Overall Eating Patterns Are Most Important for Healthful Eating

Feb. 5, 2013 — The overall pattern of food that a person eats is more important to a healthy diet than focusing on single foods or individual nutrients, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in its newly updated position paper “Total Diet Approach to Healthy Eating.”


According to the position paper: “In contrast to the total diet approach, classification of specific foods as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ is overly simplistic and may foster unhealthy eating behaviors.” The Academy’s position paper stresses that moderation, portion size and exercise are the key concepts for balancing food and beverage intakes.

The position paper has been published in the February Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and can be found on the Academy’s website. It states: It is the position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that the total diet or overall pattern of food eaten is the most important focus of healthy eating. All foods can fit within this pattern, if consumed in moderation with appropriate portion size and combined with physical activity. The Academy strives to communicate healthy eating messages that emphasize a balance of food and beverages within energy needs, rather than any one food or meal.

The Academy’s position paper has been updated to reflect the most current nutrition guidance, such as the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the USDA’s MyPlate food guidance system; the White House’s Let’s Move! campaign to reduce childhood obesity and Healthy People 2020. Each of these public policies and dietary patterns supports the total diet approach.

According to the position paper, while studies including the Academy’s “Nutrition and You” national consumer survey show Americans are “conscious of the importance of healthy diets and physical activity,” most people do not meet the recommendations of the Dietary Guidelines. For example, large majorities do not eat fruit (68 percent) or vegetables (74 percent) more than twice a day, and a substantial number (36 percent) engage in no leisure-time physical activity.

In that environment, according to the Academy: “Labeling specific foods in an overly simplistic manner as ‘good foods’ and ‘bad foods’ is not only inconsistent with the total diet approach, but it may cause many people to abandon efforts to make dietary improvements.”

The position paper adds: “In 2011, 82 percent of U.S. adults cited not wanting to give up foods they like as a reason for not eating healthier. For these reasons, the concepts of moderation and proportionality are necessary components of a practical, action-oriented understanding of the total diet approach.”

The Academy’s position paper notes that the most recent Dietary Reference Intakes use a total diet approach because it allows for a broad range of foods to meet a person’s nutrition needs over time. Therefore, a person can make diet choices based on individual preferences, genetic background, personal health status and food availability.

The position paper was written by registered dietitians Jeanne Freeland-Graves, Bess Heflin Centennial Professor in the department of nutritional sciences at the University of Texas — Austin; and Susan Nitzke, professor emerita and extension specialist in nutritional sciences at the University of Wisconsin — Madison.

The Academy’s position paper contains advice and recommendations for health professionals as well as consumers. It explains how food and nutrition practitioners can use behavioral theories and models to develop effective nutrition communications; and how food and beverage choices are affected by multiple factors that influence people’s ability to make use of expert advice on healthy eating.

Updated sections of the position paper look at new indicators of nutrient quality, such as the Nutrient Rich Food Index, the European Union Nutrient Profiling System and the Overall Nutrient Quality Index. In addition, the Social Ecological model, used in the Dietary Guidelines, is incorporated into the Academy’s position as “a guide for understanding why we eat what we do.”

According to the Academy’s position paper: “Food and nutrition practitioners have a responsibility to communicate unbiased food and nutrition information that is culturally sensitive, scientifically accurate, medically appropriate and tailored to the needs and preferences of the target audience. Some health and nutrition professionals and many ‘pseudo-experts’ promote specific types of foods to choose or avoid. A more responsible and effective approach is to help consumers understand and apply the principles of healthy diet and lifestyle choices. Unless there are extenuating circumstances (severe cognitive or physical limitations), the total diet approach is preferred because it is more consistent with research on effective communication and inclusive of cultural/personal differences.”

Abstract: http://www.eatright.org/About/Content.aspx?id=8356


Story Source:

The above story is reprinted from materials provided byAcademy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Note: Materials may be edited for content and length. For further information, please contact the source cited above.


Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (2013, February 5). Overall eating patterns are most important for healthful eating. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 6, 2013, from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130205123008.htm

Could the Timing of When You Eat, Be Just as Important as What You Eat?

Jan. 29, 2013 — Most weight-loss plans center around a balance between caloric intake and energy expenditure. However, new research has shed light on a new factor that is necessary to shed pounds: timing. Researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), in collaboration with the University of Murcia and Tufts University, have found that it’s not simply what you eat, but also when you eat, that may help with weight-loss regulation.


