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For most of human history few people got to be old. Older persons are not as well pepared to face stresses as younger persons because of evolutionary factors. So, it is necessary for older persons to consider the effects of their lifestyle choices on their ability to age successfully. Awareness of these factors is important for our appreciation of the impact which our activities have on our aging. For most of the past 100,000 years of human history we were living in a different environment than the one we have today. The genes we have now were chosen through natural selection because they enhanced the survival of our ancestors who were living in these different environments. This view provides valuable insights into the role environmental factors have in determining maintenance of function with aging. This chapter presents the vital perspective that what we do affects the accomplishment of our goals for aging. These goals must go beyond survival and avoidance of disease and also strive for maintenance of the highest level of fitness and resistance to loss of function (reserve capacities) so that we can resist the declines with aging, as well as the challenges which inevitably occur.
Women over 40 who are hoping to conceive or pregnant should optimize their lifestyle as quickly as possible to improve their fecundity and chance of having a healthy baby. There is a paucity of data regarding lifestyle factors and fertility and pregnancy. Women should be informed of the areas in which there is extensive evidence such as the need for preconception folic acid and optimizing BMI and be counselled on the matters that are less clear cut for instance physical activity. A Mediterranean diet has been shown to improve fecundity in women who had previously had difficulty conceiving. Women should be counselled on taking folic acid whilst trying to conceive, and vitamin D if they are found to be deplete. All women undergoing fertility treatment should not smoke and should be educated about possible risks of alcohol and caffeine consumption. The importance of sleep and stress reduction should be recognized and women over 40 planning to undergo fertility treatments should manage these as best as possible.
Unhealthy dietary habits can contribute to the development of colorectal cancer (CRC). Such habits may also be associated with post-treatment symptoms experienced by CRC survivors. Therefore, we aimed to assess longitudinal associations of post-treatment unhealthy dietary habits, i.e., intake of ultra-processed foods (UPF), red and processed meat, alcohol, and sugar-sweetened drinks, with health-related quality of life (HRQoL), fatigue and chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) in CRC survivors from 6 weeks up to 24 months post-treatment. In a prospective cohort among stage I-III CRC survivors (n=396), five repeated home visits from diagnosis up to 24 months post-treatment were executed. Dietary intake was measured by 7-day dietary records to quantify consumption of UPF, red and processed meat, alcohol, and sugar-sweetened drinks. HRQoL, fatigue and CIPN were measured by validated questionnaires. We applied confounder-adjusted linear mixed-models to analyse longitudinal associations from 6 weeks until 24 months post-treatment. We applied a post-hoc time-lag analysis for alcohol to explore the directionality. Results showed that higher post-treatment intake of UPF, and sugar-sweetened drinks were longitudinally associated with worsened HRQoL and more fatigue, while higher intake of UPF and processed meat was associated with increased CIPN symptoms. In contrast, post-treatment increases in alcohol intake were longitudinally associated with better HRQoL and less fatigue, however time-lag analysis attenuated these associations. In conclusion, unhealthy dietary habits are longitudinally associated with lower HRQoL and more symptoms, except for alcohol. Results from time-lag analysis suggest no biological effect of alcohol, hence the longitudinal association for alcohol should be interpreted with caution.
Police officers are at high-risk of developing obesity and cardiometabolic health conditions. Their job presents challenges that contribute to this, predominantly shift work, which causes circadian misalignment and can impair metabolism. Food consumption plays a critical role in the synchronisation of the circadian system. Thus, the aim of this study was to understand the barriers and the impact that different shift types have on the dietary habits of police officers in the UK. A concurrent mixed methods design was used through an online survey that was open to all police officers who were currently working shifts in the UK. 127 police officers were included in the analysis. Diet quality was significantly worse on all shift types than on rest days (p < 0.001) and was negatively correlated with BMI on all shifts: early-shift = -0.29, p = 0.001], late-shift [rs(105) = - 0.25, p = 0.009], nightshift [rs(104) = -0.24, p = 0.013] and rest-days [rs(117) = -0.31, p = 0.001]. Participants reported that shift work had altered their frequency and timing of food consumption and had increased their reliance on convenience and poor-quality food. Barriers to healthy eating included lacking time (87%), motivation (65%) and cost (48%). Convenience was ranked the highest influence on food choice (49%), followed by price (41.5%). Police officers are faced with unavoidable challenges when it comes to eating healthily. Future police-specific dietary interventions are required, providing practical solutions to these barriers so that behaviour change is more likely to be implemented.
