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The wetlands inhabited by the southern river otter Lontra provocax in Chile are subject to anthropogenic disturbances. As a result of the modification and destruction of its habitat, caused by loss of riparian vegetation, and other threats, the species is categorized as Endangered on the IUCN Red List. We monitored the river otter and its diet during September 2020–January 2021 in a swamp forest fragment in southern Chile. We obtained evidence of river otter presence from the upper part of the wetland to the confluence with the Bueno River, suggesting inter-population connectivity of the species in an extensive hydrographic basin. Faeces and food remains showed a predominance of native macrocrustaceans, with introduced fish present at lower levels. The detection of the southern river otter in a fragment of threatened swamp forest suggests a low abundance in environmentally degraded freshwater environments. The identification of subpopulations such as the one reported here provides valuable data to support the conservation of the species in threatened wetlands.
The NOVA classification of food items has become increasingly popular and is being used in several observational studies as well as in nutritional guidelines and recommendations. We propose that there is a need for this classification and its use in the formulation of public health policies to be critically discussed and re-appraised. The terms “processing” and “ultra-processing,” which are crucial to the NOVA classification, are ill-defined, as no scientific, measurable, or precise reference parameters exist for them. Likewise, the theoretical grounds of the NOVA classification are unclear and inaccurate. Overall, the NOVA classification conflicts with the classic, evidence-based evaluation of foods based on composition and portion size because NOVA postulates that the food itself (or how much of it is eaten) are unimportant, but rather that dietary effects are due to how the food is produced. We contend that the NOVA system suffers from a lack of biological plausibility so the assertion that ultra-processed foods are intrinsically unhealthful is largely unproven, and needs further examination and elaboration.
In this study we present new carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) stable isotope data of human (n=13) and animal (n=40) bone and/or dentine collagen samples, alongside accelerator mass spectrometry radiocarbon (AMS 14C) dates of human remains (n=16). The studied material was sampled from Lithuanian sites dating from the Late Mesolithic to the pre-Roman Iron Age. For the first time, we present δ13C and δ15N data from Lithuanian freshwater fish as well as AMS 14C, δ13C, and δ15N measurements of human remains from six disturbed graves at the Donkalnis cemetery and from two pre-Roman Iron Age graves. According to the new results, human diet derived protein from the Late Mesolithic to Subneolithic (ca. 7000–2900 cal BC) was primarily based on freshwater fish. While previous macrobotanical and stable isotope studies has suggested that C4 plants, i.e., millet, became more widely used from the Late Bronze Age (1100–500 cal BC), our data suggests that millet consumption may have decreased during the pre-Roman Iron Age (500–1 cal BC) in the southeastern Baltic.
To explore associations between maternal pre-pregnancy exposure to arsenic in diet and non-cardiac birth defects.
This is a population-based, case–control study using maternal responses to a dietary assessment and published arsenic concentration estimates in food items to calculate average daily total and inorganic arsenic exposure during the year before pregnancy. Assigning tertiles of total and inorganic arsenic exposure, logistic regression analysis was used to estimate OR for middle and high tertiles, compared to the low tertile.
US National Birth Defects Prevention Study, 1997–2011.
Mothers of 10 446 children without birth defects and 14 408 children diagnosed with a non-cardiac birth defect.
Maternal exposure to total dietary arsenic in the middle and high tertiles was associated with a threefold increase in cloacal exstrophy, with weak positive associations (1·2–1·5) observed either in both tertiles (intercalary limb deficiency) or the high tertile only (encephalocele, glaucoma/anterior chamber defects and bladder exstrophy). Maternal exposure to inorganic arsenic showed mostly weak, positive associations in both tertiles (colonic atresia/stenosis, oesophageal atresia, bilateral renal agenesis/hypoplasia, hypospadias, cloacal exstrophy and gastroschisis), or the high (glaucoma/anterior chamber defects, choanal atresia and intestinal atresia stenosis) or middle (encephalocele, intercalary limb deficiency and transverse limb deficiency) tertiles only. The remaining associations estimated were near the null or inverse.
This exploration of arsenic in diet and non-cardiac birth defects produced several positive, but mostly weak associations. Limitations in exposure assessment may have resulted in exposure misclassification. Continued research with improved exposure assessment is recommended to identify if these associations are true signals or chance findings.
