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The main dietary guidelines recommend restricting total and saturated fat intake in the management of high blood cholesterol levels for cardiovascular risk. These recommendations are usually oversimplified by considering that all red meats should be limited and replaced by white meats. However, lean red meat can be as low in fat as white meat. We examined the effects of red meat (lean breed lamb) and lean white meat (chicken) intake on the lipid profile of a group of women with stable life conditions (nuns living in convents). An open-label, randomised, cross-over study was carried out in thirty-six nuns who consumed either lamb or chicken three times per week for 5-week periods with their usual diet. Clinical, dietary and biochemical variables were evaluated at baseline and the end of each diet period. A validated FFQ was used to assess nutrient intake and monitor compliance. The results showed neither between-diet differences in lipid responses nor differences from baseline in total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol or TAG for any diet period. In conclusion, consumption of lean red meat (lamb) or lean white meat (chicken) as part of the usual diet is associated with a similar lipid response. These two foods can be exchanged in a healthy diet to increase palatability.
Choline is an important component of the human diet and is required for the endogenous synthesis of choline-containing phospholipids, acetylcholine and betaine. Choline can also be synthesised de novo by the sequential methylation of phosphatidylethanolamine to phosphatidylcholine. Vitamins B6, B12 and folate can enhance methylation capacity and therefore could influence choline availability not only by increasing endogenous choline synthesis but also by reducing choline utilisation. In the present experiment, we determined whether combined supplementation of these B vitamins affects plasma choline concentration in a rat model of mild B vitamin deficiency which shows moderate increases in plasma homocysteine. To this end, we measured plasma choline and homocysteine concentrations in rats that had consumed a B vitamin-poor diet for 4 weeks after which they were either continued on the B vitamin-poor diet or switched to a B vitamin-enriched diet for another 4 weeks. Both diets contained recommended amounts of choline. Rats receiving the B vitamin-enriched diet showed higher plasma choline and lower plasma homocysteine concentrations as compared to rats that were continued on the B vitamin-poor diet. These data underline the interdependence between dietary B vitamins and plasma choline concentration, possibly via the combined effects of the three B vitamins on methylation capacity.
Obesity-related hypertension may be caused by activation of the local adipose tissue renin–angiotensin system, resulting in exaggerated production of the vasoconstrictor angiotensin II. Additionally, secretion of adiponectin from adipose tissue, which prevents endothelial dysfunction, is altered in obesity. Consumption of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) has been shown to modulate cytokine release from adipocytes and positively influence blood pressure in younger rats, but its physiological actions in older models with established hypertension and isomer-specific effects on adipocyte size remain to be determined. Therefore, we investigated the effects of CLA isomers on adipocyte size in relation to blood pressure and adipokine production by hypertrophic adipocytes in older fa/fa Zucker rats with established hypertension. fa/fa Zucker rats were fed with cis(c)9, trans(t)11-CLA or t10, c12-CLA isomers for 8 weeks and compared with lean and obese rats fed with the control diet. Blood pressure and adipocyte size were subsequently measured. Collagenase-isolated adipocytes were size-separated and angiotensinogen and adiponectin protein levels quantified by Western blotting. The t10, c12-CLA group had reduced blood pressure, fewer large adipocytes and increased serum adiponectin. Angiotensinogen was present at higher levels in the large adipocytes, whereas the converse was observed for adiponectin. The beneficial effects of the t10, c12-CLA isomer on blood pressure and adipocyte size in vivo may be due to its ability to reduce the number of large adipocytes, which alters the levels of vasoactive molecules secreted from adipose tissue.
