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To establish a baseline understanding of whether consuming food with the highest nutritional quality, lowest greenhouse gas emissions (GHGE) and cost differs between different UK demographic and socio-economic population groups.
Multiple linear regression models were fitted to evaluate the relationship between predictor socio-demographic variables in this study (i.e. sex, ethnic group, age, BMI and level of deprivation) and the response variables (i.e. consumption of items considered most nutritious, with a low GHGE and price, as a proportion of total items consumed).
1374 adult (18–65 years) participants from the National Diet and Nutrition Survey latest waves 9–11 (2016–2017 and 2018–2019).
Based on the total energy consumption in a day, the average diet-based GHGE was significantly higher for participants with a higher BMI. Non-white and most deprived participants spent significantly (P < 0·001) less money per total energy consumption. Participants with a BMI between 18·6 and 39·9 kg/m2 and those living in the least deprived areas consumed a significantly (P < 0·001) higher amount of those items considered the most nutritious, with the lowest GHGE and cost per 100 kcal.
Consumption of food with the highest nutritional quality, lowest GHGE and cost in the UK varies among those with different socio-demographic characteristics, especially the deprivation level of participants. Our analysis endorses the consideration of environmental sustainability and affordability, in addition to the consideration of nutritional quality from a health perspective, to make current dietary guidelines more encompassing and equitable.
To examine whether ready meals and equivalent home-cooked meals differ in nutritional quality indicators, greenhouse gas emissions (GHGE) and cost.
We performed a cross-sectional analysis of meal data from the National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS) nutrient databank (2018/19). Additional data on nutrient composition, cost and cooking-related GHGE were calculated and compared between fifty-four ready meals and equivalent home-cooked meals.
Ready meals, overall and those that were animal-based, had significantly higher levels of free sugar compared with equivalent home-cooked meals (P < 0·0001 and P < 0·0004, respectively). Animal-based ready meals had significantly higher levels of GHGE (P < 0·001), whereas the cost of ready meals, overall, was significantly higher (P < 0·001), compared with equivalent home-cooked meals. Animal-based meals, whether ready meals or equivalent homemade meals, had significantly higher levels of protein (P < 0·0001), contained significantly more kilocalories (P = 0·001), had significantly higher levels of GHGE (P < 0·0001) and were significantly more expensive (P < 0·0001), compared with plant-based meals. Overall, plant-based meals home-cooked on the gas or electric stove had the lowest GHGE and cost, whereas animal-based oven-cooked ready meals had the highest levels of GHGE and were most expensive.
Ready meals have lower nutritional quality and higher GHGE and are more expensive than equivalent home-cooked meals, especially those meals that are animal-based and prepared in an oven.
Dietary patterns (DP) rich in plant foods are associated with improved health and reduced non-communicable disease risk. In October 2021, the Nutrition Society hosted a member-led conference, held online over 2 half days, exploring the latest research findings examining plant-rich DP and health. The aim of the present paper is to summarise the content of the conference and synopses of the individual speaker presentations are included. Topics included epidemiological analysis of plant-rich DP and health outcomes, the effects of dietary interventions which have increased fruit and vegetable (FV) intake on a range of health outcomes, how adherence to plant-rich DP is assessed, the use of biomarkers to assess FV intake and a consideration of how modifying behaviour towards increased FV intake could impact environmental outcomes, planetary health and food systems. In conclusion, although there are still considerable uncertainties which require further research, which were considered as part of the conference and are summarised in this review, adopting a plant-rich DP at a population level could have a considerable impact on diet and health outcomes, as well as planetary health.
Food phytochemicals are increasingly considered to play a key role in the cardiometabolic health effects of plant foods. However, the heterogeneity in responsiveness to their intake frequently observed in clinical trials can hinder the beneficial effects of these compounds in specific subpopulations. A range of factors, including genetic background, gut microbiota, age, sex and health status, could be involved in these interindividual variations; however, the current knowledge is limited and fragmented. The European network, European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST)-POSITIVe, has analysed, in a systematic way, existing knowledge with the aim to better understand the factors responsible for the interindividual variation in response to the consumption of the major families of plant food bioactives, regarding their bioavailability and bioefficacy. If differences in bioavailability, likely reflecting differences in human subjects’ genetics or in gut microbiota composition and functionality, are believed to underpin much of the interindividual variability, the key molecular determinants or microbial species remain to be identified. The systematic analysis of published studies conducted to assess the interindividual variation in biomarkers of cardiometabolic risk suggested some factors (such as adiposity and health status) as involved in between-subject variation. However, the contribution of these factors is not demonstrated consistently across the different compounds and biological outcomes and would deserve further investigations. The findings of the network clearly highlight that the human subjects’ intervention studies published so far are not adequate to investigate the relevant determinants of the absorption/metabolism and biological responsiveness. They also emphasise the need for a new generation of intervention studies designed to capture this interindividual variation.
