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To (i) identify the major temporal patterns of energy intake among adults; (ii) examine the association between employment status and the patterns; and (iii) examine the association between dietary quality and the patterns.
Secondary analysis based on the cross-sectional population-based nutrition survey in Taiwan, 2005–2008. Based on energy intake levels at six time intervals of a day derived from 24 h recall data, we applied cluster analysis to identify major temporal patterns of energy intake. Self-reported employment status was categorized into six groups: full-time, part-time, no job, student, homemaker and retired. Multinomial logistic regression models were fitted to test the association between temporal patterns of energy intake and employment groups.
Non-institutionalized community dwellers.
Non-pregnant adults (≥19 years old) with total energy intake between 2092 and 20920 kJ/d (500 and 5000 kcal/d; n 4508).
Five major patterns were identified, which can be seen as the traditional meal pattern and its variants. About 20 % of adults had the traditional pattern. The most prevalent pattern was the delayed morning meal pattern (33 %), which had lower Ca and P intakes than the traditional pattern. About 14 % of adults had the delayed lunchtime pattern, which had lower protein, PUFA, fibre, Ca, P, vitamin D and vitamin E intakes than the traditional. Adjusted prevalence of the delayed lunchtime pattern was highest among full-time students (34 %), followed by part-time workers (24 %), and was lower in retired (8 %), homemakers (11 %) and full-time employed adults (12 %).
Adults’ temporal patterns of energy intake, which varied with their employment status, affected their dietary quality.
Fe is an essential element for erythropoiesis and Hb synthesis. High Hb levels affect the blood’s viscosity and are associated with cardiovascular dysfunction. The aim of the present study was to examine relationships of Hb and cardiometabolic abnormalities with the risk of alanine aminotransferase (ALT) elevation in adolescents.
A population-based, cross-sectional study.
National Nutrition and Health Survey in Taiwan (2010–2011, adolescents).
Healthy adolescents aged 13–18 years.
In total, 1941 adolescents (963 boys and 978 girls) were entered in the study. The mean age was 15·3 (sd 0·1) years (boys, 15·3 (sd 0·1) years; girls, 15·2 (sd 0·1) years). ALT tertile cut-off points for boys were 11 and 16 U/l, and for girls were 9 and 12 U/l. Girls without dyslipidaemia and presenting in the highest quartile (Q1) of Hb (>13·6 g/dl) were 1·89 and 3·76 times more likely to have raised serum ALT (9 and >12 U/l, respectively) than the reference (lowest quartile of Hb (Q1), <12·4 g/dl). Moreover, for those girls with dyslipidaemia, serum ALT seemed to increase with an increase in Hb levels. Specifically, girls with dyslipidaemia and Hb levels of 12·4, 13·1 and 13·6 g/dl were, respectively, 2·86, 3·53 and 5·64 times more likely to have elevated serum ALT levels (>12 U/l) than the reference (Q1 of Hb, <12·4 g/dl). The only effect found in boys was for those who had dyslipidaemia and presenting in Q4 of Hb (>15·4 g/dl), who were 7·40 times more likely to have elevated serum ALT of >16 U/l than the reference (Q1 of Hb, <14·1 g/dl).
Our findings suggest that an increased Hb level is a predictor of elevated serum ALT in adolescent girls with dyslipidaemia. Our study also highlights the importance of further research to establish cut-off points for Hb and its utility in diagnosing and preventing the onset of dyslipidaemia in adolescents.
Asians and Pacific Islanders have higher circulating serum ferritin (SF) compared with Caucasians but the clinical significance of this is unclear. There is a higher prevalence of metabolic syndrome (MetS) in Taiwanese Indigenous than Han Chinese. Genetically, Indigenous are related to Austronesians and account for 2 % of Taiwan's population. We tested the hypothesis that accumulation of Fe in the body contributes to the ethnic/racial disparities in MetS in Taiwan.
A population-based, cross-sectional study.
National Nutrition and Health Survey in Taiwan and Penghu Island.
A total of 2638 healthy adults aged ≥19 years. Three ethnic groups were included.
Han Chinese and Indigenous people had comparable levels of SF. Austronesia origin was independently associated with MetS (OR = 2·61, 95 % CI 2·02, 3·36). After multiple adjustments, the odds for MetS (OR = 2·49, 95 % CI 1·15, 5·28) was significantly higher among Indigenous people in the highest SF tertile compared with those in the lowest tertile. Hakka and Penghu Islanders yielded the lowest risks (OR = 1·08, 95 % CI 0·44, 2·65 and OR = 1·21, 95 % CI 0·52, 2·78, respectively). Indigenous people in the highest SF tertile had increased risk for abnormal levels of fasting glucose (OR = 2·34, 95 % CI 1·27, 4·29), TAG (OR = 1·94, 95 % CI 1·11, 3·39) and HDL-cholesterol (OR = 2·10, 95 % CI 1·18, 3·73) than those in the lowest SF tertile.
Our results raise the possibility that ethnic/racial differences in body Fe store susceptibility may contribute to racial and geographic disparities in MetS.
Dietary pattern changes may be one of the key factors associated with increasing asthma prevalence. Observational studies have found negative associations between fruit, vegetable and fish consumption and risk of asthma. Experimental studies have also shown that probiotics can modulate the immune system. However, each dietary component exhibits a modest effect. The objective of the present study was to investigate the joint effect of multiple beneficial dietary components on asthma. We designed a 16-week school-based double-blind placebo-controlled randomised trial. The supplement group received fruit plus vegetable concentrate, fish oil and probiotics (FVFP supplement), while the control group received placebos. A total of 192 asthmatic children aged 10–12 years were recruited from elementary schools in metropolitan Taipei. Pulmonary function, medication usage, Paediatric Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaire (PAQLQ) score and the Childhood Asthma Control Test score were evaluated at baseline, and at weeks 8 and 16. Compared with the placebo group, the supplement group showed significant improvement in pulmonary function parameters (91 v. 178 ml for forced vital capacity (FVC), 40 v. 107 ml for forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) and 1·6 v. 4·8 % for FEV1:FVC ratio; all P values < 0·01) and had a significantly reduced proportion of those using short-acting inhaled bronchodilators and inhaled corticosteroids. However, the PAQLQ score and the Childhood Asthma Control Test score were not significantly different between the two groups, possibly because the majority of the children were treated routinely. FVFP supplements reduced medication use and improved pulmonary function in asthmatic children. The present study supports an adjuvant intervention with a combination of fruit, vegetable, fish and probiotic foods.
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