 

The study will be published on January 29, 2013 in the International Journal of Obesity.

“This is the first large-scale prospective study to demonstrate that the timing of meals predicts weight-loss effectiveness,” said Frank Scheer, PhD, MSc, director of the Medical Chronobiology Program and associate neuroscientist at BWH, assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, and senior author on this study. “Our results indicate that late eaters displayed a slower weight-loss rate and lost significantly less weight than early eaters, suggesting that the timing of large meals could be an important factor in a weight loss program.”

To evaluate the role of food timing in weight-loss effectiveness, the researchers studied 420 overweight study participants who followed a 20-week weight-loss treatment program in Spain. The participants were divided into two groups: early-eaters and late-eaters, according to the self-selected timing of the main meal, which in this Mediterranean population was lunch. During this meal, 40 percent of the total daily calories are consumed. Early-eaters ate lunch anytime before 3 p.m. and late-eaters, after 3 p.m. They found that late-eaters lost significantly less weight than early-eaters, and displayed a much slower rate of weight-loss. Late-eaters also had a lower estimated insulin sensitivity, a risk factor for diabetes.

Researchers found that timing of the other (smaller) meals did not play a role in the success of weight loss. However, the late eaters — who lost less weight — also consumed fewer calories during breakfast and were more likely to skip breakfast altogether. Late-eaters also had a lower estimated insulin sensitivity, a risk factor for diabetes.

The researchers also examined other traditional factors that play a role in weight loss such as total calorie intake and expenditure, appetite hormones leptin and ghrelin, and sleep duration. Among these factors, researchers found no differences between both groups, suggesting that the timing of the meal was an important and independent factor in weight loss success.

“This study emphasizes that the timing of food intake itself may play a significant role in weight regulation” explains Marta Garaulet, PhD, professor of Physiology at the University of Murcia Spain, and lead author of the study. “Novel therapeutic strategies should incorporate not only the caloric intake and macronutrient distribution, as it is classically done, but also the timing of food.”


Story Source:

The above story is reprinted from materials provided byBrigham and Women’s Hospital, via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.

Note: Materials may be edited for content and length. For further information, please contact the source cited above.


Journal Reference:

  1. M Garaulet, P Gómez-Abellán, J J Alburquerque-Béjar, Y-C Lee, J M Ordovás, F A J L Scheer. Timing of food intake predicts weight loss effectivenessInternational Journal of Obesity, 2013; DOI: 10.1038/ijo.2012.229
Brigham and Women’s Hospital (2013, January 29). Could the timing of when you eat, be just as important as what you eat?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 30, 2013, from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130129080620.htm

How Does Fat Influence Flavor Perception?

ScienceDaily (July 19, 2012) — A joint study carried out by The University of Nottingham and the multinational food company Unilever has found for the first time that fat in food can reduce activity in several areas of the brain which are responsible for processing taste, aroma and reward.


The research, now available in the Springer journal Chemosensory Perception, provides the food industry with better understanding of how in the future it might be able to make healthier, less fatty food products without negatively affecting their overall taste and enjoyment. Unveiled in 2010, Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan sets out its ambition to help hundreds of millions of people improve their diet around the world within a decade.

This fascinating three-year study investigated how the brains of a group of participants in their 20s would respond to changes in the fat content of four different fruit emulsions they tasted while under an MRI scanner. All four samples were of the same thickness and sweetness, but one contained flavour with no fat, while the other three contained fat with different flavour release properties.

The research found that the areas of the participants’ brains which are responsible for the perception of flavour — such as the somatosensory cortices and the anterior, mid & posterior insula — were significantly more activated when the non-fatty sample was tested compared to the fatty emulsions despite having the same flavour perception. It is important to note that increased activation in these brain areas does not necessarily result in increased perception of flavour or reward.

Dr Joanne Hort, Associate Professor in Sensory Science at The University of Nottingham said: “This is the first brain study to assess the effect of fat on the processing of flavour perception and it raises questions as to why fat emulsions suppress the cortical response in brain areas linked to the processing of flavour and reward. It also remains to be determined what the implications of this suppressive effect are on feelings of hunger, satiety and reward.”

Unilever food scientist Johanneke Busch, based at the company’s Research & Development laboratories in Vlaardingen, Netherlands added: “There is more to people’s enjoyment of food than the product’s flavour — like its mouthfeel, its texture and whether it satisfies hunger, so this is a very important building block for us to better understand how to innovate and manufacture healthier food products which people want to buy.”