Aquaculture is one of the fastest-growing food production sectors in many low-income and food-deficit countries with aquatic ecozones. Yet its specific impact on nutrition and livelihood in local communities, where commercial and/or export-orientated aquaculture activities are developed, is largely unknown.
The present narrative and argumentative review aims to provide an overview of our current understanding of the connections between aquaculture agroecosystems, local and national fish production, fish consumption patterns and nutrition and health outcomes.
The agroecological dynamic in a coastal-estuarine zone, where the aquatic environment ranges from fully saline to freshwater, is complex, with seasonal and annual fluctuations in freshwater supply creating a variable salinity gradient which impacts on aquatic food production and on food production more generally. The local communities living in these dynamic aquatic ecozones are vulnerable to poverty, poor diet and health, while these ecosystems produce highly valuable and nutritious aquatic foods. Policies addressing the specific challenges of risk management of these communities are limited by the sectoral separation of aquatic food production – the fisheries and aquaculture sector, the broader food sector – and public health institutions.
Here we provide an argument for the integration of these factors to improve aquaculture value chains to better address the nutritional challenges in Bangladesh.
Assessment of national dietary guidelines in a number of European countries reveals that some are based on cohort studies, focusing on total seafood consumption, while others are based on the content of EPA and DHA, distinguishing between oily and other fish. The mean actual intake of fish in most countries is around or below the recommended intake, with differences in intake of fish being present between sex and age groups. Many people do not reach the national recommendation for total fish intake. Dietary recommendations for fish and EPA/DHA are based mainly on data collected more than 10 years ago. However, methods of farmed fish production have changed considerably since then. The actual content of EPA and DHA in farmed salmon has nearly halved as the traditional finite marine ingredients fish meal and fish oil in salmon diets have been replaced with sustainable alternatives of terrestrial origin. As farmed salmon is an important source of EPA and DHA in many Western countries, our intake of these fatty acids is likely to have decreased. In addition, levels of vitamin D and Se are also found to have declined in farmed fish in the past decade. Significant changes in the EPA and DHA, vitamin D and Se content of farmed fish means that average intakes of these nutrients in Western populations are probably lower than before. This may have consequences for the health-giving properties of fish as well as future dietary recommendations for fish intake.
To quantitatively analyse expenditure on all fresh foods, fruits and vegetables (F&V) and fish across urban and rural households in Scotland. Fresh foods were chosen since, in general, they are perceived to contribute more to health than processed foods.
Descriptive analysis of purchase data of all foods brought into the home during 2012 from the Kantar Worldpanel database. Purchase data were restricted to fresh, unprocessed and raw foods or ‘fresh to frozen’ foods where freezing was part of harvesting. Total household purchases were adjusted for household size and composition.
Households (n 2576).
Rural households reported the highest expenditure per person on fresh foods and F&V, but also bought the most (kilograms) of these items. There were linear trends of average prices paid with urban–rural location (P<0·001), with average prices paid by large urban and remote rural households being £2·14/kg and £2·04/kg for fresh foods, £1·64/kg and £1·60/kg for F&V and £10·07/kg and £10·20/kg for fish, respectively, although differences were quantitatively small.
Contrary to previous studies, purchase data show that access to and average prices of fresh foods generally, and F&V and fish specifically, are broadly similar between urban and rural areas. Therefore, the higher expenditure on these foods in rural v. urban areas is probably due to factors other than pricing and availability.
The efficacy by which dietary interventions influence risk markers of multi-factorial diseases is mainly determined by taking population-based approaches. However, there exists considerable inter-individual variation in response to dietary interventions, and some interventions may benefit certain individuals or population subgroups more than others. This review evaluates the application of nutrigenomic technologies to further the concept of personalised nutrition, as well as the process to take personalised nutrition to the marketplace. The modulation of an individual's response is influenced by both genetic and environmental factors. Many nutrigenetics studies have attempted to explain variability in responses based on a single or a few genotypes so that a genotype may be used to define personalised dietary advice. It has, however, proven very challenging to define an individual's responsiveness to complex diets based on common genetic variations. In addition, there is a limited understanding of what constitutes an optimal response because we lack key health biomarkers and signatures. In conclusion, advances in nutrigenomics will undoubtedly further the understanding of the complex interplay between genotype, phenotype and environment, which are required to enhance the development of personalised nutrition in the future. At the same time, however, issues relating to consumer acceptance, privacy protection as well as marketing and distribution of personalised products need to be addressed before personalised nutrition can become commercially viable.
