Benchmarking has been adopted by educational institutions as a potentially sensitive tool for improving learning and teaching. To date there has been limited application of benchmarking methodology in the Discipline of Nutritional Science. The aim of this survey was to define core elements and outstanding practice in Nutritional Science through collaborative benchmarking. Questionnaires that aimed to establish proposed core elements for Nutritional Science, and inquired about definitions of "good" and "outstanding" practice were posted to named representatives at eight Australian universities. Seven respondents identified core elements that included knowledge of nutrient metabolism and requirement, food production and processing, modern biomedical techniques that could be applied to understanding nutrition, and social and environmental issues as related to Nutritional Science. Four of the eight institutions who agreed to participate in the present survey identified the integration of teaching with research as an indicator of outstanding practice. Nutritional Science is a rapidly evolving discipline. Further and more comprehensive surveys are required to consolidate and update the definition of the discipline, and to identify the optimal way of teaching it. Global ideas and specific regional requirements also need to be considered.
This study examined the trends in snacking behaviours and eating food-prepared-outside- the-home (FPOH) by Chinese children and adolescents using data from the China Health and Nutrition Survey. The sample consisted of 3223 subjects aged 6-18 in 1991 and 2836 in 1997. Three days of 24hr recall dietary data and per capita income (deflated to 1989) was used. The percentage of Chinese children having snacking behaviours was significantly differentiated according to the income level while percentage of eating FPOH increased in middle and high income groups. Snacking contributed about 8% of the energy intake (EI) for snackers, compared with over 15% from FPOH for those who ate FPOH. Fruit was a major component of snacking: snacks based on fruit intake almost doubled over the study period as did snacks based on soft drink consumption. Animal source food consumption was a key component of FPOH and its intake also increased.
The present cross-sectional study was designed to evaluate the vitamin D status in three groups of women in Bangladesh by using serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (S-25-OHD), alkaline phosphatase (S-ALP), calcium (S-Ca) and phosphate (S-P). Sampling was undertaken at three locations in the city of Dhaka, Bangladesh. Repre-sentative subjects of three groups of women aged 18-60 years were studied. Study subjects included nonveiled young women = group A (N = 36, mean ± SD age 22.3 ± 1.9 years), veiled women = group B (N = 30, mean ± SD age 47.7 ± 9.4 years) and nonveiled diabetic women = group C (N = 55, mean ± SD age 50.2 ± 5.9 years). The mean value of S-25-OHD was not significantly different in the groups. The distribution of S-25-OHD concentration in all groups was shifted overall toward the lower limit of the normal range. Vitamin D deficiency (serum 25-OHD level <25 nmol/l) was detected in 39% of young women (university students), 30% in veiled women and 38% in diabetic women, respectively. Vitamin D insufficiency defined as serum 25-OHD concentration <40 nmol/l was detected in 78% of group A, 83% in group B and 76% in group C, respectively. As indicated, prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency was a bit higher in group B compared with the other groups studied although it was not statistically significant (P >0.05). In the present study, there were several independent predictors of serum 25-OHD, i.e. both increasing parity (r = 0.286; P <0.005) and increasing time spent outdoors (r = 0.515; P <0.001) were associated with significant increase in serum 25-OHD. A strongly significant inverse correlation between serum ALP and 25-OHD (r = - 0.303; P <0.001) was observed. The results showed that women in Bangladesh, regardless of different age-groups, lifestyle and clothing, were at risk of developing hypovitaminosis D. The results emphasize the appropriate health message for vitamin D needs in Bangladeshi women, since vitamin D insufficiency significantly affects bone integrity.
Clinical trials investigating the effects of soy food intake require high compliance with a dietary protocol. Measuring soy isoflavonoids in bodily fluids is the most objective method currently available in determining compliance to a soy diet. In the present study, we investigated how frequently the urinary isoflavonoid excretion rate (UIER) should be analyzed to provide a reasonably accurate measurement of dietary compliance without being a burden on the participants. Nineteen premenopausal women who were on a daily soy diet protocol collected first-morning urine samples over one menstrual cycle. Spearman rank order correlation coefficients (r) between the UIERs of total isoflavonoids for a single day, for a week, and for all weeks combined with the monthly UIER were high for all samples (single day: r = 0.89; Week 1: r = 0.89; Week 2: r = 0.85; Week 3: r = 0.75; all weeks combined UIER: r = 0.94) and remained high after stratification by ethnicity, body mass index, and equol-excretor status. According to these results, the analysis of UIERs from a single or weekly first-morning sample provides a highly accurate and more feasible method of determining dietary compliance among women with regular soy consumption than that from urine samples collected every morning during one month.