Nottingham University’s Sensory Science Centre, its Sir Peter Mansfield Magnetic Resonance Centre and the Nottingham Digestive Diseases Centre were all involved in the research.

The study was co-funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.

 

Link:

http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/news/pressreleases/2012/july/new-research-questions-how-fat-influences-flavour-perception.aspx

Journal Reference:

  1. Sally Eldeghaidy, Tracey Hollowood, Luca Marciani, Kay Head, Johanneke Busch, Andrew J. Taylor, Tim J. Foster, Robin C. Spiller, Penny A. Gowland, Sue Francis, Joanne Hort. Does Fat Alter the Cortical Response to Flavor? Chemosensory Perception, 2012; DOI: 10.1007/s12078-012-9130-z

Retreived:

University of Nottingham (2012, July 19). How does fat influence flavor perception?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 21, 2012, from http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2012/07/120719105034.htm

TV Habits Predict Kids’ Waist Size and Sporting Ability

ScienceDaily (July 16, 2012) — Each hour of TV watched by a two- to four-year- old contributes to his or her waist circumference by the end of grade 4 and his or her ability to perform in sports, according to a world-first study undertaken by researchers at the University of Montreal and its affiliated Saint-Justine Mother and Child University Hospital.


The findings were published July 16 by lead author Dr. Caroline Fitzpatrick and senior author Dr. Linda Pagani in BioMed Central’s open access journal the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. “We already knew that there is an association between preschool television exposure and the body fat of fourth grade children, but this is the first study to describe more precisely what that association represents,” Pagani explained. “Parents were asked about their child’s TV habits. Trained examiners took waist measurements and administered the standing long jump test to measure child muscular fitness. We found, for example that each weekly hour of TV at 29 months of age corresponds to a decrease of about a third of a centimeter in the distance a child is able to jump.”

In addition to providing an important indicator of health, in the form of muscular fitness, the standing long jump test also reveals an individual’s athletic ability, as sports such as football, skating, and basketball require the “explosive leg strength” measured by the test. “The pursuit of sports by children depends in part on their perceived athletic competence,” Fitzpatrick said. “Behavioural dispositions can become entrenched during childhood as it is a critical period for the development of habits and preferred activities. Accordingly, the ability to perform well during childhood may promote participation in sporting activities in adulthood.”

Along with their parents, 1314 children from the Quebec Longitudinal Study of Child Development database participated in this study. When the children were 2.5 to 4.5 years of age, their parents reported how many hours of television during the week and weekend they watched. The average was 8.8 hours per week at the onset of the study, a figure that increased on average by 6 hours over the next two years to reach 14,8 hours per week by the age of 4.5 year. Thus, 15% of the children participating in the study were already watching over 18 hours per week according to their parent’s reports at that time.

In terms of waist size, the researchers found that, at 4,5 years of age, the children’s waist size increased by slightly less than half a millimetre for every extra weekly hour of TV the child was watching on top of what they had been watching when he or she was 2.5. To put it another way, a child who watches 18 hours of television at 4.5 years of age will by the age of 10 have an extra 7.6 milllimetres of waist because of his or her habits.

The researchers stress that while further research should be undertaken to establish that television watching is directly causing the health issues they observed, the study that was just published should encourage authorities to develop policies that target the environmental factors associated with childhood obesity. “The bottom line is that watching too much television — beyond the recommended amounts — is not good,” Dr. Pagani said.

“Across the occidental world, there have been dramatic increases in unhealthy weight for both children and adults in recent decades. Our standard of living has also changed in favor of more easily prepared, calorie-dense foods and sedentary practices. Watching more television not only displaces other forms of educational and active leisurely pursuits but also places them at risk of learning inaccurate information about proper eating. These findings support clinical suspicions that more screen time in general contributes to the rise in excess weight in our population, thus providing essential clues for effective approaches to its eradication.” Children over the age of two should not watch more than two hours of television per day, according to the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

 

Journal Reference:

  1. Caroline Fitzpatrick, Linda S Pagani, Tracie A Barnett. Early childhood television viewing predicts explosive leg strength and waist circumference by middle childhood. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 2012; 9 (1): 87 DOI: 10.1186/1479-5868-9-87

 

Universite de Montreal (2012, July 16). TV habits predict kids’ waist size and sporting ability. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 17, 2012, from http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2012/07/120716090329.htm