This exploratory study investigated the effects of early v. delayed time-restricted eating (TRE) plus caloric restriction (CR) on body weight, body composition and cardiometabolic parameters in adults with overweight and obesity. Adults (20–40 years) were randomised to one of three groups for 8 weeks: early time-restricted eating (eTRE; 08.00–16.00) plus CR, delayed time-restricted eating (dTRE; 12.00–20.00) plus CR or only CR (CR; 08.00–20.00). All groups were prescribed a 25 % energy deficit relative to daily energy requirements. Thirteen participants completed the study in the eTRE and CR groups and eleven in the dTRE group (n 37). After the interventions, there was no significant difference between the three groups for any of the outcomes. Compared with baseline, significant decreases were observed in the body weight (eTRE group: −4·2 kg; 95 % CI, −5·6, −2·7; dTRE group: −4·8 kg; 95 % CI, −5·9, −3·7; CR: −4·0 kg; 95 % CI, −5·9, −2·1), fat mass (eTRE group: −2·9 kg; 95 % CI, −3·9, −1·9; dTRE group: −3·6 kg; 95 % CI, −4·6, −2·5; CR: −3·1 kg; 95 % CI, −4·3, −1·8) and fasting glucose levels (eTRE group: −4 mg/dl; 95 % CI, −8, −1; dTRE group: −2 mg/dl; 95 % CI, −8, 3; CR: −3 mg/dl; 95 % CI, −8, 2). In a free-living setting, TRE with a energetic deficit, regardless of the time of day, promotes similar benefits in weight loss, body composition and cardiometabolic parameters. However, given the exploratory nature of our study, further investigation is needed to confirm these findings.
Sleep habits are directly related to risk of obesity, and this relationship may be partly mediated through food choices and eating behaviour. Short sleep duration, impaired sleep quality and suboptimal sleep timing are all implicated in weight gain and adverse cardiometabolic health, at least partly mediated through their associations with diet quality. Short-term sleep restriction leads to increased energy intake, and habitually short sleepers report dietary intakes that indicate a less healthy diet compared with adequate sleepers. Evidence is emerging that sleep extension interventions in short sleepers may reduce intake of sugars and overall energy intake. Poor sleep quality, night shift work patterns and social jetlag are also associated with lower diet quality and consumption of energy-dense foods. Incorporating sleep advice into weight management interventions may be more effective than energy-restricted diets and exercise advice alone. However, there are a lack of intervention studies that aim to lengthen sleep, improve sleep quality or adjust irregular sleep timing to investigate the impact on dietary intakes and eating behaviour in participants aiming to lose weight or maintain weight loss. Finally, future research should take account of individual characteristics such as age, sex, life stage and changing working practices when designing combined lifestyle interventions including sleep behaviour change for health and well-being.
One potential mechanism by which diet and lifestyle may affect chronic disease risk and subsequent mortality is through chronic systemic inflammation. In this study, we investigated whether the inflammatory potentials of diet and lifestyle, separately and combined, were associated with all-cause, all-CVD and all-cancer mortality risk. We analysed data on 18 484 (of whom 4103 died during follow-up) Black and White men and women aged ≥45 years from the prospective REasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke study. Using baseline (2003–2007) Block 98 FFQ and lifestyle questionnaire data, we constructed the previously validated inflammation biomarker panel-weighted, 19-component dietary inflammation score (DIS) and 4-component lifestyle inflammation score (LIS) to reflect the overall inflammatory potential of diet and lifestyle. From multivariable Cox proportional hazards models, the hazards ratios (HR) and their 95 % CI for the DIS–all-cause mortality and LIS–all-cause mortality risk associations were 1·32 (95 % CI (1·18, 1·47); Pfor trend < 0·01) and 1·25 (95 % CI (1·12, 1·38); Pfor trend < 0·01), respectively, among those in the highest relative to the lowest quintiles. The findings were similar by sex and race and for all-cancer mortality, but weaker for all-CVD mortality. The joint HR for all-cause mortality among those in the highest relative to the lowest quintiles of both the DIS and LIS was 1·91 (95 % CI 1·57, 2·33) (Pfor interaction < 0·01). Diet and lifestyle, via their contributions to systemic inflammation, separately, but perhaps especially jointly, may be associated with higher mortality risk among men and women.