Three hundred and five Nigerian elderly from the Yoruba tribe of both rural and urban areas in the south Western zone of Nigeria were studied. The objective was to assess their nutritional status and identify indicators of nutritional vulnerability. Using a structured household questionnaire, anthropometric measurement and checklist of nutritional vulnerability, nutritional status was assessed and classified into various levels of vulnerability. The demographic characteristics showed that half of the population studied were between 60-69 years, 53% male, 61% married and 58% had no formal education. Based on Body Mass Index (BMI), more than half of the respondents had an acceptable nutritional status with a BMI between 18-25 (63% male; 58% female) whilst 15% of the males and 14% of the females were underweight with BMIs below 18 and 3% of the males had severe malnutrition (BMI below 15). According to the nutritional vulnerability checklist, only 10% of the males and 4% of the females were not nutritionally vulnerable. The majority were either moderately vulnerable or (50% male; 50% female) or highly vulnerable (39% male and 46% female). Stepwise regression analysis identified ten factors contributing to nutritional vulnerability in the elderly: environmental health; food intale, food security; family life; psychological situation; functional capacity; health status; economic situation; alcoholism; and bereave-ment, with the coefficient of multiple determination of 0.94 at P<0.05 (R=0.94 P<0.05). In conclusion, under nutrition was common among the Yoruba elders and women were more vulnerable than men.
The aim of this study was to investigate the uric acid status and its correlates in relation to selected cardiovascular risk factors in a cross-sectional study in Hangzhou, China. In this cross-sectional study, 186 male (56 ± 14 yrs) and 85 female (55 ± 11 yrs) free-living subjects were recruited from the Hangzhou metropolitan area, China. Their physiological parameters were measured. Each subject gave fasting blood, urine and faeces samples, from which serum uric acid and other parameters of biochemistry and haematology were measured by standard methods. Serum uric concentration was 329 69 mol/L for male and 237 53 mol/L for female (P <0.0001). Compared with female subjects, males had significantly higher BMI (P = 0.0215), serum triacylglycerol (TAG) (P = 0.0012) and creatinine (P <0.0001), and significantly lower total cholesterol (TC) (P = 0.0013) and HDL-C (P <0.0001). In the partial correlation analysis, after controlling for sex, age and BMI, serum uric acid was significantly positively correlated with serum concentrations of TC (r = 0.205, P = 0.001), LDL-C (r = 0.229, P <0.001), TAG (r=0.172, P = 0.008) and creatinine (r=0.330, P < 0.001). The results from the present study indicated that prevalence rates of hyperuricaemia are lower in Hangzhou than in Beijing; increased serum uric acid concentration was associated with a cluster of cardio-vascular risk factors for the Hangzhou urban population.
In the current study, we screened 7 clonal lines from single seed phenotypes of Lamiaceae family for the inhibition of a-amylase, a-glucosidase and angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitory activity. Water extracts of oregano had the highest a-glucosidase inhibition activity (93.7%), followed by chocolate mint (85.9%) and lemon balm (83.9%). Sage (78.4%), and three different clonal lines of rosemary: rosemary LA (71.4 %), rosemary 6 (68.4%) and rosemary K-2 (67.8%) also showed significant a-glucosidase inhibitory activity. The a-glucosidase inhibitory activity of the extracts was compared to selected specific phenolics detected in the extracts using HPLC. Catechin had the highest a-glucosidase inhibitiory activity (99.6%) followed by caffeic acid (91.3%), rosmarinic acid (85.1%) and resveratrol (71.1%). Catechol (64.4%), protocatechuic acid (55.7%) and quercetin (36.9%) also exhibited significant a-glucosidase inhibitory activity. Results suggested that a-glucosidase inhibitory activity of the clonal extracts correlated to the phenolic content, antioxidant activity and phenolic profile of the extracts. The clonal extracts of the herbs and standard phenolics tested in this study did not have any effect on the a-amylase activity. We also investigated the ability of the clonal extracts to inhibit rabbit lung angiotensin I-converting enzyme (ACE). The water extracts of rosemary, rosemary LA had the highest ACE inhibitory activity (90.5%), followed by lemon balm (81.9%) and oregano (37.4%). Lower levels of ACE inhibition were observed with ethanol extracts of oregano (18.5%) and lemon balm (0.5%). Among the standard phenolics only resveratrol (24.1%), hydroxybenzoic acid (19.3%) and coumaric acid (2.3%) had ACE inhibitory activity.
