A knowledge-attitude-practices (KAP) study was conducted along with a prevalence study of iodine deficiency disorders (IDD) between 1998-99 in the district of Bargarh, Orissa state, India. A total of 635 people were interviewed by a pretested structured questionnaire, adopting the probability proportional to size cluster sampling method. The aim was to assess the baseline information on the KAP of the people regarding IDD. Only 37% of the males and 29.3% of the females perceived goitre as a disease. Less than 5% of both sexes knew how goitre is caused. Only 16.4% used iodised salt regularly. The awareness and perception of IDD does not correspond with the time and effort we have spent in education of this disease. The implications of this poor knowledge about IDD and consequent poor use of iodised salt is contrasted to the optimistic target of elimination of IDD. This aspect is discussed in this paper, at a time when we are at the beginning of the new millennium.
The association between serum vitamin A concentration and growth was assessed in a random sample of 650 children aged 0-14 years and 143 adolescents aged 15-19 years from the four prefectures of Jiayuguan, Linxia, Lanzhou and Tianshui in Gansu Province, China. Serum vitamin A concentrations were measured using a high performance liquid chromatograph. Height and weight were measured with standard methods. The results show that serum vitamin A concentration appeared to be the lowest in the age group 5-9 years which was only 0.28 mg/mL (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.27-0.30) in males and 0.30 mg/mL (95% CI: 0.28-0.32) in females; and then it gradually increased with age. There was no statistically significant difference between males and females in any of the age groups. There were statistically significant correlations between vitamin A and weight (r = 0.37; P< 0.001) and body mass index (r = 0.26; P< 0.001). This study suggests that serum vitamin A concentrations in children and adolescents may affect child growth. Concerted efforts to improve vitamin A status from a very early age become increasingly important if vitamin A has a genuine impact on child growth.
The main substrates fuelling ion absorption in the mucosa of the small intestine and large intestine are respectively glutamine and short-chain fatty acids, . Measurements now reported showed that derivation of both glutamine and fibre for short-chain fatty acid production can be achieved from a single foodstuff - macerated groundnuts. Macerated groundnuts may be more suitable as an additive in oral rehydration solutions for promoting ion absorption than other agents that are low either in glutamine or fibre, such as rice water or resistant starch.
Interest in Mediterranean diet began 30 years ago, when Ancel Keys published the results of the famous Seven Countries Study. Since 1945, almost 1.3 million people have come to Australia from Mediterranean countries as new settlers. There are 18 countries with coasts on the Mediterranean sea: Spain, southern France, Italy, Malta, Croatia, Bosnia, Albania, Greece, Cyprus, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Libya, Malta, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco. This study from which this report derives aims to investigate the influence of the food habits of immigrants from Mediterranean countries on Australian food intake. Here we look at the 'traditional' food habits of the above Mediterranean countries as told by 102 people we interviewed in Sydney, who came from 18 Mediterranean countries to Sydney. Most of the informants were women, their age ranged from 35 to 55 years. The interview was open-ended and held in the informant's home. It usually lasted around 1½ hours. The interview had three parts. Personal information was obtained, questions relating to the food habits of these people back in their original Mediterranean countries and how their food intake and habits have changed in Australia were also asked. From the interviews, we have obtained a broad picture of 'traditional' food habits in different Mediterranean countries. The interview data was checked with books of recipes for the different countries. While there were similarities between the countries, there are also important differences in the food habits of the Mediterranean countries. Neighbouring countries' food habits are closer than those on opposite sides of the Mediterranean Sea. We suggest that these food habits can be put into four groups. The data here refer to food habits in Mediterranean countries 20 or 30 years ago, as they were recovering from the Second World War. There is no single ideal Mediterranean diet. Nutritionists who use the concept should qualify the individual country and the time in history of their model Mediterranean diet.
