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McNeill T.J.,Green Pool Commodity Specialists Pty Ltd | Shrapnel W.S.,Shrapnel Nutrition Consulting Pty Ltd
European Journal of Clinical Nutrition | Year: 2015

Background/Objectives:In Australia, the Australian Bureau of Statistics discontinued collection of apparent consumption data for refined sugars in 1998/1999. The objectives of this study were to update this data series to determine whether it is a reliable data series that reflects consumption of refined sugars, defined as sucrose in the forms of refined or raw sugar or liquified sugars manufactured for human consumption.Subjects/Methods:The study used the same methodology as that used by the Australian Bureau of Statistics to derive a refined sugars consumption estimate each year until the collection was discontinued. Sales by Australian refiners, refined sugars imports and the net balance of refined sugars contained in foods imported into, and exported from, Australia were used to calculate total refined sugars use for each year up to 2011. Per capita consumption figures were then derived.Results:During the period 1938-2011, apparent consumption of refined sugars in Australia fell 13.1% from 48.3 to 42.0 kg per head (R 2 =0.74). Between the 1950s and the 1970s, apparent consumption was relatively stable at about 50 kg per person. In the shorter period 1970-2011, refined sugars consumption fell 16.5% from 50.3 to 42.0 kg per head, though greater variability was evident (R 2 =0.53). An alternative data set showed greater volatility with no trend up or down.Conclusions:The limited variability of the extended apparent consumption series and its consistency with recent national dietary survey data and sugar-sweetened beverage sales data indicate that it is a reliable data set that reflects declining intake of refined sugars in Australia. © 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited.

Aim: It has been suggested that sugar intake may be linked to the risk for obesity and, although the mechanisms remain unclear, energy density and glycaemic index (GI) may be relevant. The aim of the present study was to investigate the relationships between sugar content, energy density and GI in Australian breakfast cereals. Methods: A systematic survey of all breakfast cereals available for sale in Sydney, Australia, was conducted. A dietitian purchased samples of every complying cereal available for sale in supermarkets in the Sydney area. Data on total sugars were drawn from Nutrition Information Panels, and GI data were obtained from the Glycemic Index Database and on-pack information. Cereals were grouped into 'all cereals' and 'ready-to-eat cereals'. Regression analyses were conducted to determine the relationships between total sugars and energy density and between total sugars and GI. Results: A total of 312 breakfast cereals were collected, of which 167 were ready-to-eat cereals. There was no relationship between sugar content and energy density in either group of cereals. GI information was available for 43 products, of which 32 were ready-to-eat cereals. There was no association between sugar content and GI in either cereal group. Conclusions: The sugar content of breakfast cereals is a poor indicator of energy density and GI. The continued focus on sugar in dietary guidelines and nutrition advice may need to be reconsidered, at least in relation to solid foods. © 2013 Dietitians Association of Australia.

Shrapnel B.,Shrapnel Nutrition Consulting Pty Ltd.
Nutrition and Dietetics | Year: 2010

Short-term studies suggest that dietary energy density may be an important factor for understanding and preventing obesity. This review reassesses this concept in the light of recent prospective cohort studies and randomised controlled trials.Methods: A computerised search was conducted of English language papers on Medline. Additional articles were identified by searching references in relevant papers.Results: Six long-term prospective cohort studies do not consistently support an association between dietary energy density and changes in body weight over time. The largest study finds no relation and the results of other studies are mixed. In three randomised controlled trials, advice to follow low energy density diets ad libitum induces modest, short-term weight loss but has minimal effect in the long term. Weight loss trials employing reduced energy, low energy density diets may be effective for losing body weight over 6 months, the degree of weight loss being comparable to that achieved with other reduced energy diets. The pattern of weight change observed in ad libitum feeding studies suggests adaption to a change in energy density with an increase in the weight of food consumed. This challenges the fundamental assumption of the energy density hypothesis that the weight of food consumed each day is a constant and instead suggests that the body tends to prioritise energy intake in the long term.Conclusions: Despite its intuitive appeal, dietary energy density appears to be of limited use for understanding obesity or preventing its development. © 2010 The Author. Nutrition & Dietetics © 2010 Dietitians Association of Australia.