Antioxidant compounds are abundantly available in plants and play an important role in scavenging free ra-dicals, thus providing protection to humans against oxidative DNA damage. Mentha spicata Linn., commonly called spearmint, belongs to the family lamiaceae. It was selected in the present study because Mentha extracts have antioxidant properties due to the presence of eugenol, caffeic acid, rosmarinic acid and a-tocopherol. Four solvent fractions (hexane, chloroform, ethyl acetate and water) of ethanolic extract of dried leaves powder of M. spicata were analyzed for total antioxidant activity (TAA) and relative antioxidant activity (RAA) and compared with standard antioxidants such as Quercetin, -carotene, L-ascorbic acid and glutathione using ABTS.+ decolorization assay (ABTS / Potassium persulphate). The antioxidant activity was assumed to be from the total phenolic content of the ethanolic extract. Total phenolics are found to be highest in ethyl acetate fraction (54 mg/g) and least in hexane fraction (13 mg/g) and more or less similar in water and chloroform fractions (30-32 mg/g). TAA is found to be less in hexane and chloroform fractions (<53 % at 50 g/ml) and highest in ethyl acetate (95% at 20 g/ml) and water (84% at 30 g / ml) fractions. The RAA of ethyl acetate fraction is 1.1 compared to quercetin (at 5 M/ml), but greater when compared to -carotene (15 M/ml), L-ascorbic acid (15 M/ml) and glutathione (15 M/ml). The RAAs with these antioxidants are in the range of 1.31 - 1.6. The values of RAAs for water fraction also show similar trend and are in the range of 1.0 - 1.4. The antioxidant activities of the solvent factions are closely related to the content of total phenolics present in them.
Australia and New Zealand are currently reviewing the regulations governing nutrition function, health and related claims on foods. Health claims currently are not permitted on food labels, with one exception. The aim of this study was to describe the use of such claims on packaged food for sale in Australia (excluding nutrient content claims) prior to any changes to the regulations, and measure compliance with existing regulations. A survey was conducted of the labelling of 7850 products (including multiple pack sizes of individual foods) in 47 different food categories on sale in New South Wales in 2003. A total of 2098 nutrition function, health or related claims and 12 therapeutic claims were recorded. Fourteen percent of products carried some sort of claim. If nutrient function and general health maintenance claims are excluded, 8.1% of products carried a health or related claim. Using the claims categorisation proposed by Food Standards Australia New Zealand for a new standard on claims, general-level claims were found on 9.8% of products and high-level and therapeutic claims (illegal at the time) on 1.2%. The food categories with the highest proportion of products carrying claims were sports drinks (92%), energy drinks (84%), sports bars (57%) and breakfast cereals (54%). 118 high-level and therapeutic claims did not conform to current food standards and there were many general-level claims for ingredient benefits that were unlikely to be able to be scientifically substantiated. The results of this survey suggest that more than 5% of claims were not complying with the current regulations and that the standards were not being fully enforced. To be effective, the new standard will need to be accompanied by clear guidelines for manufacturers on requirements for substantiating claims. Comprehensive education and enforcement frameworks also will be needed, to reduce the number of illegal or apparently unsubstantiated claims.
The influence of feeding systems on the levels of functional lipids and other fatty acid concentrations in Australian beef was examined. Rump, strip loin and blade cuts obtained from grass feeding, short-term grain feeding (80 days; STGF) and long-term grain feedlot rations (150-200 days; LTFL) were used in the present study. The typical Australian feedlot ration contains more than 50% barley and/or sorghum and balanced with whole cottonseed and protein meals were used as feed for STGF and LTFL regimens. Meat cuts from 18 cattle for each feeding regimen were trimmed of visible fat and connective tissue and then minced (300 g lean beef); replicate samples of 7g were used for fatty acid (FA) analysis. There was a significantly higher level of total omega-3 (n-3) and long chain n-3 FA in grass-fed beef (P <0.0001) than the grain-fed groups regardless of cut types. Cuts from STGF beef had significantly reduced levels of n-3 FA and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and similar levels of saturated, monounsaturated and n-6 FA compared with grass feeding (P <0.001). Cuts from LTFL beef had higher levels of saturated, monounsaturated, n-6 FA and trans 18:1 than similar cuts from the other two groups (P <0.01), indicating that increased length of grain feeding was associated with more fat deposited in the carcass. There was a step-wise increase in trans 18:1 content from grass to STGF to LTGF, suggesting grain feeding elevates trans FA in beef, probably because of increased intake of 18:2n-6. Only grass-fed beef reached the target of more than 30mg of long chain n-3 FA/100 g muscle as recommended by Food Standard Australia and New Zealand for a food to be considered a source of omega- 3 fatty acids. The proportions of trans 18:1 and n-6 FA were higher (P<0.001) for both grain-fed beef groups than grass-fed beef. Data from the present study show that grain feeding decreases functional lipid components (long chain n-3 FA and CLA) in Australian beef regardless of meat cuts, while increasing total trans 18:1 and saturated FA levels.