The World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research (WCRF/AICR) published evidence-based recommendations for cancer prevention focusing on body weight, physical activity, and diet. Our aim is to evaluate whether adherence to the WCRF/AICR recommendations could reduce endometrial cancer risk. We used data from a multicentric, Italian hospital-based case–control study (1992–2006) including 454 endometrial cancer cases and 908 age-matched controls. Adherence to the WCRF/AICR recommendations was measured using a score (range: 0–7) based on seven components: body mass index (BMI), physical activity and five dietary items; higher scores indicated higher adherence. Odds ratios (OR) were estimated by multiple (adjusted) conditional logistic regression models including terms for major confounders and energy intake. Adherence to the WCRF/AICR recommendations was inversely related to endometrial cancer risk (OR = 0·42, 95 % confidence interval (CI) 0·30, 0·61 for the highest compared with the lowest score quartile), with a significant trend of decreasing risk with increasing adherence. An inverse association was also observed for a score including only dietary recommendations (OR = 0·67, 95 % CI 0·46, 0·96 for the highest compared with the lowest score tertile). In stratified analyses, the association was stronger among women with a normal weight, those who were older, and consequently those in post-menopause, and those with ≥ 2 children. In conclusion, high adherence to the WCRF/AICR recommendations has a favourable role in endometrial cancer risk, which is not fully explained by body weight.
Some consider potatoes to be unhealthy vegetables that may contribute to adverse cardiometabolic health outcomes. We evaluated the association between potato consumption (including fried and non-fried types) and three key cardiometabolic outcomes among middle-aged and older adults in the Framingham Offspring Study. We included 2523 subjects ≥30 years of age with available dietary data from 3-d food records. Cox-proportional hazards models were used to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) and 95 % confidence intervals (CIs) for hypertension, type 2 diabetes or impaired fasting glucose (T2DM/IFG), and elevated triglycerides, adjusting for anthropometric, demographic and lifestyle factors. In the present study, 36 % of potatoes consumed were baked, 28 % fried, 14 % mashed, 9 % boiled and the rest cooked in other ways. Overall, higher total potato intake (≥4 v. <1 cup-equivalents/week) was not associated with risks of T2DM/IFG (HR 0⋅97, 95 % CI 0⋅81, 1⋅15), hypertension (HR 0⋅95; 95 % CI 0⋅80, 1⋅12) or elevated triglycerides (HR 0⋅99, 95 % CI 0⋅86, 1⋅13). Stratified analyses were used to evaluate effect modification by physical activity levels and red meat consumption, and in those analyses, there were no adverse effects of potato intake. However, when combined with higher levels of physical activity, greater consumption of fried potatoes was associated with a 24 % lower risk (95 % CI 0⋅60, 0⋅96) of T2DM/IFG, and in combination with lower red meat consumption, higher fried potato intake was associated with a 26 % lower risk (95 % CI 0⋅56, 0⋅99) of elevated triglycerides. In this prospective cohort, there was no adverse association between fried or non-fried potato consumption and risks of T2DM/IFG, hypertension or elevated triglycerides.
Depression as a public health concern highlights the importance of prevention. The nature of the disease is complex, linked to numerous biopsychosocial factors. However, it was found that healthiest lifestyle reduced 67% the risk of depressive symptoms.
To review evidence on how exercise, diet, and smoking impact on the risk of depression.
Non-systematic review of literature through search on PubMed/MEDLINE following the terms “Lifestyles”,“risk” and “depression”.
Several studies have shown that exercise reduces the incidence of depressive symptoms and major depressive disorder regardless of intensity, geographic region, age, gender, or follow-up period. Smoking significantly increases the risk of depression, including the ones exposed to second-hand smoking and pregnant women in which prenatal smoking was associated with a three-fold increased risk of postpartum depression. The Mediterranean diet rich in complex carbohydrates, omega-3 fatty acids, B-group vitamins and several amino acids have shown a negative association with the incidence of depression. A high frequency of breakfast consumption, an increased intake of fruits, vegetables, and some specific nutrients (zinc, iron, magnesium, vitamins, and folate) was also inversely correlated with prevalence of depressive symptoms. On the other hand, western dietary patterns, with sweetened beverages, processed food, and foods rich in saturated fatty acids, have been linked to an increased risk. Skipping meals and snacking on unhealthy food also contributes to depressive symptoms.