Shrapnel B.,Shrapnel Nutrition Consulting Pty Ltd. | Noakes M.,CSIRO
Nutrition and Dietetics | Year: 2012

Aim: The aim of this study was to develop a model for conceptualising the nutritional quality of carbohydrate-rich foods, using nutrient density and glycaemic index. Methods: A nutrient density score based on six distinguishing nutrients was developed. Nutrient density scores and glycaemic indices for 95 carbohydrate-rich foods were plotted on two dimensional axes, arranged into four carbohydrate quality quadrants. The classifications of foods and groups of foods were then assessed against Australian and American dietary guidelines' recommendations. Results: The model showed considerable capacity to discriminate between the nutritional qualities of carbohydrate-rich foods. In general, the ranking of foods was consistent with dietary guidelines' recommendations with most core foods including dairy products, legumes, starchy vegetables, breads and breakfast cereals falling into the two highest quality categories. Non-core foods such as biscuits, donuts, pastries, sweets and soft drinks fell into the lowest quality category. There were two points of inconsistency between the model and the dietary guidelines, in relation to some fruits and cereals. Nutrient density scores for fruits varied widely. Many cereal foods, including rice and pasta, fell in the lower quality categories and were ranked similarly to biscuits and pastries. Total sugar content was a minor discriminator of nutritional quality using this model. Conclusions: Ranking the nutritional quality of carbohydrate-rich foods using this model suggests that dietary recommendations for cereal foods in dietary guidelines and food guides may need to be reconsidered. More emphasis may need to be placed on nutrient density and less on sugar content. © 2012 The Authors. Nutrition & Dietetics © 2012 Dietitians Association of Australia.

Shrapnel B.,Shrapnel Nutrition Consulting Pty Ltd
Nutrition and Dietetics | Year: 2012

Aim: The aim of this paper is to critically assess recent calls for increased regulation to lower the level of trans fats in the Australian diet. Methods: Key milestones in the elucidation of the effects on trans fats on health were identified and reviewed. Trends in intakes of trans fats in Australia and factors affecting those trends were described and compared with those in Denmark, which has regulated to lower population intake of trans fats. Results: The scientific evidence demonstrating adverse effects of trans fats on human health is consistent and strong. Australian health authorities were quick to identify the potential risk of trans fats and communicate it to health professionals and the food industry. The response from the margarine industry resulted in large falls in the trans fat content of the Australian diet in the mid-1990s. A second wave of trans fat reduction across many foods categories has occurred subsequently. Total intake of trans fats in Australia is now low, half the upper limit recommended by the World Health Organization and lower than the intake in Denmark. Trans fats of industrial origin comprise just one-eighth of 1% of dietary energy. These falls in trans fat intake mirror the large falls that occurred in Denmark prior to regulation. Conclusions: The case for increased regulation to lower intake of trans fats in Australia cannot be sustained. The trans fat issue stands as a good example of self-regulation through collaboration between Australian health agencies, the food industry and the government. © 2012 The Authors. Nutrition & Dietetics © 2012 Dietitians Association of Australia.

PubMed | Shrapnel Nutrition Consulting Pty Ltd.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Nutrients | Year: 2015

Adverse health consequences of consuming sugar-sweetened beverages are frequently cited as an example of market failure, justifying government intervention in the marketplace, usually in the form of taxation. However, declining sales of sugar-sweetened beverages in Australia and a corresponding increase in sales of drinks containing non-nutritive sweeteners, in the absence of significant government regulation, appear to reflect market forces at work. If so, the public health challenge in relation to sugar-sweetened beverages may have less to do with regulating the market and more to do with harnessing it. Contrary to assertions that consumers fail to appreciate the links between their choice of beverage and its health consequences, the health conscious consumer appears to be driving the changes taking place in the beverage market. With the capacity to meet consumer expectations for convenience and indulgence without unwanted kilojoules, drinks containing non-nutritive sweeteners enable the small change in health behaviour that individuals are willing to consider. Despite the low barriers involved in perpetuating the current trend of replacing sugar-sweetened beverages with drinks containing non-nutritive sweeteners, some public health advocates remain cautious about advocating this dietary change. In contrast, the barriers to taxation of sugar-sweetened beverages appear high.

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