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British Journal of Nutrition Paper of the Year 2021


We are pleased to announce that the winning paper for the British Journal of Nutrition Paper of the Year Award 2021 is:

'The association between restricted intrauterine growth and inadequate postnatal nutrition in very-low-birth-weight infants and their neurodevelopmental outcomes: a 50-month follow-up study'

We spoke to Professor Uberos below about the win, and what it means to him:

'Adequate nutritional energy intake during the early neonatal period is an important factor in ensuring neurological development in very low birth weight infants. In fact, according to our data, nutritional energy restriction during the early postnatal period is associated with visual disturbances and may triple the risk of infantile cerebral palsy.'

Professor Jose Uberos,

Congratulations to Professor Uberos and his colleagues! 


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Welcome to the papers shortlisted for the BJN’s Paper of the Year 2021 competition. These papers have been selected by our Deputy Editors who were invited to identify the best paper, using the criteria of originality, significance and rigour, that each Deputy Editor had handled over the past year. The 9 short-listed papers come from research teams around the globe including Europe, China, the USA and the Middle East. These papers also celebrate the broad range of excellence in nutrition research for which the BJN is well-known including nutritional epidemiological studies, mechanistic and methodological investigations and clinical nutrition studies. 

I am also delighted to announce the winning paper in our Paper of the Year 2021 competition. This paper was selected from the shortlisted papers by an independent panel of experts including past Presidents of the Nutrition Society and a global leading nutrition expert from outside the UK. The winning authors are Professor Jose Uberos and colleagues from the University of Granada, Spain for their paper entitled "The association between restricted intrauterine growth and inadequate postnatal nutrition in very-low-birth-weight infants and their neurodevelopmental outcomes: a 50-month follow-up study". Congratulations to Professor Uberos and his colleagues on their discovery that nutritional energy restriction during the early postnatal period is associated with visual disturbances and can triple the risk of childhood cerebral palsy. These findings strengthen the evidence base for the importance of nutrition in early life in maintaining good health in children.

All the shortlisted papers are freely available for everyone to read. Enjoy!

John Mathers, Editor-in-Chief

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Shortlisted Papers

After considering the list, I would say the following paper is my “Coup de Coeur”. There is no good translation for this expression. I find this paper simple, yet possibly very impactful and overall very well constructed.

Eric Doucet, Deputy Editor

It has a very relevant and up to date =hot research question about the protein-quality of plant based meat substitutes on muscle protein synthesis – very clearly presented with nice figures and the conclusion is balanced. 

Lotte Lauritzen, Deputy Editor

While cross-sectional and associative in nature, the paper by Konstantinos et al. was very well done (Recommended dairy intake is associated with healthy dietary habits, better physical fitness, less obesity and a healthier lifestyle profile in school-age children) and is my recommendation for paper of the year. 

Stefan Pasiakos, Deputy Editor


The research question asked in this paper is of great importance as global consumption of meat is of concern both for the health of the planet and also for human health. Studies such as this inform country-specific and global dietary recommendations. What is of importance is that this study has a null or contrary finding as the authors were not able to show that red meat or processed meat were associated with ischaemic heart disease and associations were NOT modified by dietary quality. This longitudinal study was large (8000 people) and time of follow-up 10 years with 439 incident cases of disease.  Honest publication of findings such as this are critical to scientific progress and integrity but also will have an impact on dietary recommendations.

Elaine Rush, Deputy Editor


I nominated this for assessing the putative role of natural products in the preservation of the intestinal function in fish fed aquafeeds containing ingredients of vegetable origin.

Jose Soengas, Deputy Editor




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