their food sources for 36 037 subjects, aged between 35 and 74 years, in twenty-seven study centres were obtained using standardised 24 h dietary recall software (EPIC-SOFT). An ad hoc food composition database on FLAV was compiled using data from US Department of Agriculture and Phenol-Explorer databases and was expanded using recipes, estimations and flavonoid retention factors in order to increase its correspondence with the 24 h dietary recall. Our results showed that the highest FLAV-consuming centre was the UK health-conscious group, with 130·9 and 97·0 mg/d for men and women, respectively. The lowest FLAV intakes were 36·8 mg/d in men from Umeå and 37·2 mg/d in women from Malmö (Sweden). The flavanone sub-class was the main contributor to the total FLAV intake ranging from 46·6 to 52·9 % depending on the region. Flavonols ranged from 38·5 to 47·3 % and flavones from 5·8 to 8·6 %. FLAV intake was higher in women, non-smokers, increased with level of education and physical activity. The major food sources were citrus fruits and citrus-based juices (especially for flavanones), tea, wine, other fruits and some vegetables. We concluded that the present study shows heterogeneity in intake of these three sub-classes of flavonoids across European regions and highlights differences by sex and other sociodemographic and lifestyle factors.
Phyto-oestrogens have been associated with a decreased risk for osteoporosis, but results from intervention and observational studies in Western countries have been inconsistent. In the present study, we investigated the association between habitual phyto-oestrogen intake and broadband ultrasound attenuation (BUA) of the calcanaeum as a marker of bone density. We collected 7 d records of diet, medical history and demographic and anthropometric data from participants (aged 45–75 years) in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer-Norfolk study. Phyto-oestrogen (biochanin A, daidzein, formononetin; genistein, glycitein; matairesinol; secoisolariciresinol; enterolactone; equol) intake was determined using a newly developed food composition database. Bone density was assessed using BUA of the calcanaeum. Associations between bone density and phyto-oestrogen intake were investigated in 2580 postmenopausal women who were not on hormone replacement therapy and 4973 men. Median intake of total phyto-oestrogens was 876 (interquartile range 412) μg/d in postmenopausal women and 1212 (interquartile range 604) μg/d in men. The non-soya isoflavones formononetin and biochanin A were marginally significant or significantly associated with BUA in postmenopausal women (β = 1·2; P < 0·1) and men (β = 1·2; P < 0·05), respectively; enterolignans and equol were positively associated with bone density in postmenopausal women, but this association became non-significant when dietary Ca was added to the model. In the lowest quintile of Ca intake, soya isoflavones were positively associated with bone density in postmenopausal women (β = 1·4; P < 0·1). The present results therefore suggest that non-soya isoflavones are associated with bone density independent of Ca, whereas the association with soya or soya isoflavones is affected by dietary Ca.
Anthocyanidins are bioactive flavonoids with potential health-promoting effects. These may vary among single anthocyanidins considering differences in their bioavailability and some of the mechanisms involved. The aim of the present study was to estimate the dietary intake of anthocyanidins, their food sources and the lifestyle factors (sex, age, BMI, smoking status, educational level and physisical activity) involved among twenty-seven centres in ten European countries participating in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study. Anthocyanidin intake and their food sources for 36 037 subjects, aged between 35 and 74 years, in twenty-seven redefined centres were obtained using standardised 24 h dietary recall software (EPIC-SOFT). An ad hoc food composition database on anthocyanidins (cyanidin, delphinidin, malvidin, pelargonidin, peonidin, petunidin) was compiled using data from the US Department of Agriculture and Phenol-Explorer databases and was expanded by adding recipes, estimated values and cooking factors. For men, the total anthocyanidin mean intake ranged from 19·83 (se 1·53) mg/d (Bilthoven, The Netherlands) to 64·88 (se 1·86) mg/d (Turin, Italy), whereas for women the range was 18·73 (se 2·80) mg/d (Granada, Spain) to 44·08 (se 2·45) mg/d (Turin, Italy). A clear south to north gradient intake was observed. Cyanidins and malvidins were the main anthocynidin contributors depending on the region and sex. Anthocyanidin intake was higher in non-obese older females, non-smokers, and increased with educational level and physical activity. The major food sources were fruits, wine, non-alcoholic beverages and some vegetables. The present study shows differences in both total and individual anthocyanidin intakes and various lifestyle factors throughout Europe, with some geographical variability in their food sources.
To examine the risk of CHD in relation to alcohol intake from three different instruments.
In the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer in Norfolk study, weekly alcohol intake was estimated from a single question in a mail-in health and lifestyle questionnaire (HLQ), a semi-quantitative FFQ, and a 7 d diet diary (7DD). Information on smoking status, physical activity, disease history, social class and medication use was reported in the HLQ. Height, weight, blood pressure and blood lipids were measured at a health check-up. The average length of follow-up was 11 years. The association between alcohol intake and incident fatal and non-fatal CHD in a nested case–control sample was calculated using logistic regression.
A total of 2151 cases of incident fatal and non-fatal CHD and 5354 controls.
The Spearman correlation values between the 7DD, FFQ and HLQ alcohol estimates ranged from r = 0·70 to 0·82 (P < 0·0001 for all r values). Alcohol intake from all instruments was inversely associated with the risk of CHD in age- and multivariate-adjusted models. The relationships between the risk of CHD and alcohol intake from the 7DD, HLQ or FFQ were not significantly different from each other (P >0·10). A marginal difference between men and women was detected for the risk of CHD in relation to HLQ alcohol intake (P = 0·065).
In conclusion, while the instruments were not uniform in their assessment of alcohol intake levels, the 7DD, HLQ and FFQ yielded similar inverse associations between alcohol intake and risk of CHD.
Ecological data on temporal trends suggest that the rising prevalence of obesity is, at least in part, attributable to declining population energy expenditure. However, population-level data on trends in physical activity are scarce. In longitudinal cohort studies individuals who report higher levels of leisure-time physical activity tend to be less likely to gain weight, but studies vary in their conclusions because of issues of confounding, reverse causality and measurement error. The majority of studies suggest that low levels of activity are only weakly associated with future weight gain. Questions about dose–response can only be properly addressed by studies including objective measures of activity with known measurement error. The observational studies leave uncertainties about the direction of causality, as individuals who are overweight are less likely to stay active. Adjustment for confounding can diminish the impact of known confounders, but only randomisation can deal with issues of unmeasured confounding. Although there are a large number of clinical trials on the treatment of individuals with obesity or the prevention of weight regain among weight losers, the updated review of trials to prevent weight gain de novo only reveals six trials published since 2000 in adults and eleven in children. Not only are these trials relatively few in number but, for various methodological reasons, they are uncertain in their conclusions about whether increasing activity will be effective in preventing obesity. Whilst efforts should continue to enhance the evidence base it is wise, in the meantime, to stick to the consensus public health advice of advocating 45–60 min moderate intensity activity daily to prevent obesity.