Fatty acid transport protein 6 (FATP6) is primarily expressed in the heart and seems to be involved in cardiac fatty acid uptake. Therefore, we investigated whether a variation in the 5′-untranslated region of the FATP6 gene is associated with features of the metabolic syndrome and signs of myocardial alteration or heart failure. A total of 755 male participants from a Metabolic Intervention Cohort Kiel were genotyped for the FATP6–7T>A polymorphism (rs2526246) and phenotyped for features of the metabolic syndrome. Participants underwent a glucose tolerance test and the postprandial assessment of metabolic variables after a standardised mixed meal. Left ventricular heart function was evaluated in fifty-four participants. Fasting (P = 0·01) and postprandial (P = 0·02) TAG concentrations were significantly lower in AA homozygotes when compared with wild-type carriers. Homozygosity of allele A was associated with significantly lower postprandial insulin concentrations after a glucose load and significantly lower systolic (P = 0·01) and diastolic (P = 0·01) blood pressure values compared with wild-type carriers. Accordingly, left ventricular heart mass was significantly lower in twenty-seven AA homozygotes in comparison with twenty-seven TT homozygotes, matched for BMI (P = 0·04). In conclusion, the effects of the FATP6 polymorphism on TAG are mediated by affluent dietary fat. The FATP6–7T>A polymorphism may protect from traits of the metabolic syndrome and CVD.
The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of Bifidobacterium adolescentis (Bif) supplementation on visceral fat accumulation and insulin sensitivity of the metabolic syndrome in HF-diet-fed rats. Adult male Wistar rats (n 10 per group) were fed four different experimental diets for 12 weeks as follows: standard diet; high-fat (HF) diet; a mix of HF diet and Bif; a mix of standard diet and Bif. Liver, mesenteric fat, epididymal fat, retroperitoneal fat, and inguinal fat, pancreas and triceps surae in all four groups of the rats were weighed, while liver steatosis and insulin sensitivity were evaluated at the end point of the study. As the number of intestinal Bifidobacterium species decreased obviously, fat pad weight and body weight increased significantly in the HF group compared with in the other three groups (P <0·05). Addition of Bif led to a reduction in body weight and fat pad weight (P <0·05). With an increase in liver weight, more severe steatosis of hepatocytes was observed in the HF group compared with in the other three groups. A significant decrease of the glucose infusion rate and pancreas weight was found in the HF group (P <0·05). This deleterious effect was alleviated when Bif was added to the diets. Bifidobacterium supplementation ameliorated visceral fat accumulation and insulin sensitivity of the metabolic syndrome in HF-diet-fed rats.
Elucidating the effects of refeeding a high-protein diet after fasting on disease development is of interest in relation to excessive protein ingestion and irregular eating habits in developed countries. The objective of the present study was to address the hepatic effects of refeeding a high-protein diet after fasting. Mice were fasted for 48 h and then refed with a test diet containing 3, 15, 35, 40, 45 or 50 % casein. Serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) activities and liver immediate-early gene expression levels were sequentially measured for the first 24 h after initiation of refeeding. Refeeding with a 50 % casein diet after 48 h of fasting led to a rapid (within 2–3 h) and abnormal elevation in serum ALT (P = 0·006) and AST (P = 0·001) activities and a marked increase in liver Finkel-Biskis-Jinkins (FBJ) osteosarcoma oncogene (P = 0·007) and nuclear receptor subfamily 4, group A, member 1 (P = 0·002) mRNA levels. In contrast, refeeding of the 3, 15 or 35 % casein diets produced no substantial increases in serum ALT and AST activities in mice. Refeeding of 40, 45 or 50 % casein increased serum ALT and AST activities in proportion to this dietary casein content. In mice refed the 3, 15 or 35, but not 50 %, casein diets, liver heat shock protein 72 transcript levels greatly increased. We conclude from these data that the consumption of a high-protein diet after fasting causes acute hepatocellular injury in healthy animals, and propose that careful attention should be paid to the use of such diets.