Stable isotopes are a powerful tool for reconstructing the past. However, environmental factors not previously considered can lead to misinterpretations. Our study presents a novel analysis of the feeding behavior of the megafauna that inhabited the Pilauco ecosystem in south-central Chile during the last glacial termination. We analyzed a suite of modern plant and animal samples from closed-canopy forests to establish an isotopic baseline with which to compare stable isotope results from fossil megafauna. Using the modern samples as a reference, the δ13C results from the Pilauco megafauna indicate feeding behaviors in forested areas. These results were then calibrated with dental calculus samples and coprolites, which suggest the coexistence of graze- and grass-dominated mixed-feeder diets. The δ15N values found in Pilauco megafauna are not consistent with modern reference data sets or with the low δ15N values of extinct proboscideans from other contemporaneous and nearby sites. Probably, the δ15N values of the Pilauco ecosystem were not primarily affected by climate, but rather by disturbance factors (e.g., grazing effect). Our results indicate that the Pilauco megafauna fed mainly on arboreal vegetation; however, non-isotopic proxies indicate that they were also eating open vegetation (e.g., herbs and grasses).
To systematically review evidence from systematic reviews of interventions to improve dietary behaviours and reduce food wastage in secondary school pupils.
CINAHL, Cochrane Reviews, EMBASE, MEDLINE, PsychINFO and Web of Science were searched for systematic reviews of school-based dietary interventions from 2000 to 2020 published in a peer-reviewed journal in English. Articles were reviewed independently by two authors. AMSTAR-2 was used for quality assessment.
Secondary school dietary interventions.
Adolescents (aged 11–18).
In total, thirteen systematic reviews of dietary interventions in secondary schools met the inclusion criteria. A number of key characteristics of interventions that contributed to improvements in food choices in secondary school pupils were identified. These included the combination of education and environmental restructuring, incorporation of computer-based feedback, media or messaging, peer and/or parent involvement, an increase in the availability of healthy foods and the use of behavioural theory as a basis to the intervention. Intervention components that contributed specifically to a reduction in sugar-sweetened beverage intake or an increase in fruit and vegetable consumption, which are particularly relevant to adolescents, could not be determined. Similarly, evidence for interventions that improve nutritional knowledge and attitudes was limited.
This systematic review of systematic reviews has identified a number of components of dietary interventions that can be explored to improve dietary behaviours in secondary school environments and, if demonstrated to be effective, be considered for inclusion in policies and strategies to improve the school food environment and promote dietary change.
Circulating branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), a subgroup of the nine essential amino acids, have been associated to pancreatic cancer risk. The aim of this study is to estimate the relation between BCAA intake from diet and pancreatic cancer risk.
We analysed data from a multicentric Italian case-control study, including 326 pancreatic cancer cases and 652 controls, matched to cases by study centre, sex and age. A validated food-frequency questionnaire was used to collect the participants’ usual diet before cancer diagnosis (or hospital admission for controls) and to compute dietary intakes of various nutrients, including BCAAs. Odds ratios (ORs) and corresponding confidence intervals (CIs) were computed through logistic regression models conditioned on the matching variables and adjusted for major confounding factors, including total energy intake.
We found a positive association between the BCAA intake and pancreatic cancer risk (OR for the third quartile=1.88, 95% CI=1.08-3.26; OR for the fourth quartile =2.17, 95% CI=1.17-4.06), with a significant trend in risk. The association persisted after excluding subjects with diabetes and family history of pancreatic cancer, and across strata of selected covariates.
These data support and quantify the association between dietary BCAAs and pancreatic cancer, previously suggested by studies on circulating BCAAs.
Different methods of dietary intake assessment are frequently used to assess a population’s diet. In this study, we aimed to compare the adherence to Swiss food-based dietary guidelines as depicted in two Swiss population-based surveys using different methods of dietary assessment.
Two population-based, cross-sectional surveys were compared. In the Swiss Health Survey (SHS), diet was assessed via a short set of questions on specific food groups, while in menuCH by two non-consecutive 24-h dietary recall interviews.
To compare the diet depicted in these surveys, we used the Swiss food-based dietary guidelines on vegetable, fruit, dairy product, meat and meat product, fish and alcohol. The weighted proportion of responders meeting these guidelines was calculated for both surveys and was compared overall and by selected characteristics.
Residents of Switzerland, selected from a stratified random sample of the non-institutionalised residents, who agreed to participate in the respective survey. To ensure comparability between the surveys, the age of the study populations was restricted to 18–75 years.