Diet has a strong relationship with food culture and changes in it are likely to be involved in the pathogenesis of newly emergent degenerative diseases. To obtain in-depth opinions about the food culture of Minangkabau people, focus group discussions were conducted in a Minangkabau region, represented by four villages in West Sumatra, Indonesia, from January to March 1999. The members of the discussion groups were principally women aged from 35 to 82 years old. Minangkabau culture is matriarchal and matrilineal which accounts for female gender dominants in the discussions. Rice, fish, coconut and chilli are the basic ingredients of the Minangkabau meals. Meat, especially beef and chicken, is mainly prepared for special occasions; pork is not halal and therefore not eaten by Muslim Minangkabau people; and for reasons of taste preference and availability, lamb, goat and wild game are rarely eaten. However, rendang, a popular meat dish, has been identified as one of the Minangkabau food culture characteristic dishes. Vegetables are consumed daily. Fruit is mainly seasonal, although certain kinds of fruit, such as banana, papaya and citrus, can be found all year around. Coconut has an important role in Minangkabau food culture and is the main source of dietary fat. While almost all food items consumed by the Minangkabau can be cooked with coconut milk, fried food with coconut oil is considered to be a daily basic food. Desiccated coconut is also used as a food ingredient on about a weekly basis and in snack foods almost every day. Although there have been no changes in food preparation and there is a slight difference in taste preference between the young and the old generations, there has been a dramatic shift in food preferences, which is reflected in the changing percentage of energy consumed over the past 15 years. The traditional combination of rice, fish and coconut in Minangkabau culture goes back hundreds of years, long before the emergence of the degenerative diseases of the newer economies, and is likely to offer food security and health protection to the Minangkabau for as long as the lifestyle remains traditional. Whether or not a recent increase in energy intake from fat and the quality of fat may contribute to the shift of disease pattern is fundamentally important for the Minangkabau, it seems unlikely the traditional use of coconut and its products was a health issue. Moreover, it was clear from the focus group discussions that the use of coconut encouraged the consumption of fish and vegetables.
The aim of this study was to assess the awareness of national health promotion messages in a group of self-selected New Zealanders. This study involved 104 self-selected New Zealanders (41 men and 63 women) over the age of 40. Awareness of national health promotion messages was assessed using a mailed out questionnaire, and 69 of these were returned. Basic anthropometric measurements were made (height, weight, hip and waist circumference) and habitual physical activity was defined using a questionnaire. Food intake was estimated by 24-h dietary recall. Overall, this group of people met the New Zealand national guidelines for exercise, physical activity and food intake. There was good awareness of the public health organisations in New Zealand, but only half the people that we sampled had a general idea about the content of the health messages of these organisations. This group of New Zealand adults had a healthy lifestyle that was not associated with a high awareness of public health messages, suggesting that other sources of health information are used.
The association between food variety and nutrient intake/health status among rural women was tested in two agro-ecological settings in Vietnam. Special emphasis was placed on the significance of wild vegetables 'Rau Dai' in micronutrient supply and on the usefulness of food variety analysis in determining their current role. Data from 7-day food frequency interviews and a nutrition/health survey with 93 and 103 rural women in the Mekong Delta and the Central Highlands, respectively, were used in the analysis. Energy and nutrient intakes in the groups with the highest food variety score (FVS) (high = 21) in the two regions were compared to those with the lowest food variety score (low = 15). The high FVS groups in both regions also had a more diversified diet in terms of food categories. With the exception of low iron and riboflavin intakes in all groups, the high FVS groups had relatively adequate diets. A large variety of vegetables was used and only approximately half of the vegetable species were cultivated. In both regions the high FVS groups used a significantly greater variety of vegetables than the low FVS groups. Wild vegetables contributed significantly to the overall micronutrient intakes, mostly carotene, vitamin C and calcium intakes, but only the contribution to carotene intake was significantly higher in the high FVS group. Overall, we conclude that a food variety analysis is a useful tool in capturing the dietary role of wild vegetables.
A cross-sectional analytical study was undertaken to describe the nutritional status and dietary intake of the elderly black population of Cape Town. A stratified proportional sample of 148 men and women aged 60 years and older (mean = 68.9 ± 5.7) was selected from informal and formal peri-urban settlements. The study population was predominantly urbanized, although most subjects had migrated from non-urban areas. Trained fieldworkers conducted a 24-h recall dietary assessment and performed anthropometrical measurements. Mean energy intakes fell below the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for both men and women; 27% and 36% of men and women, respectively, had energy intakes <67% RDA. Total fat intake was low and contributed 24-26% total energy. Mean dietary fibre intake was low at 11-16 g/day. Mean intakes fell below the RDA for vitamin D, calcium, zinc and vitamin B6. Less than two and a half servings per day were consumed from the vegetable and fruit group and less than one serving per day from the calcium-rich food group. Over half (51.3%) of the women and 18% of the male were obese (body mass index 30). We concluded that older black subjects in Cape Town have energy profiles in line with prudent dietary guidelines and more favorable than other elderly groups in the country, with regard to atherogenic risk. However, micronutrient and dietary fiber intake is inadequate, largely due to low reported energy intakes, particularly in women.