Berries are often consumed with sucrose. They are also rich sources of polyphenols which may modulate glycaemia after carbohydrate ingestion. The present study investigated the postprandial glucose, insulin and glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) responses to sucrose ingested with berries, in comparison with a similar sucrose load without berries. A total of twelve healthy subjects were recruited to a randomised, single-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study. They participated in two meal tests on separate days. The berry meal was a purée (150 g) made of bilberries, blackcurrants, cranberries and strawberries with 35 g sucrose. The control meal included the same amount of sucrose and available carbohydrates in water. Fingertip capillary and venous blood samples were taken at baseline and at 15, 30, 45, 60, 90 and 120 min after starting to eat the meal. Glucose, insulin and GLP-1 concentrations were determined from the venous samples, and glucose also from the capillary samples. Compared to the control meal, ingestion of the berry meal resulted in lower capillary and venous plasma glucose and serum insulin concentrations at 15 min (P = 0·021, P < 0·007 and P = 0·028, respectively), in higher concentrations at 90 min (P = 0·028, P = 0·021 and P = 0·042, respectively), and in a modest effect on the GLP-1 response (P = 0·05). It also reduced the maximum increases of capillary and venous glucose and insulin concentrations (P = 0·009, P = 0·011 and P = 0·005, respectively), and improved the glycaemic profile (P < 0·001 and P = 0·003 for capillary and venous samples, respectively). These results suggest that the glycaemic control after ingestion of sucrose can be improved by simultaneous consumption of berries.
The present study was designed to investigate the effect of pectin on Fe bioavailability in ileorectomised rats or caecectomised rats. In Expt 1, rats were divided into the following two groups: ileorectomised rats fed a fibre-free diet (FF diet) and ileorectomised rats fed a FF diet supplemented with 5 % (w/w) pectin (pectin diet). Apparent Fe absorption in ileorectomised rats fed the pectin diet was significantly lower compared with ileorectomised rats fed the FF diet. In Expt 2, caecectomised rats and sham-operated rats were given one of the following diets for 3 weeks: diet containing ferrous iron (FeII diet), diet containing pectin at 50 g/kg diet (pectin diet) and diet containing a mixture of FeII and product prepared by the enzymatic degradation of pectin (FeII–OGA diet), which were presumed to be oligomers of galacturonic acid. The Fe content of these diets was 7·6, 8·1 and 7·7 mg/kg diet, respectively. The bioavailability of Fe in rats fed the FeII diet was not affected by caecectomy. In contrast, in rats fed the pectin diet, where Fe bound to pectin was the only Fe source, Hb gain and Hb regeneration efficiency were significantly decreased by caecectomy. The bioavailability of Fe from the FeII–OGA complex was not affected by caecectomy. These results suggest that Fe in pectin might be released by microbial degradation and subsequently made available for absorption in the large intestine, although pectin might decrease Fe absorption in the small intestine.
In shock, organ perfusion is of vital importance because organ oxygenation is at risk. NO, the main endothelial-derived vasodilator, is crucial for organ perfusion and coronary patency. The availability of NO might depend on the balance between a substrate (arginine) and an inhibitor (asymmetric dimethylarginine; ADMA) of NO synthase. Therefore, we investigated the relationship of arginine, ADMA and their ratio with circulatory markers, disease severity, organ failure and mortality in shock patients. In forty-four patients with shock (cardiogenic n 17, septic n 27), we prospectively measured plasma arginine and ADMA at intensive care unit admission, Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation (APACHE) II-(predicted mortality) and Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) score, and circulatory markers to investigate their relationship. Arginine concentration was decreased (34·6 (sd 17·9) μmol/l) while ADMA concentration was within the normal range (0·46 (sd 0·18) μmol/l), resulting in a decrease in the arginine:ADMA ratio. The ratio correlated with several circulatory markers (cardiac index, disseminated intravascular coagulation, bicarbonate, lactate and pH), APACHE II and SOFA score, creatine kinase and glucose. The arginine:ADMA ratio showed an association (OR 0·976, 95 % CI 0·963, 0·997, P = 0·025) and a diagnostic accuracy (area under the curve 0·721, 95 % CI 0·560, 0·882, P = 0·016) for hospital mortality, whereas the arginine or ADMA concentration alone or APACHE II-predicted mortality failed to do so. In conclusion, in shock patients, the imbalance of arginine and ADMA is related to circulatory failure, organ failure and disease severity, and predicts mortality. We propose a pathophysiological mechanism in shock: the imbalance of arginine and ADMA contributes to endothelial and cardiac dysfunction resulting in poor organ perfusion and organ failure, thereby increasing the risk of death.