The use of dietary supplements has increased over the past 10 years, with up to 50% of adults being reported to have taken dietary supplements. The types of supplements taken are often related to physical morbidities. However, information about their use in combination with prescription drugs is lacking. In particular, there is little information on the use of supplements by people with depression. Our aim was to examine the use of dietary supplements by people being treated for depression. Seventy-two participants who were being treated for depression in the community were recruited for a clinical trial to determine the effect of fish oil on mood in the treatment of depression. The results of the primary analysis are reported elsewhere. Exclusion criteria included any co-existing psychiatric disorder (except anxiety disorders), blood clotting disorders, unstable medical conditions, and those taking fish oil supplements. Demographic information, details about the participants' depression and current therapies, use of dietary and herbal supplements in the previous 12 months, and physical activity data were collected at baseline. Characteristics of supplement users were compared with those of non-users using either chi-square or Mann-Whitney U tests. Forty-five (63%) of 72 participants who provided dietary supplement information had taken at least one dietary supplement within the previous 12 months. On average, supplement users were found to have taken 2.8 (SD=1.56) dietary supplements during the assessment period. Women were more likely to be taking supplements than men (P<0.001). In conclusion, the use of dietary supplements is common among people being treated for depression. This has important implications for clinical practice as little is known about supplement-drug interactions.
In the present study, we examined how well adolescents (12-13 years) are able to select the correct dietary aid portion sizes after having been shown different food items. We also evaluated the effectiveness of two-dimensional life-size drawings and three-dimensional food models, used as dietary aids in this process. Fifty black children and 42 white children from Johannesburg participated in the study (N =92). Trained interviewers individually tested each child following a prescribed sequence, throughout. Each participant was shown a plate of actual food of a pre-determined weight. The participant was required to select a two-dimensional drawing, and thereafter a three-dimensional food model, which most closely resembled the real food portion. In this manner, portion size estimation was evaluated with respect to 11 different food items. Correlations between nutrients calculated from actual weight of food portions and estimates ranged from 0.842 to 0.994 (P<0.0001), indicating a significant positive linear association between the actual and estimated nutrients, using either of the dietary aids. However, findings also suggest that the drawings provided a better estimate of actual energy, fat and carbohydrates than did the food models (with respect to lying within? the limits of agreement). On the other hand, the food models were more frequently selected correctly than the drawings. Hence, both methods had advantages and disadvantages. Overall, it was found that there were no gender differences (P < 0.05) when using either the models or drawings to estimate portion size, however, there were significant ethnic differences (P < 0.05). With two exceptions, black children selected the correct aids (drawings and models), more often compared with white children. It is recommended that in dietary interviews undertaken in black children in urban areas one could use either aid; while in white adolescents the use of the food models is recommended.
Dietary diversification has been identified as a sustainable intervention method in developing countries where subclinical vitamin A deficiency exists. Nutrition education is central to all methods of nutrition intervention including dietary diversification. The paucity of available data currently limits the effective use of nutrition education in national programs in Sri Lanka. We assessed the effect of nutrition education on nutrition related knowledge, food consumption patterns and serum retinol concentrations among 229 adolescent school girls, aged between 15-19 years. Knowledge on nutrition, food consumption patterns and serum retinol concen-tration was assessed at baseline. Intervention included nutrition education as lecture discussions, interactive group discussions and four different methods of reinforcement. Knowledge, food consumption patterns and serum retinol concentrations were reassessed after a ten week period of intervention. Educational intervention resulted in a significant increase in knowledge (P<0.001) and consumption of local vitamin A rich foods. The percentage of subjects with low serum retinol concentrations (<20µg/dL) decreased from 17% to 4.8%. The effect of nutrition education on serum retinol concentration was highly significant (P<0.001) in subjects with baseline serum retinol concentrations below 20µg/L. Nutrition education was effective in improving knowledge and food consumption patterns among these girls. Effectiveness was of biological significance, as a positive change in serum retinol concentration was observed in subjects with initially low concentrations, and not in subjects with initially normal serum concentrations.