In menuCH, approximately 2 % of responders met ≥4 of the selected Swiss food-based dietary guidelines. In the SHS, using a cruder dietary assessment, the corresponding percentage was 20 %. In both surveys, more women and never smokers were meeting ≥4 food-based dietary guidelines compared to men and current or former smokers, respectively.
Our study comparing the diet in two population-based, representative surveys detected large variations in guideline adherence depending on the dietary assessment method used.
The objective of the current study was to evaluate the impact of the Market to MyPlate (M2MP) program on participants’ reported farmers’ market (FM) attitudes and shopping behaviours, frequency of serving vegetables to their families, food resource management behaviours and food security. A secondary objective was to identify facilitators and barriers to shopping at FM and food waste reduction techniques used by low-income families.
The current study used a mixed methods evaluation embedded within a cluster randomised trial of the M2MP intervention.
The 7-week M2MP program was delivered at Extension offices and community centres in central Illinois.
Participants included 120 adults and their families. Class cohorts were randomly assigned to one of three treatment groups: (1) nutrition education and cooking classes with produce allocations (PAE, n 39); (2) nutrition education and cooking classes only (EO, n 36) or (3) control group (n 45).
Compared with control participants, PAE participants were significantly more likely to report shopping at FM (P = 0·029) and reported serving more vegetables to their families (P = 0·010) (EO participants did not differ from the control group on any outcomes). There were no differences between conditions in survey-based measures of food security or food resource management behaviours. Interview results describe facilitators and barriers to shopping at FM and a variety of food waste reduction techniques (including food placement and food resource management).
These findings suggest that fresh produce provision coupled with nutrition and culinary education can positively impact shopping and dietary behaviours.
The present study explored whether motivational constructs for diet and physical activity (PA) cluster and how these motivational constructs relate to dietary and PA behaviour. Data of 1142 participants were used from a randomised controlled trial examining the effects of a web-based diet and PA promotion intervention based on self-determination theory and motivational interviewing. Motivation was assessed using the Treatment Self-Regulation Questionnaire and Behavioural Regulation in Exercise Questionnaire. The dietary outcomes were measured using an adapted Food Frequency Questionnaire. PA was assessed using the Short QUestionnaire to ASsess Health. Spearman rank-order correlations showed large correlation coefficients (rs ≥ 0⋅63) between similar motivational constructs between the two lifestyle domains, except for intrinsic motivation where a medium correlation coefficient was found (rs = 0⋅41). Furthermore, the exploratory factor analysis illustrated that more self-determined forms of motivation seem to be more domain-specific. In contrast, non-self-determined forms of motivation seem to be domain-independent. Last, regression analyses demonstrated that intrinsic motivation towards PA was the only motivational construct significantly positively associated with all PA sub-behaviours (standardised regression coefficients ranging from 0⋅17 to 0⋅28, all P < 0⋅0125). Intrinsic motivation to eat healthily was significantly positively associated with fruits, vegetables and fish intake (standardised regression coefficients ranging from 0⋅11 to 0⋅16, all P < 0⋅0125), but not with unhealthy snacks. Insight of this exploratory study is useful for understanding the interrelationships of motivational induced behaviours, the development of interventions targeting multiple behaviours, and the construction of questionnaires.
Chapter 5, “The Supply of Food to Constantinople,” discusses the supply, distribution, preparation, and consumption of food to the capital, noting the importance of the relationship between the urban center, its hinterland, and the empire’s distant provinces.
There is growing interest in the health and environmental benefits of whole-food plant-based (WFPB) diets. The current global food system is harmful to our planet and is a key driver of climate change, pollution and biodiversity loss. A transition to WFPB diets will mitigate against these impacts and potentially reduce agriculture greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80%. Emerging evidence suggests that such diets also have significant physical and mental health benefits and can be useful in preventing and treating a range of conditions. Psychiatrists therefore have an important role to play in promoting WFPB diets among patients.