Faecal microbial changes associated with ageing include reduced bifidobacteria numbers. These changes coincide with an increased risk of disease development. Prebiotics have been observed to increase bifidobacteria numbers within humans. The present study aimed to determine if prebiotic galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) could benefit a population of men and women of 50 years and above, through modulation of faecal microbiota, fermentation characteristics and faecal water genotoxicity. A total of thirty-seven volunteers completed this randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover trial. The treatments – juice containing 4 g GOS and placebo – were consumed twice daily for 3 weeks, preceded by 3-week washout periods. To study the effect of GOS on different large bowel regions, three-stage continuous culture systems were conducted in parallel using faecal inocula from three volunteers. Faecal samples were microbially enumerated by quantitative PCR. In vivo, following GOS intervention, bifidobacteria were significantly more compared to post-placebo (P = 0·02). Accordingly, GOS supplementation had a bifidogenic effect in all in vitro system vessels. Furthermore, in vessel 1 (similar to the proximal colon), GOS fermentation led to more lactobacilli and increased butyrate. No changes in faecal water genotoxicity were observed. To conclude, GOS supplementation significantly increased bifidobacteria numbers in vivo and in vitro. Increased butyrate production and elevated bifidobacteria numbers may constitute beneficial modulation of the gut microbiota in a maturing population.
Children with cerebral palsy (CP) have been documented to have feeding difficulties, which increase in line with condition severity and result in lowered growth potential. Much nutrition literature surrounds energy intake and expenditure in these children, with less information available on other parameters such as protein and micronutrients, which are also important for growth and development. We examined differences in protein intake and a variety of protein metabolism indices in children with CP compared with controls. A total of twenty-four children aged 4–12 years with marked CP fed orally (O, n 15) or enterally (E, n 9) were recruited, including age-matched typically developing children (C, n 24). Fasting blood samples were analysed for levels of albumin, creatinine, urea and urate. Parents collected an exact food replica for three consecutive days of their child's actual intake, which were directly analysed for protein content. Significant differences were found in protein intakes between the groups (mean percentage minimum requirements: E = 178 (sd 47); O = 208 (sd 95); C = 311 (sd 119), P = 0·005). Despite all children consuming over recommended levels, children with CP had significantly reduced levels of the protein metabolic indices compared with controls. These include as z-scores: albumin mean C = 0·71 (sd 1·04) and CP = − 0·17 (sd 1·60), P = 0·03; creatinine C = − 2·06 (sd 0·46) and CP = − 3·11 (sd 0·98), P < 0·001; urate C = 0·18 (sd 0·62) and CP = − 0·58 (sd 0·93), P = 0·002. Post hoc analysis, the present data show potentially greater protein metabolism issues in enterally fed children, compared with the other groups. This may also support recent literature that suggests shortfalls in current recommendations.
Dietary lycopene consists mostly of the (all-E) isomer. Upon absorption, (all-E) lycopene undergoes isomerisation into various (Z)-isomers. Because these isomers offer potentially better health benefits than the (all-E) isomer, the aim of the present study was to investigate if the profile of lycopene isomers in intestinal lipoproteins is affected by the profile of lycopene isomers in the meal and by the tomato preparation. Six postprandial, crossover tests were performed in healthy men. Three meals provided about 70 % of the lycopene as (Z)-isomers, either mainly as 5-(Z) or 13-(Z), or as a mixture of 9-(Z) and 13-(Z) lycopene, while three tomato preparations provided lycopene mainly as the (all-E) isomer. Consumption of the 5-(Z) lycopene-rich meal led to a high (60 %) proportion of this isomer in TAG-rich lipoproteins (TRL), indicating a good absorption and/or a low intestinal conversion of this isomer. By contrast, consumption of meals rich in 9-(Z) and 13-(Z) lycopene isomers resulted in a low level of these isomers but high amounts of the 5-(Z) and (all-E) isomers in TRL. This indicates that the 9-(Z) and 13-(Z) isomers were less absorbed or were converted into 5-(Z) and (all-E) isomers. Dietary (Z)-lycopene isomers were, therefore, differently isomerised and released in TRL during their intestinal absorption in men. Consuming the three meals rich in (all-E) lycopene resulted in similar proportions of lycopene isomers in TRL: 60 % (all-E), 20 % 5-(Z), 9 % 13-(Z), 2 % 9-(Z) and 9 % unidentified (Z)-isomers. These results show that the tomato preparation has no impact on the lycopene isomerisation occurring during absorption in humans.
