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Dietary guidelines are increasingly promoting mostly plant-based diets, limits on red meat consumption, and plant-based sources of protein for health and environmental reasons. It is unclear how the resulting food substitutions associate with insulin resistance, a risk factor for type 2 diabetes. We modelled the replacement of red and processed meat with plant-based alternatives and the estimated effect on insulin sensitivity. We included 783 participants (55% female) from the Childhood Determinants of Adult Health study, a population-based cohort of Australians. In adulthood, diet was assessed at three time points using food frequency questionnaires: 2004–2006, 2009–2011, and 2017–2019. We calculated the average daily intake of each food group in standard serves. Insulin sensitivity was estimated from fasting glucose and insulin concentrations in 2017–2019 (aged 39–49 years) using homeostasis model assessment. Replacing red meat with a combination of plant-based alternatives was associated with higher insulin sensitivity (β = 10·5 percentage points, 95% confidence interval: 4·1–17·4). Adjustment for waist circumference attenuated this association by 61·7%. Replacing red meat with either legumes, nuts/seeds, or whole grains was likewise associated with higher insulin sensitivity. Point estimates were similar but less precise when replacing processed meat with plant-based alternatives. Our modelling suggests that regularly replacing red meat, and possibly processed meat, with plant-based alternatives may associate with higher insulin sensitivity. Further, abdominal adiposity may be an important mediator in this relationship. Our findings support advice to prioritise plant-based sources of protein at the expense of red meat consumption.
To estimate the prevalence of thinness, overweight and obesity among Tibetan adolescents aged 12–17 years.
Shigatse City of Tibet municipality, with an average altitude of more than 4000 m.
Study participants included 2642 adolescents aged 12–17 years selected from six schools using a convenient cluster sampling method.
The prevalence of thinness/overweight/obesity among Tibetan adolescents was 9·4 %/5·4 %/1·4 % (China definition), 14·7 %/4·4 %/0·7 % (International Obesity Task Force (IOTF) definition), and 2·8 %/5·7 %/0·9 % (WHO definition). The prevalence of thinness and overweight was significantly different between both sexes based on each of three BMI classification criteria (P < 0·001). There was no significant difference in the prevalence of obesity between both sexes according to each of three BMI criteria. There was no clear trend in the prevalence of thinness across ages according to the China or IOTF definition (both P > 0·05), whereas an upward trend was observed for thinness in boys according to the IOTF definition (Pfor trend <0·05). In contrast, the prevalence of thinness tended to decrease with increasing age in girls according to the IOTF definition and in total sample according to the WHO definition (Pfor trend <0·05).
Among Tibetan adolescents, the prevalence of overweight and obesity is relatively low, while the prevalence of thinness is high, especially in boys. These data suggest urgent attention is needed to control adolescent thinness in Tibet.
In a longitudinal cohort study of young Australian adults, we reported that for women higher baseline levels of fish consumption were associated with reduced incidence of new depressive episodes during the 5-year follow-up. Fish are high in both n-3 fatty acids and tyrosine. In this study, we seek to determine whether n-3 fatty acids or tyrosine explain the observed association. During 2004–2006, a FFQ (nine fish items) was used to estimate weekly fish consumption among 546 women aged 26–36 years. A fasting blood sample was taken and high-throughput NMR spectroscopy was used to measure 233 metabolites, including serum n-3 fatty acids and tyrosine. During 2009–2011, new episodes of depression since baseline were identified using the lifetime version of the Composite International Diagnostic Interview. Relative risks were calculated using log-binomial regression and indirect effects estimated using the STATA binary_mediation command. Potential mediators were added to separate models, and mediation was quantified as the proportion of the total effect due to the mediator. The n-3 DHA mediated 25·3 % of the association between fish consumption and depression when fish consumption was analysed as a continuous variable and 16·6 % when dichotomised (reference group: <2 serves/week). Tyrosine did not mediate the association (<0·1 %). Components in fish other than n-3 fatty acids and tyrosine might be beneficial for women’s mental health.
In a prospective cohort of 181 individuals followed up since childhood – when aged 9, 12 and 15 years – patients with a family history of premature coronary heart disease (n=18) had higher left ventricular mass index in adulthood – at mean age of 31 years – compared with those without (mean±standard error 39.1±1.9 versus 34.6±0.7 g/m2.7, p=0.04). The correlation between adult left ventricular mass index and child triglycerides (r=0.66, p=0.04 versus r=−0.03, p=0.75; pdiff=0.02) and diastolic blood pressure (r=0.65, p=0.02 versus r=0.16, p=0.07; pdiff=0.05) was stronger among those with a family history of coronary heart disease than in those without. Although preliminary, these data suggest that the higher left ventricular mass index among adults with a family history might be explained by their increased susceptibility to child cardio-metabolic risk factors.
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