Relatively modest changes in population diet, tobacco consumption and levels of exercise may have important public mental health benefits preventing a substantial number of new cases of depression.
High amounts of Ultra-Processed Foods (UPF) characterized Western type diet and have recently been associated with adverse cardio-metabolic outcomes. The extent to which UPF intakes affect Depressive Symptoms (DepS) in non-Mediterranean countries remains uninvestigated.
We aimed to study whether long-term intake of UPF over adult life 1) is associated with subsequent recurrence of DepS assessed over 13 years of follow-up and 2) contribute to explain the diet quality-DepS associations already established.
Data came from the 4554 participants (mean age=61.0 (SD=5.9) years; 74% men) from the Whitehall II Study who underwent repeated dietary intake assessment (food frequency questionnaire in 1991-1993, 1997-1999 and 2002-2004), and follow-up for recurrence of DepS (CES-D ≥ 16 or use of antidepressants) over 13 years (2002-2004 and 2015-2016). The NOVA classification was used to estimate UPF intakes.
Over 13 years of follow-up, 12.9% of participants reported having recurrence of DepS. Results of logistic regression models adjusted for potential confounders showed that high amounts of UPF intakes (top quintile versus the four last ones) increased the odds of recurrent DepS by 30 % (95%CI 1.05 - 1.61). Additional analyses suggested that UPF intakes did not attenuate much the overall diet quality–DepS association previously reported.
Our study showed that long term exposure to high UPF intakes increased odds of subsequent recurrent DepS. This association was independent of overall diet quality. Further research is needed to understand the underlying mechanisms between food processing and depression physiopathology.
Recent losses of seagrass beds have resulted in a decrease in seagrass-associated fishes, highlighting the need for the improved management of such habitats and resources. Analyses of feeding patterns of fish associated with seagrass habitats are useful for understanding their habitat dependence, which contributes to achieving their effective conservation. The gut contents of 61 fish species were examined to clarify the food habits of subtropical seagrass fishes in Nagura Bay, Ishigaki Island, southern Japan. A cluster analysis based on dietary overlaps showed that the seagrass fish assemblage comprised six trophic groups (small crustacean, large crustacean, detritus, plant, fish and zooplankton feeders). Small and large crustacean feeders were the most abundant, followed by detritus, plant and fish feeders. Zooplankton feeders were represented by only two species. Ontogenetic changes in food preference were recognized in four species, including Lutjanus fulviflamma, Ostorhinchus ishigakiensis, Gerres oyena and Siganus fuscescens. Small individuals of the four species generally fed on small crustaceans or detritus, subsequently switching to other larger prey items with growth (e.g. crabs, shrimps and seagrass fronds). The most important food items for the assemblage comprised harpacticoid copepods, shrimps, crabs and detritus, representing high cumulative gut volumes for all fishes. Some species showed diets remarkably different from those determined for fishes in other seagrass beds off a nearby neighbouring island, evidence of the food-use patterns of seagrass fishes varying on a small spatial scale. Such dietary flexibility may increase the adaptability of fishes to seagrass beds characterized by significant variations in available food resources.
Dietary patterns (DP) rich in plant foods are associated with improved health and reduced non-communicable disease risk. In October 2021, the Nutrition Society hosted a member-led conference, held online over 2 half days, exploring the latest research findings examining plant-rich DP and health. The aim of the present paper is to summarise the content of the conference and synopses of the individual speaker presentations are included. Topics included epidemiological analysis of plant-rich DP and health outcomes, the effects of dietary interventions which have increased fruit and vegetable (FV) intake on a range of health outcomes, how adherence to plant-rich DP is assessed, the use of biomarkers to assess FV intake and a consideration of how modifying behaviour towards increased FV intake could impact environmental outcomes, planetary health and food systems. In conclusion, although there are still considerable uncertainties which require further research, which were considered as part of the conference and are summarised in this review, adopting a plant-rich DP at a population level could have a considerable impact on diet and health outcomes, as well as planetary health.