Short-term bowel adaptation has been documented, but data on long-term effects are scarce. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the long-term consequences of infantile short bowel syndrome (SBS). A cross-sectional assessment (2005–7) of growth, nutritional status, defecation pattern and health status in individuals with a history of infantile SBS, born between 1975 and 2002, were performed. Data were compared with reference values of healthy controls and presented as means and standard deviations or median and ranges. A total of forty subjects (sixteen male and twenty-four female; mean age 14·8 (sd 6·8) years) had received parenteral nutrition during a median of 110 (range 43–2345) d, following small bowel resection. The mean standard deviation scores (SDS) for weight for height and target height (TH) of the children were normal; mean SDS for height for age was − 0·9 (sd 1·3). The median BMI adults was 19·9 (range 17–26) kg/m2; mean SDS for height for age was − 1·0 (range − 2·5 to 1·5). Height in general was significantly shorter than TH, and 53 % of children and 78 % of adults were below TH range. Most subjects had normal body fat percentage (%BF). SDS for total body bone mineral density were generally normal. The SDS for bone mineral content (BMC) of the children were − 1·0 (sd 1·1). Mean energy intake was 91 % of the estimated average requirements. The frequencies of defecation and bowel complaints of the subjects were significantly higher than in healthy controls. In conclusion, infantile SBS results in shorter stature than was expected from their calculated TH. BMC was lower than reference values, but the subjects had normal weight for height and %BF.
The present study was intended to examine whether ponderal index (PI) at birth modifies the effect of the fat mass and obesity associated (FTO) rs9939609 polymorphism on adiposity in European adolescents. A total of 628 adolescents aged 14·4 (se 1·3) years (56·8 % female) were recruited. PI was calculated from parental reports of birth weight and length (kg/m3), and the BMI (kg/m2), body fat percentage and fat mass index (FMI, kg/m2) were calculated. The rs9939609 polymorphism was genotyped and physical activity assessed by accelerometry. Sex, duration of pregnancy, pubertal status, centre and physical activity were used as confounders in all the analyses. The minor A allele of the FTO rs9939609 was significantly associated with higher BMI, body fat percentage and FMI (all P < 0·05) but not with PI. Significant interactions between PI and the rs9939609 polymorphism in terms of body fat percentage (P = 0·002) and FMI (P = 0·017) were detected. However, this polymorphism was only significantly associated with higher BMI, body fat percentage and FMI (all P < 0·05) in adolescents in the lower PI tertile. Indeed, both body fat percentage and FMI were higher in those adolescents in the lower PI tertile carrying the A allele of the FTO rs9939609 polymorphism than in those with the TT genotype (25·0 (se 0·8) v. 22·1 (se 1·0) %, adjusted P = 0·030 and 5·6 (se 0·3) v. 4·6 (se 0·4) kg/m2, P = 0·031, respectively). Our findings suggest that those adolescents born with lower PI could be more vulnerable to the influence of the A risk allele of the FTO polymorphism on total adiposity content.