In Singapore, there exists differences in risk factors for coronary heart disease among the three main ethnic groups: Chinese, Malays and Indians. This study aimed to investigate if differences in dietary intakes of fat, types of fat, cholesterol, fruits, vegetables and grain foods could explain the differences in serum cholesterol levels between the ethnic groups. A total of 2408 adult subjects (61.0% Chinese, 21.4% Malays and 17.6% Indians) were selected systematically from the subjects who took part in the National Health Survey in 1998. The design of the study was based on a cross-sectional study. A food frequency questionnaire was used to assess intakes of energy, total fat, saturated fat, polyunsaturated fat, monounsaturated fat, cholesterol, fruits, vegetables and cereal-based foods. The Hegsted score was calculated. Serum total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein cholesterol, high density lipoprotein cholesterol were analysed and the ratio of total cholesterol to high density lipoprotein cholesterol was computed. The results showed that on a group level (six sex-ethnic groups), Hegsted score, dietary intakes of fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, vegetables and grain foods were found to be correlated to serum cholesterol levels. However, selected dietary factors did not explain the differences in serum cholesterol levels between ethnic groups when multivariate regression analysis was performed, with adjustment for age, body mass index, waist-hip ratio, cigarette smoking, occupation, education level and physical activity level. This cross-sectional study shows that while selected dietary factors are correlated to serum cholesterol at a group level, they do not explain the differences in serum cholesterol levels between ethnic groups independently of age, obesity, occupation, educational level and other lifestyle risk factors.
The effects of a liquid-formula diet supplement containing structured medium- and long-chain triacylglycerols (SMLCT) composed of medium- (10%) and long-chain (90%) fatty acids were compared with those of long-chain triacylglycerols (LCT) on bodyfat accumulation in 13 healthy male volunteers aged 18-20 years. The subjects were randomly assigned the SMLCT or LCT group. The subjects in each group received a liquid-formula diet supplement of the SMLCT or LCT, which provided 1040 kJ plus daily energy intake for 12 weeks. Mean energy intake containing liquid diet throughout the 12-week period did not differ between the SMLCT and LCT groups. Bodyweight of subjects in both groups increased slightly from the baseline throughout the 12-week period, but the differences were not significant. Rates of variation of bodyfat percentage were significantly lower in the SMLCT group than in the LCT group throughout the 12-week period. Comparisons between the SMLCT and LCT groups at baseline and 12 weeks showed no significant differences in any of the biochemical blood parameters. These results suggest that replacing LCT with SMLCT over long periods of time could produce bodyfat loss in the absence of reduced energy intake.
The main objective of this study was to assess the severity of iodine deficiency disorders (IDD) in the adult populations of the Baroda and Dang districts from Gujarat, western India using biochemical prevalence indicators of IDD. The other aim of this study was to establish a biochemical baseline for adequate iodine intake as a result of program evolution in the face of multiple confounding factors, like malnutrition and goitrogens responsible for goiter. A total of 959 adults (16-85 years) were studied from two districts (Baroda and Dang) and data was collected on dietary habits, anthropometric and biochemical parameters such as height, weight, urinary iodine (UI) and blood thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). Drinking water and cooking salt were analyzed for iodine content. All subjects, irrespective of sex and district, showed median UI = 73 g/L and mean blood TSH ± SD = 1.59 ± 2.4 mU/L. Seven per cent of the studied population had blood TSH values > 5 mU/L. Females in Baroda and males from Dang district were more affected by iodine deficiency as shown by a lower median UI. Mean TSH was significantly higher in women from both districts as compared to men (P = 0.001). The blood spots TSH values > 5 mU/L were seen in 20% of women from Dang. The normative accepted WHO values for UI and TSH for the severity of IDD as a significant health problem are not available for target population of adults. Urinary iodine normative limits and cut-offs are established for school-aged children. Blood spot TSH upper limit and cut-off values are available for neonate populations. The IDD has not been eliminated so far, as more than 20% of both male and female subjects had UI < 50 g/L. Males were more malnourished than females in both districts (P< 0.05). Pearl millet from Baroda contained flavonoids like apigenin, vitexin and glycosyl-vitexin. Dang district water lacked in iodine content. Iodine deficiency disorder is a public health problem in Gujarat, with the Baroda district a new pocket of IDD. High amounts of dietary flavonoids in Baroda and Dang, malnutrition and an additional lack of iodine in Dang water account for IDD.