To estimate the prevalence of online grocery shopping in a nationally representative sample and describe demographic correlates with online grocery shopping.
The Nielsen COVID-19 Shopper Behavior Survey was administered to a subset of Nielsen National Consumer Panel participants in July 2020. We used survey weighted-multivariable logistic regression to examine demographic correlates of having ever online grocery shopped.
18 598 Nielsen National Consumer Panel participants in the USA.
Thirty-nine percent of respondents had purchased groceries online, and among prior purchasers, 89 % indicated that they would continue to online grocery shop in the next month. Canned/packaged foods were the most shopped for grocery category online, followed by beverages, fresh foods and lastly frozen foods. In adjusted analyses, younger respondents (39 years or less) were more likely (47 %) to have ever shopped for groceries online than older age groups (40–54 years, 55–64 years and 65+ years) (29 %, 22 % and 23 %, respectively, all P < 0·001). Those with greater than a college degree were more likely to have ever grocery shopped online (45 %) than respondents with some college education (39 %) and with a high school education or less (32 %) (both P < 0·001). Having children, having a higher income and experiencing food insecurity, particularly among higher income food-insecure households, were also associated with a higher probability of prior online grocery shopping.
The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the transition to online grocery shopping. Future research should explore the nutrition implications of online grocery shopping.
To identify food purchase patterns and to assess their carbon footprint and expenditure.
Purchase patterns were identified by factor analysis from the annual purchases of 3435 product groups. The associations between purchase patterns and the total purchases’ carbon footprints (based on life-cycle assessment) and expenditure were analysed using linear regression and adjusted for nutritional energy content of the purchases.
Loyalty card holders (n 22 860) of the largest food retailer in Finland.
Eight patterns explained 55 % of the variation in food purchases. The Animal-based pattern made the greatest contribution to the annual carbon footprint, followed by the Easy-cooking, and Ready-to-eat patterns. High-energy, Traditional and Plant-based patterns made the smallest contribution to the carbon footprint of the purchases. Animal-based, Ready-to-eat, Plant-based and High-energy patterns made the greatest contribution, whereas the Traditional and Easy-cooking patterns made the smallest contribution to food expenditure. Carbon footprint per euros spent increased with stronger adherence to the Traditional, Animal-based and Easy-cooking patterns.
The Animal-based, Ready-to-eat and High-energy patterns were associated with relatively high expenditure on food, suggesting no economic barrier to a potential shift towards a plant-based diet for consumers adherent to those patterns. Strong adherence to the Traditional pattern resulted in a low energy-adjusted carbon footprint but high carbon footprint per euro. This suggests a preference for cheap nutritional energy rather than environment-conscious purchase behaviour. Whether a shift towards a plant-based pattern would be affordable for those with more traditional and cheaper purchase patterns requires more research.
Avocado is a fruit rich in dietary fibre, potassium, Mg, mono and PUFA and bioactive phytochemicals, which are nutritional components that have been associated with cardiovascular health. Yet, despite the boom in avocado consumption, we lack evidence on its association with CVD risk in the general population. To estimate the prospective association between avocado consumption and incident hypertension in Mexican women, we estimated the association in participants from the Mexican Teachers’ Cohort who were ≥ 25 years, free of hypertension, CVD and cancer at baseline (n 67 383). We assessed baseline avocado consumption with a semi-quantitative FFQ (never to six or more times per week). Incident hypertension cases were identified if participants self-reported a diagnosis and receiving treatment. To assess the relation between categories of avocado consumption (lowest as reference) and incident hypertension, we estimated incidence rate ratios (IRR) and 95 % CI using Poisson regression models and adjusting for confounding. We identified 4002 incident cases of hypertension during a total of 158 706 person-years for a median follow-up of 2·2 years. The incidence rate of hypertension was 25·1 cases per 1000 person-years. Median avocado consumption was 1·0 (interquartile range: 0·23, 1·0) serving per week (half an avocado). After adjustment for confounding, consuming 5 + servings per week of avocado was associated with a 17 % decrease in the rate of hypertension, compared with non- or low consumers (IRR = 0·83; 95 % CI: 0·70, 0·99; Ptrend = 0·01). Frequent consumption of avocado was associated with a lower incidence of hypertension.