Long-chain n-3 PUFA from fish oil protect against death from CHD but mechanisms are not well understood. Preliminary results indicate that fish oil may affect the enzyme soluble epoxide hydrolase (sEH) and influence inflammatory pathways in a time-dependent manner. In the present study male apoE knockout (Apoe− / − ) mice were randomised to three dietary groups receiving a high-fat high-cholesterol diet supplemented with 2 % (w/w) high-oleic acid sunflower-seed (HOSF) oil, DHA oil or fish oil. Livers and proximal aortas were collected on day 2 and on weeks 1, 2, 4 and 10 to determine hepatic sEH levels, hepatic fatty acid composition, hepatic proteome and atherosclerotic plaque size in the aortic root. Intervention with fish oil, but not with DHA, resulted in significantly lower levels of hepatic sEH levels with time compared with HOSF oil. DHA and fish oil caused differential regulation of thirty-five hepatic proteins which were mainly involved in lipoprotein metabolism and oxidative stress. All mice developed atherosclerosis without differences in plaque size between the three groups. Thus EPA may be responsible for lowering levels of hepatic sEH and both fish oil and DHA could beneficially affect lipoprotein metabolism and oxidative stress.
Nutrition research has slowly started to adopt the proteomics techniques to measure changes in the protein complement of a biological system. This enables modelling of biological processes in response to dietary interventions, as well as the elucidation of novel biomarkers for health or disease that are sensitive to such interventions. There are limited studies on the effect of micronutrients on the proteome, so this review concentrates rather more on dietary intervention studies that have used proteomics (mainly classical 2D gel electrophoresis combined with mass spectrometry) to elucidate changes in pathways that relate to glucose and fatty acid metabolism, oxidative stress, anti-oxidant defence mechanisms and redox status. The ability to measure regulation of more low abundant proteins, such as those involved in inflammatory pathways, as well as the evaluation and validation of newly discovered candidate biomarkers in human biofluids, may depend on the introduction of more quantitative and sensitive methods like multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) and multiplexed immunoassays in nutrition research.
Cafestol and kahweol, coffee lipids present in unfiltered coffee brews, potently increase LDL-cholesterol concentration in human subjects. We searched for an animal species in which cafestol similarly increases LDL-cholesterol. Such an animal model could be used subsequently as a model to study the mechanism of action of cafestol and kahweol. Cafestol and kahweol increased serum lipids in African green monkeys (Cercopithecus aethiops), cebus (Cebus apella) and rhesus (Macaca mulatta) monkeys, hamsters, rats and gerbils differently from the increase in human subjects. In African green monkeys, the rise in total cholesterol was less pronounced than that in human subjects. In addition, the increase in total cholesterol was predominantly due to a rise in HDL-cholesterol rather than LDL-cholesterol. Thus, the rise in plasma lipids might illustrate the mechanism in these monkeys rather than the mechanism in human subjects. In other animal species, cafestol and kahweol did not raise cholesterol consistently. The variability in effects on serum lipids could not be explained by the mode of administration or dose of diterpenes, nor by the amount of cholesterol in the diet. In conclusion, we did not find an animal model in which cafestol and kahweol elevate plasma lipoproteins to the same extent as in human subjects. For the time being, therefore, studies on the mechanism of action should be done preferably in human subjects.
Boiled coffee contains the lipid compounds cafestol and kahweol, which raise cholesterol strongly in man. These lipids are retained by paper filters. In a search for an animal model for the effect of coffee lipids on serum cholesterol concentrations, we fed hamsters (Mesocvicetus aurutus) and rats on mash diets consisting of a purified base diet and either boiled water, unfiltered boiled coffee or filtered boiled coffee. After a feeding period of 8 weeks there was no statistically significant effect of unfiltered boiled coffee on serum total cholesterol and triacylglycerol concentrations in either the hamsters or the rats. The level of serum cholesterol did respond predictably to the addition of cholesterol and/or saturated fatty acids to the diet. The lack of effect of unfiltered boiled coffee in the hamsters and the rats, when compared with the previously reported activity in humans, could not be explained by dosage, duration of treatment, mode of administration or by insufficient statistical power. It is concluded that hamsters and rats are insensitive to unfiltered boiled coffee and thus are unsuitable models for investigating its hyper- cholesterolaemic effect.
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