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Ambrosini G.L.,MRC Human Nutrition Research
Proceedings of the Nutrition Society | Year: 2014

A range of individual nutrients and foods have been suggested to increase obesity risk in childhood, but the evidence is inconsistent. Dietary patterns that summarise the whole diet may, however, be more informative. The aim of the present paper was to systematically review the current evidence pertaining to overall dietary patterns in childhood and later obesity risk. Studies eligible for review identified childhood dietary patterns using an empirical method, i.e. principal components analysis, factor analysis or reduced rank regression, and reported their prospective associations with an obesity-related outcome. Literature searches identified 166 studies and of these, seven met the eligibility criteria. Despite differences between studies, a common dietary pattern was identified in all seven studies that was high in energy-dense, high-fat and low-fibre foods. The quality of studies varied, however; the four studies reporting positive associations between this type of dietary pattern and later obesity risk were of consistently higher quality than those reporting null associations. The balance of evidence from this systematic review indicates that dietary patterns that are high in energy-dense, high-fat and low-fibre foods predispose young people to later overweight and obesity. It also highlights that examining multiple dietary factors within a dietary pattern may better explain obesity risk than individual nutrients or foods. However, more prospective studies are needed and dietary pattern research requires greater rigour and focus, to further clarify the role of dietary factors in the aetiology of obesity and inform future interventions. © The Author 2013. Source

Ni Mhurchu C.,MRC Human Nutrition Research
BMC public health | Year: 2010

Public health strategies place increasing emphasis on opportunities to promote healthy behaviours within the workplace setting. Previous research has suggested worksite health promotion programmes have positive effects on physical activity and weight loss, yet little is known regarding their effects on dietary behaviour. The aim of this review was to assess the effects of worksite interventions on employee diets. Electronic databases (MEDLINE, The Cochrane Library, PsycINFO, EMBASE, LexisNexis) were searched for relevant articles published between 1995 and April 2009. Studies were eligible for inclusion if they were peer-reviewed English language publications describing a worksite-based health promotion intervention with minimum study duration of eight weeks. All study designs were eligible. Studies had to report one or more diet-related outcome (energy, fat, fruit, or vegetable intakes). Methodological quality was assessed using a checklist that included randomisation methods, use of a control group, and study attrition rates. Sixteen studies were included in the review. Eight programmes focussed on employee education, and the remainder targeted change to the worksite environment, either alone or in combination with education. Study methodological quality was moderate. In general, worksite interventions led to positive changes in fruit, vegetable and total fat intake. However, reliance on self-reported methods of dietary assessment means there is a significant risk of bias. No study measured more robust outcomes such as absenteeism, productivity, or healthcare utilisation. The findings of this review suggest that worksite health promotion programmes are associated with moderate improvement in dietary intake. The quality of studies to date has been frequently sub-optimal and further, well designed studies are needed in order to reliably determine effectiveness and cost-effectiveness. Future programmes to improve employee dietary habits should move beyond individual education and aim to intervene at multiple levels of the worksite environment. Source

Prentice A.,MRC Human Nutrition Research
Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology | Year: 2013

Nutritional rickets is a major public health problem in many countries of the world. The disease is characterized by deformities of the long bones, enlargement of the wrists and costochondral junctions, hypotonia and, in infants, craniotabes and delayed fontanelle closure. Predominantly caused by severe vitamin D deficiency, rickets can also be associated with hypocalcemic seizures and cardiac failure. First presentation is typically at 6-24 months of age, although hypocalcemia may be evident in younger infants. In many affluent industrialized countries, the prevalence of rickets in the general population diminished after the introduction of clean-air legislation and dietary supplementation. However, in such countries, vitamin-D deficiency rickets has re-emerged in recent years, particularly among groups with limited exposure to UVB-containing sunshine. Infants at risk of rickets tend to be those whose mothers had poor vitamin D status during pregnancy and those exclusively breast-fed for a prolonged period with little skin exposure to UVB. In other countries of the world, the prevalence of rickets can be high, even in regions with abundant year-round UVB-containing sunshine. In general, this is also due to vitamin D deficiency related to limited sun exposure. However, reports from Africa and Asia suggest that there may be other etiological factors involved. Studies in South Africa, Nigeria, The Gambia and Bangladesh have identified rickets in children, typically 3-5 years old at first presentation, in whom plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations are higher than those characteristic of primary vitamin D deficiency. Calcium deficiency has been implicated, and in some, but not all, disturbances of phosphate metabolism, renal compromise and iron deficiency may also be involved. Continuing studies of the etiology of nutritional rickets will provide evidence to underpin guidelines for the prevention and treatment of rickets world-wide. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'Vitamin D Workshop'. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

Jebb S.A.,MRC Human Nutrition Research | Aveyard P.N.,University of Oxford | Hawkes C.,World Cancer Research Fund
Obesity Reviews | Year: 2013

Summary: Tackling obesity has been a policy priority in England for more than 20 years. Two formal government strategies on obesity in 2008 and 2011 drew together a range of actions and developed new initiatives to fill perceived gaps. Today, a wide range of policies are in place, including support for breastfeeding and healthy weaning practices, nutritional standards in schools, restrictions on marketing foods high in fat, sugar and salt to children, schemes to boost participation in sport, active travel plans, and weight management services. Data from annual surveys show that the rate of increase in obesity has attenuated in recent years, but has not yet been reversed. This paper considers the actions taken and what is known about the impact of individual policies and the overarching strategy to tackle obesity in England. © 2013 The Authors. Obesity Reviews published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of the International Association for the Study of Obesity. Source

Hulston C.J.,Loughborough University | Churnside A.A.,Loughborough University | Venables M.C.,MRC Human Nutrition Research
British Journal of Nutrition | Year: 2015

The purpose of the present study was to determine whether probiotic supplementation (Lactobacillus casei Shirota (LcS)) prevents diet-induced insulin resistance in human subjects. A total of seventeen healthy subjects were randomised to either a probiotic (n 8) or a control (n 9) group. The probiotic group consumed a LcS-fermented milk drink twice daily for 4 weeks, whereas the control group received no supplementation. Subjects maintained their normal diet for the first 3 weeks of the study, after which they consumed a high-fat (65 % of energy), high-energy (50 % increase in energy intake) diet for 7 d. Whole-body insulin sensitivity was assessed by an oral glucose tolerance test conducted before and after overfeeding. Body mass increased by 0·6 (se 0·2) kg in the control group (P< 0·05) and by 0·3 (se 0·2) kg in the probiotic group (P>0·05). Fasting plasma glucose concentrations increased following 7 d of overeating (control group: 5·3 (se 0·1) v. 5·6 (se 0·2) mmol/l before and after overfeeding, respectively, P< 0·05), whereas fasting serum insulin concentrations were maintained in both groups. Glucose AUC values increased by 10 % (from 817 (se 45) to 899 (se 39) mmol/l per 120 min, P< 0·05) and whole-body insulin sensitivity decreased by 27 % (from 5·3 (se 1·4) to 3·9 (se 0·9), P< 0·05) in the control group, whereas normal insulin sensitivity was maintained in the probiotic group (4·4 (se 0·8) and 4·5 (se 0·9) before and after overeating, respectively (P>0·05). These results suggest that probiotic supplementation may be useful in the prevention of diet-induced metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes. © The Authors 2015. Source

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