Some snakes are the only vertebrates able to engulf prey with cross-sectional areas several times larger than the area encompassed by the snake’s jaws at peak gape. This ability is conferred by modifying soft tissues ventral to the axial musculoskeletal system for extraordinary extensibility between the mandibles and stomach. Moving large prey into the gut depends on structural decoupling of toothed jaws from the braincase. In all living snakes, kinetic jaws form mobile ratchets. In scolecophidians, transverse maxillary or dentary ratchets have evolved to move small prey into the gut. In alethinophidians, longitudinal palatopterygoid ratchets move the head and body of the snake over the prey. Evidence from extant snakes shows that streptostyly, prokinesis, rhinokinesis and loss of all ventral skeletal elements connected to the axial skeleton were critical to evolution of the upper-jaw ratchet on which macrostomy is based. The existing fossil record gives tantalizing clues that suggest the ancestor of snakes might have been macrostomous. Resolution of this issue will require structural details of the snout, braincase, and toothed ratchets in both ‘basal’ extant snakes and fossils.
Genomic studies have elucidated some molecular underpinnings for adaptations during the early history of snakes, but studies of dietary adaptations remain sparse. Snakes differ from most other squamates by tending towards diets of vertebrate prey (carnivory), whereas arthropods are common in diets of most other squamates (insectivory). To test whether a shift from insectivory to carnivory occurred early in snake history, I examined chitinase genes (CHIAs) in 19 squamates. Previous studies on mammals found that contraction in the number of CHIAs, which enzymatically digest arthropod chitinous exoskeletons, correlates with transitions from insectivory to carnivory or herbivory. I found evidence that CHIAs have a long history in Squamata, with at least seven paralogs inferred in their last common ancestor. Retention of these CHIAs seems to be commonplace for arthropod-eating squamates, but snakes likely lost six CHIAs between diverging from other toxicoferans and the origin of afrophidian snakes. This genomic signal corresponds with an inferred major shift towards carnivory during the origin and evolution of early snakes, which may have contributed to their successful radiation.
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted college students’ lifestyles and placed them at a greater risk of obesity and food insecurity. The purpose of the systematic review was to consolidate evidence for the effect of Covid-19 on students’ dietary quality, dietary habits, body weight and food security status. A comprehensive literature search was conducted utilising various databases including Google Scholar, MEDLINE, ScienceDirect, Embase and Scopus to identify relevant studies. To be incorporated in this review, studies had to include higher education students, measure the prevalence of food insecurity and assess the dietary and body weight changes during the COVID-19 pandemic. The studies showed that the diet quality of college students was compromised during the pandemic in many nations due to the decrease in the intake of whole grains, dairy products, legumes, nuts, fruits and vegetables and the increase in consumption of alcohol, confectionery products and refined grains. There was an increase in the frequency of cooking, binge eating, breakfast skipping and unhealthy snacking. These modifications, in return, were associated with body weight changes, with no less than 20 to 30 % of students gaining weight during the pandemic. The pandemic also impacted food security status of students, with over 30% being food insecure worldwide. The COVID-19 outbreak has exacerbated the students’ diet quality and dietary habits and placed them under high risk of weight gain and food insecurity. Higher education institutions and governments should improve students’ access to nutritious foods and incorporate nutrition education interventions in the curricula.
To investigate perceptions of iTaukei Fijian women and men around diet and the ability to consume a healthy diet.
Six focus groups were conducted with women and men separately. Six to ten women and men participated in each group. Discussions were recorded, transcribed, translated and thematically analysed. Themes were mapped to an intersectionality framework to aid interpretation.
Four villages in Viti Levu, Fiji.
Twenty-two women and twenty-four men.
Seven overarching themes were identified, including generational changes in food behaviour, strong-gendered beliefs around food and food provision, cultural and religious obligations around food, the impact of environmental change on the ability to consume a healthy diet, perceptions of the importance of food, food preferences and knowledge. Participants across focus groups identified that it was the ‘duty’ of women to prepare food for their families. However, some women reflected on this responsibility being unbalanced with many women now in the formal workforce. Changes between generations in food preferences and practices were highlighted, with a perception that previous generations were healthier. Power dynamics and external factors, such as environmental changes, were identified by women and men as crucial influences on their ability to eat a healthy diet.