Several studies have reported limited or no reduction in serum cholesterol in response to probiotic formulations. Recently, probiotics have shown promise in treating metabolic disease due to improved strain selection and delivery technologies. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the cholesterol-lowering efficacy of a yoghurt formulation containing microencapsulated bile salt hydrolase (BSH)-active Lactobacillus reuteri NCIMB 30242, taken twice per d over 6 weeks, in hypercholesterolaemic adults. A total of 114 subjects completed this double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomised, parallel-arm, multi-centre study. This interventional study included a 2-week washout, 2-week run-in and 6-week treatment period. Subjects were randomised to consume either yoghurts containing microencapsulated L. reuteri NCIMB 30242 or placebo yoghurts. Over the intervention period, subjects consuming yoghurts containing microencapsulated L. reuteri NCIMB 30242 attained significant reductions in LDL-cholesterol (LDL-C) of 8·92 % (P = 0·016), total cholesterol (TC) of 4·81 % (P = 0·031) and non-HDL-cholesterol (HDL-C) of 6·01 % (P = 0·029) over placebo, and a significant absolute change in apoB-100 of − 0·19 mmol/l (P = 0·049). Serum concentrations of TAG and HDL-C were unchanged over the course of the study. Present results show that consumption of microencapsulated BSH-active L. reuteri NCIMB 30242 yoghurt is efficacious and safe for lowering LDL-C, TC, apoB-100 and non-HDL-C in hypercholesterolaemic subjects. The efficacy of microencapsulated BSH-active L. reuteri NCIMB 30242 yoghurts appears to be superior to traditional probiotic therapy and akin to that of other cholesterol-lowering ingredients.
A year-long intervention trial was conducted to characterise the responses of multiple biomarkers of Se status in healthy American adults to supplemental selenomethionine (SeMet) and to identify factors affecting those responses. A total of 261 men and women were randomised to four doses of Se (0, 50, 100 or 200 μg/d as l-SeMet) for 12 months. Responses of several biomarkers of Se status (plasma Se, serum selenoprotein P (SEPP1), plasma glutathione peroxidase activity (GPX3), buccal cell Se, urinary Se) were determined relative to genotype of four selenoproteins (GPX1, GPX3, SEPP1, selenoprotein 15), dietary Se intake and parameters of single-carbon metabolism. Results showed that supplemental SeMet did not affect GPX3 activity or SEPP1 concentration, but produced significant, dose-dependent increases in the Se contents of plasma, urine and buccal cells, each of which plateaued by 9–12 months and was linearly related to effective Se dose (μg/d per kg0·75). The increase in urinary Se excretion was greater for women than men, and for individuals of the GPX1 679 T/T genotype than for those of the GPX1 679 C/C genotype. It is concluded that the most responsive Se-biomarkers in this non-deficient cohort were those related to body Se pools: plasma, buccal cell and urinary Se concentrations. Changes in plasma Se resulted from increases in its non-specific component and were affected by both sex and GPX1 genotype. In a cohort of relatively high Se status, the Se intake (as SeMet) required to support plasma Se concentration at a target level (Sepl-target) is: .
Maternal nutritional status during pregnancy is an important determinant of fetal growth. Although the effects of several nutrients and foods have been well examined, little is known about the relationship of overall maternal diet in pregnancy to fetal growth, particularly in non-Western populations. We prospectively examined the relationship of maternal dietary patterns in pregnancy to neonatal anthropometric measurements at birth and risk of small-for-gestational-age (SGA) birth among 803 Japanese women with live-born, singleton, term deliveries. Maternal diet in pregnancy was assessed using a validated, self-administered diet history questionnaire. Dietary patterns from thirty-three predefined food groups (g/4184 kJ) were extracted by cluster analysis. The following three dietary patterns were identified: the ‘meat and eggs’ (n 326), ‘wheat products’, with a relatively high intake of bread, confectioneries and soft drinks (n 303), and ‘rice, fish and vegetables’ (n 174) patterns. After adjustment for potential confounders, women in the ‘wheat products’ pattern had infants with the significantly lowest birth weight (P = 0·045) and head circumference (P = 0·036) among those in the three dietary patterns. Compared with women in the ‘rice, fish and vegetables’ pattern, women in the ‘wheat products’ pattern had higher odds of having a SGA infant for weight (multivariate OR 5·2, 95 % CI 1·1, 24·4), but this was not the case for birth length or head circumference. These results suggest that a diet high in bread, confectioneries, and soft drinks and low in fish and vegetables during pregnancy might be associated with a small birth weight and an increased risk of having a SGA infant.