There is limited evidence on fruit and vegetable intake in relation to cognitive function. This study aimed to evaluate the associations of quantity and variety in fruit and vegetable intake in midlife with cognitive impairment in late life. We used data from 16,737 participants of the Singapore Chinese Health Study, a population-based cohort study. The participants provided dietary data at recruitment at median age of 52.5 (range: 45-74) years, and also participated in the third follow-up interview 20 years later at median age of 72.2 (range: 61-96) years. Quantity and variety of fruits and vegetables consumed at baseline were measured using a validated food-frequency-questionnaire. Cognitive impairment at the third follow-up was defined using a Singapore-modified version of Mini-Mental State Examination. About 14.3% participants had cognitive impairment. In multivariable logistic regression models, comparing extreme quartiles for intake of fruits and vegetables combined, the odds ratio (OR) [95% confidence interval (CI)] associated with cognitive impairment was 0.83 (0.73, 0.95; P-trend=0.006) for quantity and 0.76 (0.67, 0.87; P-trend<0.001) for variety scores. Independently, those with increased variety of fruit intake or higher quantity of vegetable intake also had significantly 22% and 15% reduced odds of cognitive impairment, respectively. Finally, compared to those with low intake for both quantity and variety, those with both high quantity and variety scores for fruits and vegetables had 23% reduction in odds of cognitive impairment. In conclusion, increase in quantity and variety of fruits and vegetables in midlife may reduce the risk of cognitive impairment in late life.
To describe the use of artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled dark nudges by leading global food and beverage companies to influence consumer behaviour.
The five most recent annual reports (ranging from 2014 to 2018 or 2015 to 2019, depending on the company) and websites from twelve of the leading companies in the global food and beverage industry were reviewed to identify uses of AI and emerging technologies to influence consumer behaviour. Uses of AI and emerging technologies were categorised according to the Typology of Interventions in Proximal Physical Micro-Environments (TIPPME) framework, a tool for categorising and describing nudge-type behaviour change interventions (which has also previously been used to describe dark nudge-type approaches used by the alcohol industry).
Twelve leading companies in the global food and beverage industry.
Text was extracted from fifty-seven documents from eleven companies. AI-enabled dark nudges used by food and beverage companies included those that altered products and objects’ availability (e.g. social listening to inform product development), position (e.g. decision technology and facial recognition to manipulate the position of products on menu boards), functionality (e.g. decision technology to prompt further purchases based on current selections) and presentation (e.g. augmented or virtual reality to deliver engaging and immersive marketing).
Public health practitioners and policymakers must understand and engage with these technologies and tactics if they are to counter industry promotion of products harmful to health, particularly as investment by the industry in AI and other emerging technologies suggests their use will continue to grow.
In insular Southeast Asia Presbytis and Trachypithecus langurs show a complex distribution pattern whereby in certain areas only one species is present, in other areas two or three species of the same genus live sympatrically, and in yet other areas two, three or even four species of the two genera co-exist. Given their morphological similarity it is intriguing to unravel the ecological differences that allow these species to live side by side. Presbytis langurs are more confined to wet forests than Trachypithecus langurs; their range includes drier regions, high mountains and small islands. In terms of diet (young, old leaves, fruits, seeds) or activity budgets there is a large variation within species and no clear difference between co-occuring species emerges. Home range sizes for Presbytis langurs (~35 ha) is larger than those for Trachypithecus langurs (~20 ha), but day ranges appear to be more similar (~500 to 1,500 m). The variation in group sizes and composition (especially the number of adult males) differs in that Presbytis langurs typically live in smaller groups (~5 to 12 individuals), mostly with one adult male, than Trachypithecus langurs groups (frequently over 20 individuals) that frequently have two or more adult males present.
The odd-nosed monkeys represent a monophyletic group of phenotypically unique primates. They include five species of snub-nosed monkeys (Rhinopithecus), three species of doucs (Pygathrix) as well as simakobu (Simias concolor) and the proboscis monkey (Nasalis larvatus). These species are ecologically diverse and inhabit a gradient of environments in China and southeast Asia, from wet equatorial forests to alpine forests. Odd-nosed monkeys tend to be shy and difficult to habituate, and often range over relatively large areas. Many are also renowned for inhabiting remote areas with rugged terrain and inclement climatic conditions. It is thus not surprising that, until fairly recently, they were among the least studied and most enigmatic extant diurnal primates. However, since the beginning of the new millennium, an expanse of new and exciting research has been conducted on these colobines. In this chapter, we provide an overview of the current knowledge of the ecology and behaviour of odd-nosed monkeys and analyse some of their key behavioural traits and ecological adaptations in light of what is known about other colobines and primates as a whole.