Embedded traditional perceptions of gendered roles related to nutrition were misaligned with other societal and environmental changes. Given factors other than gender, such as broader power dynamics and environmental factors were identified as influencing diet, viewing nutrition-related issues through an intersectional lens is important to inform equitable food policy in Fiji.
During the first millennium ad, Europe saw much socio-environmental change, which is reflected in the archaeological and palaeoecological evidence. Using published and new isotope data from across western Europe, the author examines changing resource use from c.ad 350 to 1200. The geographical limits of millet and substantial marine consumption are identified and comparisons between childhood and adult diets made across regions. Cross-cultural interaction at a broad scale is emphasized and patterns within early medieval England form the subject of an in-depth case study. While doubt is cast onto the uptake of marine resource consumption in England following the Fish Event Horizon, changes in agricultural practices, the impact of Christianization, and the role of freshwater fish in diets are explored. The author's hierarchical meta-analytical approach enables identification of human–environment interactions, with significant implications for changing foodways in Europe during the first millennium ad.
It is unclear whether there is any association between psychological distress and unhealthy dietary habits among adolescents in low- and middle-income countries. We aimed to estimate the prevalence of these factors in South-East Asia region and investigate their associations. We used data from the Global School-based Health Survey for nine South-East Asian countries. Psychological distress was defined by presence of ≥ 2 factors from loneliness, anxiety, suicide ideation, suicide planning and suicide attempt. We assessed inadequate fruit intake, inadequate vegetable intake, daily soft drink and weekly fast-food consumption. We used random-effects meta-analysis to estimate pooled prevalence. Logistic regressions were used to estimate OR of unhealthy dietary behaviours for psychological distress. Among 30 013 adolescents (56 % girls) aged 12–15 years, the prevalence of psychological distress was 11·0 %, with girls reporting slightly higher than boys (11·8 % v. 10·1 %). The prevalence of inadequate fruit intake, inadequate vegetable intake, daily soft drink consumption and weekly fast-food consumption was 42 %, 26 %, 40 % and 57 %, respectively. Psychological distress was associated with inadequate fruit intake (pooled OR = 1·20, 95 % CI 1·03, 1·40), inadequate vegetable intake (pooled OR = 1·17, 1·05, 1·31) and daily soft drink consumption (pooled OR = 1·14, 1·03, 1·26); but not with weekly fast-food consumption (pooled OR = 1·13, 0·96, 1·31). We observed substantial cross-country variations in prevalence and OR estimates. In conclusion, South-East Asian adolescents have significant burden of psychological distress and unhealthy dietary behaviours, with those having psychological distress are more likely to have unhealthy dietary behaviours. Our findings will guide preventative interventions and inform relevant policies around adolescent nutrition in the region.
Some evidence suggests that breastfeeding may modify food preferences in the later years of life. The present study aimed to provide a systematic review of observational studies investigating the association between exposure to breastmilk and its duration with data-driven or hypothesis-driven (or diet quality scores) dietary patterns over one year of age. The databases of PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science were searched for observational studies published from January 2010 until July 2021, which led to the identification of 22 eligible articles. There was considerable heterogeneity between studies in terms of assessment of exposure and outcome. Of the 11 studies that assessed data-driven dietary patterns, ten reported a significant association for at least one identified dietary pattern. Overall, being breastfed as well as a longer duration of any/exclusive breastfeeding were associated with higher scores on healthy dietary patterns characterized mainly by high loadings of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. In comparison, a negative association was found for unhealthy dietary patterns rich in foods with high content of added sugar, salt, and saturated fats. In terms of diet quality scores, nine out of 11 studies reported a significant positive association between the duration of any breastfeeding and adherence to recommended healthy diets or dietary guidelines. In conclusion, the evidence from this review was generally in support of the hypothesis indicating breastfeeding is associated with healthy dietary patterns at later ages. However, due to the methodological limitations in the available studies, further research is warranted to elucidate solid evidence on this topic.