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Food Based Dietary Guidelines (FBDG) are a set of recommendations that describe the quantity and types of foods to consume to promote healthy eating and prevent diseases such as obesity. However, when assessing compliance with FBDG, calculating contributions from composite dishes is challenging, since the specific recipe ingredients are often unknown. This project aims to establish proportional contribution of composite dishes to food groups defined by the Irish and UK FBDG. This will facilitate automated assessment of compliance with FBDG for users of novel technology such as Nutritics, a suite of integrated nutrition analysis software tools for healthcare professionals, educators and industries. Territory specific food composition data (n = 3291) for Ireland and the UK were downloaded from the 2015 McCance & Widdowson Composition of Foods Integrated Dataset (CoFIDs). Recipes were identified and classified into groups broadly aligned with the food groups defined in the Healthy Food for Life Ireland and the Eatwell Guide UK. Supplementary recipe details were accessed from McCance & Widdowson 7th Edition book and online resources. Recipes were categorised by recipe type and ingredients were categorised into food groups. Percentage contribution of each food group to the total recipe was calculated. Of the 3,291 foods, 1,108 were classified as recipes, details were available for 138 of these. Of the 138 recipes, there were fruit & vegetable dishes (n = 20), breads, potatoes, pasta and rice dishes (n = 12), meat, fish and alternative protein sources dishes (n = 40), dairy dishes (n = 23), high fat/oil, sugar, salt dishes (n = 43). For fruit & vegetable dishes, the median percentage contribution to the fruit & vegetable food group was 67% (15% min/ 100% max). For breads, potatoes, pasta and rice dishes the median percentage contribution to the breads, potatoes, pasta and rice food group was 53% (17% min/ 89% max). For meat, fish and alternative protein sources dishes, the median percentage contribution to meat, fish and alternative protein sources food group was 55% (16% min/ 85% max), for dairy dishes, the median percentage contribution to the dairy food group was 90% (53% min/ 96% max). For high fat/oil, sugar, salt dishes the median percentage contribution to the high fat/oil, sugar, salt food group was 22% (3% min/ 97% max). The calculation of recipes into percentage contribution to food groups can support assessment of adherence to FBDG when using reference recipes. This is a useful tool to support healthcare professionals when assessing dietary intake where specific recipe components are unknown.
In Ireland SI 489/2014 mandates food businesses (FB) to present written allergen information on food and drink at the point of presentation or sale. Despite this requirement being in place since 2014, compliance is low. A 2017 audit published by the Food Safety Authority Ireland reported that corrective action was required by 88% of FB assessed.
Calorie labeling, although not legally required, has strong consumer demand. Furthermore when FB implement calorie labeling, improvements to stock management resulted in reduced costs.
This study aims to establish a baseline of available information to evaluate the progress of the public health initiative “Libro Healthy Towns”: a pilot project aimed at supporting FB to provide food information to consumers.
A catchment area was established to identify FB for inclusion. FB were categorised by business type: Multi-site (MB) or Independent site (IB), and service type: Restaurant/Café (RC), Restaurant/Takeaway (RT), Hotel, Pub/Restaurant and Takeaway. Availability of allergen and calorie information were collected by observing and photographing food information on display. Where information was not observable, it was requested. Employees were asked if consumers requested calorie information. Responses were recorded for input into a spreadsheet. Statistical analysis was conducted using SPSS (ver. 24). Results were assessed using Chi-Square and Likelihood Ratio.
In total 54 FB were assessed (31 = MB, 23 = IB), 63% had allergen information displayed and 31% had it available on request. There was no statistically significant difference between business type and allergen information being available on display or by request. Three businesses (6%) had no allergen information available; 100% of these were IB. MB were significantly more likely to have allergen information available (100%) compared with IB (87%) (p-value = .021). Calorie information was available for 24% (n = 13) of FB, of which significantly more (92%) were MB (p-value = .003). Calorie information was requested in 56% of FB, most frequently requested in RC and RT, 62% and 55% respectively. Significantly more MB reported that consumers requested calorie information compared with IB, 77% and 26% respectively (p-value = < .001).
Only half of businesses displayed allergen information in writing at the point of presentation or sale. Consumer interest in calorie information was strong, supporting previous research showing consumers want to make informed food choices. Access to food information was easier in MB however this study shows that measures to improve the availability of food information are necessary across all business types.
Food Based Dietary Guidelines (FBDG) are dietary recommendations described in terms of amounts of foods that should be consumed. They are designed to support healthy eating through simple messaging and indicate how to achieve a nutritionally adequate diet. However, assessing compliance with FBDG targets can be difficult. The quantity of food either being consumed or prescribed and the amount of that food that constitutes a serving are needed to calculate the contribution of the food towards a food group target. The aim of this study was to define the serving weight of foods, guided by definitions from Irish FBDG, to the McCance and Widdowson Composition of Foods Integrated Dataset 2015 (CoFID). This will enable the automatic assessment of compliance to FBDG using Nutritics nutrition analysis software. Foods from CoFID were categorised into six food groups as defined by Ireland's FBDG. Quantified servings from the Irish FBDG were matched to foods. Calculation criteria were developed to establish a serving size for remaining foods within each food group. For fats and oils, as well as raw fruits and vegetables, household measurements were converted to grams, using Food Portion Sizes from the Food Standards Agency. Quantities for cooked fruits and vegetables were calculated using weight-change factors published by Bognar. For the breads, cereals and potatoes group a serving size was calculated using the midpoint for the calorie bands in this group, as defined by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland. For the dairy group, a serving size was determined by calculating the quantity needed to provide 250 mg of calcium. This was in line with achieving the total daily recommended amount of calcium from the dairy group from 3 servings. For meat, fish and alternatives (MFA), serving sizes were developed using the recommended amount of protein per body weight reference value for males and females. For foods high in fat, sugar and salt, serving sizes were defined using 100kcal as the recommended amount of energy provided for snacks. Out of 3,291 foods, 1,980 were grouped into 6 food groups. Quantified servings were available for 694 foods in 3 food groups. Calculated serving sizes were developed for the remaining 1,276 foods. The quantity of each food that constitutes a serving will be integrated into Nutritics to automatically assess compliance to FBDG. This will enable Health Care and Food Industry Professionals to deliver informed advice on meeting population health targets.
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