A rising prevalence of CVD and diabetes has been observed in sub-Saharan Africa, particularly in cities. The aim of the present study conducted in Benin was to examine the mediating role of nutrition transition in the relationship of urbanisation level and socio-economic status (SES) to cardiometabolic risk markers. A total of 541 subjects in apparent good health were randomly selected from the main city of Cotonou, a small town and its surrounding rural areas. SES was assessed based on a proxy for income and on education. Dietary intake and physical activity were assessed with at least two non-consecutive 24 h recalls. Scores for micronutrient adequacy and preventive diet were used as indicators of diet quality. Cardiometabolic risk markers were BMI, waist circumference (WC), blood pressure, serum cholesterol and insulin resistance according to homeostasis model assessment. A more advanced stage of nutrition transition, which correlated with lower diet quality scores and less physical activity, was observed in the large city compared with less urbanised locations. More obesity and more adverse cholesterol profiles, but also lower blood pressure, were present in the large city. Urbanisation, income, sedentary lifestyle and alcohol consumption, but not diet quality, independently contributed to higher BMI and WC. Higher micronutrient adequacy was independently associated with a better cholesterol profile. The study confirmed the positive rural–urban gradient in nutrition transition and cardiometabolic risk, except for blood pressure. This risk could be mitigated by a more adequate diet, particularly micronutrient intake, and a more active lifestyle.
Accurate assessment of neonatal body composition is essential to studies investigating neonatal nutrition or developmental origins of obesity. Bioelectrical impedance analysis or bioimpedance analysis is inexpensive, non-invasive and portable, and is widely used in adults for the assessment of body composition. There are currently no prediction algorithms using bioimpedance analysis in neonates that have been directly validated against measurements of fat-free mass (FFM). The aim of the study was to evaluate the use of bioimpedance analysis for the estimation of FFM and percentage of body fat over the first 4 months of life in healthy infants born at term, and to compare these with estimations based on anthropometric measurements (weight and length) and with skinfolds. The present study was an observational study in seventy-seven infants. Body fat content of infants was assessed at birth, 6 weeks, 3 and 4·5 months of age by air displacement plethysmography, using the PEA POD body composition system. Bioimpedance analysis was performed at the same time and the data were used to develop and test prediction equations for FFM. The combination of weight+sex+length predicted FFM, with a bias of < 100 g and limits of agreement of 6–13 %. Before 3 months of age, bioimpedance analysis did not improve the prediction of FFM or body fat. At 3 and 4·5 months, the inclusion of impedance in prediction algorithms resulted in small improvements in prediction of FFM, reducing the bias to < 50 g and limits of agreement to < 9 %. Skinfold measurements performed poorly at all ages.
Experimental research in behavioural nutrition is often limited by practical applicability. In the present study, we assess the reproducibility and validity of a new experimental method using food replicas. A total of fifty-seven people were invited on two separate occasions with an interval of 2 weeks to serve themselves a meal from a fake food buffet (FFB) containing replica carrots, beans, pasta and chicken. The external validity of the FFB was assessed in a second study by comparing meals served from replica foods (beans, pasta, chicken) with meals served from a corresponding real food buffet (RFB). For the second study, forty-eight participants were invited on two separate occasions; first to serve themselves a meal from the FFB or an RFB and 2 weeks later from the other buffet. The amounts of food items served and (theoretical) energy content were compared. Correlation coefficients between the amounts of fake foods served were 0·77 (95 % CI 0·68, 0·86) for chicken, 0·79 (95 % CI 0·68, 0·87) for carrots, 0·81 (95 % CI 0·69, 0·89) for beans and 0·89 (95 % CI 0·82, 0·93) for pasta. For the FFB meal and the RFB meal, the correlations ranged between 0·76 (95 % CI 0·73, 0·91) for chicken and 0·87 (95 % CI 0·77, 0·92) for beans. The theoretical energy of the fake meal was 132 kJ (32 kcal) lower compared to the energy of the real meal. Results suggest that the FFB can be a valuable tool for the experimental assessment of relative effects of environmental influences on portion sizes and food choice under well-controlled conditions.