Extensive data from animal and human studies indicate that iron deficiency impairs thyroid metabolism. The aim of this study was to determine thyroid hormone status in iron-deficient adolescent girls. By stepwise random sampling from among all public high schools for girls in Lar and its vicinity in southern Iran, 103 out of 431 iron deficient subjects were selected. Urine and serum samples were collected and assayed for urinary iodine and serum ferritin, iron, total iron binding capacity (TIBC), thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), thyroxine (T4), triiodothyronine (T3), free thyroid hormones (fT4 and fT3), triiodothyronine resin uptake (T3RU), reverse triiodothyronine (rT3), selenium and albumin concentrations. Hematological indices for iron status confirmed that all subjects were iron-deficient. There was a significant correlation between T4 and ferritin (r= 0.52, P<0.001) and between TSH and ferritin (r=-0.3, P<0.05). Subjects with low serum ferritin had a higher ratio of T3/T4 (r= -0.42, P<0.01). Using stepwise regression analysis, only ferritin contributed significantly to the rT3 concentration (r=-0.35, P<0.01). The results indicate that the degree of iron deficiency may affect thyroid hormone status in iron-deficient adolescent girls.
In order to determine the prevalence of micronutrient deficiencies (iron, zinc and folate) in Sri Lankan adolescent school children and the extent to which multiple micronutrient deficiencies exist in this population, a cross-sectional survey (2003) in the Galle district of the micronutrient and anthropometric status of 945 school children of ages 12 - 16 years was performed. The prevalence of anemia (Hb <120.0 g/L) was 49.5% in males and 58.1% in females (overall 54.8%, gender difference, P=0.004). In anemic children 30.2% of males and 47.8% of females were iron deficient (serum ferritin <30.0 µg/L). Folate deficiency (<6.80 nmol/L) was found in 54.6% and 52.5% of boys and girls respectively whereas zinc deficiency (<9.95 µmol/L) occurred in 51.5% and 58.3%. Anemic boys had a 1.5 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.9-2.6) and 1.6-fold (CI; 1.1-2.6) greater risk of being stunted and underweight, whereas the risk among anemic girls was 1.7 (CI; 1.1-2.7) and 1.0 (CI; 0.7-1.5) for being stunted and underweight. The relative risks of having at least two deficiencies in iron, zinc and folate among anemic children were 1.6 (CI; 0.6- 4.2) among boys and 0.8 (CI; 0.5- 1.5) among girls. Iron deficient subjects had a significantly increased risk of 1.8 (CI, 1.1-3.0) of being deficient in folate and 1.7 (CI, 1.2-2.6) of being deficient in zinc. Zinc deficient subjects had a risk of 1.3 (CI, 1.0-1.8) being iron deficient and 1.2 (CI, 0.9-1.7) of being folate deficient. Multiple micronutrient deficiencies are prevalent in Sri Lankan adolescents.
Tribal population constitutes about 8% of the total population in India. They are particularly vulnerable to undernutrition, because of their geographical isolation, socio-economic disadvantage and inadequate health facilities. Recognizing the problem, Government of India launched different programmes for their welfare. Adolescence is a significant period of growth and maturation. The nutritional status of adolescent girls, the future mothers, contributes significantly to the nutritional status of the community. Therefore an attempt was made to assess the diet and nutritional status of adolescent population from the different tribal areas of India. The available database collected by National Nutrition Monitoring Bureau (1998-99) was utilized for this purpose. Data on a total of 12,789 adolescents (10-17 yrs) was included for the analysis. Four percent of the adolescent girls were married and less than 1% were either pregnant (0.4%) or lactating (0.7%) at the time of the survey. The mean intake of all the foodstuffs, especially the income elastic foods such as Pulses, Milk & Milk products, Oils & fats and Sugar & Jaggery were lower than the recommended levels of ICMR. The intake of all the foodstuffs except green leafy vegetables was lower than that of their rural counterparts. The intake of all the nutrients were below the recommended level, while that of micronutrients such as iron, vitamin A and riboflavin were grossly inadequate in all the age and sex groups. About 63% of adolescent boys and 42% of girls were undernourished (<5th BMI age percentiles of NHANES). A significant association between undernutrition and socio-economic parameters like type of family, size of land holding and occupation of head of household was observed. Therefore, there is a need to evolve comprehensive programmes for the overall development of tribal population with special focus on adolescents.