A greener deal for ready meals

Ready meals are a popular choice in the UK, and it is estimated that almost 90% of us eat them. Many ready meals can be classified as ultra-processed foods, which often have multiple added ingredients such as sugar, salt, fat, artificial colours, or preservatives, and consumption of ready meals has been associated with an increased risk of obesity. However, the jury is still out on the nutritional quality of ready meals.

‘Everything is connected’

Professor Andrea Azcarate-Peril tells the marathon story of her journey from Argentina, via North Carolina, to becoming Editor-in-Chief of Gut Microbiome, an open access journal co-published by Cambridge University Press and The Nutrition Society

New study highlights how little we know about the vitamin D status of ethnic minorities in Ireland

The study provides the most up to date findings on vitamin D intake and factors affecting vitamin D status of adults in Ireland, and has been published in the British Journal of Nutrition. 

The health effects of alternative plant-based meats on inflammation

The Paper of the Month for February is 'Assessing the effects of alternative plant-based meats v. animal meats on biomarkers of inflammation: a secondary analysis of the SWAP-MEAT randomized crossover trial' and the blog is written by author Anthony Crimarco, Ph.D. and is published by the Journal of Nutritional Science and is free to access for one month.

Do you have any taste? Our genetic influences

A large proportion of food tastes are acquired. Certain food tastes however are actually influenced by our genes, or rather genetic mutations.

Excess body weight exacerbates the harmful effect of alcohol on cancer risk

Excess body weight and alcohol consumption are both modifiable risk factors for many adverse health outcomes, including cancer. Alcohol is classified as Group 1 carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), and alcohol consumption is associated with a higher incidence of seven cancer types. Excess body weight is also associated with at least 13 cancer types. Although these factors have been known to be linked with cancer for many years, very few studies have investigated the joint association between alcohol consumption and excess body weight with cancer risk.

Expanding the use of a revolutionary therapy in childhood wasting

The development of ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) and the advent of the community-based management of acute malnutrition (CMAM) model of care revolutionized the management of severe acute malnutrition in children living in low- and middle-income countries. In addition to improved recovery rates and decreased mortality rates, the CMAM model democratized care for children in remote settings by bringing care to the village and household level. This approach has been further expanded to include children with moderate acute malnutrition as well. Scaling up coverage of care and optimizing treatment protocols remain high on the global nutrition agenda.

Structural racism impacts African Americans’ ability to eat a healthy diet. What can we do as nutrition researchers and practitioners?

Nutrition researchers and public health practitioners have become increasingly focused on structural racism following protests against racial injustice in 2020 and the disparities in covid-19 mortality experienced by marginalized groups. Structural racism consists of overlapping systems of discrimination in society such as in policing, housing, and employment. These systems also affect marginalized groups’ ability to access healthful food. For example, African Americans are more likely to live in areas with higher densities of fast-food restaurants and may not have access to full-service grocery stores. Differences in financial resources may also impact their ability to pay for healthy food. Providing nutrition education alone can be insensitive in the face of these obstacles.