We all know that today is World Food Day in honour of the date of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). As we like to celebrate World Food Day meaningfully, we have compiled a list of articles that would be useful for everyone interested in food and nutrition. These articles are accessible free until end of this month!
Below are a few highlighted articles and you can browse a lot more free articles here.
Summary : The Foresight report has described an unprecedented confluence of pressures whereby a growing, and in some cases, increasingly prosperous global population, alongside increasing demand for limited resources and the pressing need to address environmental challenges, including climate change and changing weather patterns, means that food security is seriously and increasingly threatened. Much of the discussion has focused on greenhouse gas emissions associated with food production and the contribution from meat production and dairying has been highlighted. These protein-rich foods are features of Western-style diets and as such make a substantial contribution to intakes of a wide range of essential nutrients. Therefore, it is important to understand the impact on overall dietary patterns and associated nutrient intakes if consumption levels fall, as well as the impact from a sustainability standpoint. From a nutritional perspective, the initial knee jerk reaction around simply eating less meat is already being replaced by a more sophisticated debate that is now considering whether a healthy diet, as currently framed by food-based dietary guidelines, can also be a sustainable dietary pattern now and in the future. There are some important questions that need to be addressed in order for a clearer picture to emerge. For example, it is as yet unclear what dietary choices consumers would make if their consumption of these foods were to be reduced, what effect these choices would have on their health and on sustainability of the food supply, and which groups of the population or individuals within households will be most vulnerable, recognising that there are demographic changes already underway associated with an ageing population. This paper provides a viewpoint through the lens of nutrition and summarises some of the initiatives already underway in relation to food security.
Buttriss, J. (2013). Food security through the lens of nutrition Nutrition Bulletin, 38 (2), 254-261 DOI: 10.1111/nbu.12031
Summary : This paper elucidates the role of processed foods and beverages in the ‘nutrition transition’ underway in Asia. Processed foods tend to be high in nutrients associated with obesity and diet-related non-communicable diseases: refined sugar, salt, saturated and trans-fats. This paper identifies the most significant ‘product vectors’ for these nutrients and describes changes in their consumption in a selection of Asian countries. Sugar, salt and fat consumption from processed foods has plateaued in high-income countries, but has rapidly increased in the lower–middle and upper–middle-income countries. Relative to sugar and salt, fat consumption in the upper–middle- and lower–middle-income countries is converging most rapidly with that of high-income countries. Carbonated soft drinks, baked goods, and oils and fats are the most significant vectors for sugar, salt and fat respectively. At the regional level there appears to be convergence in consumption patterns of processed foods, but country-level divergences including high levels of consumption of oils and fats in Malaysia, and soft drinks in the Philippines and Thailand. This analysis suggests that more action is needed by policy-makers to prevent or mitigate processed food consumption. Comprehensive policy and regulatory approaches are most likely to be effective in achieving these goals.
Acceptability of Micronutrient Fortified School Meals by Schoolchildren in Rural Himalayan Villages of India
Summary : This cross-sectional randomized controlled study assessed the social acceptability of micronutrient fortified cooked lunch meals by schoolchildren in rural Himalayan villages of India, in a program where the cooking and the micronutrient fortification were done at school. Subjects were randomly assigned to treatment (91) and control (90) groups. The treatment group consumed a weighed amount of cooked lunch meals fortified with locally produced multi-micronutrient premix and the control group consumed a weighed amount of the same meals but without added micronutrient premix. After having eaten, subjects were asked to rate, on a 3-point Likert scale using “smiley” faces, the pleasantness of smell, taste, and overall satisfaction with the food. The mean age of study children was 7.96 ± 1.64 y and 48.6% were males. The average amounts of food consumed by the treatment and control groups were 345 ± 114 and 360 ± 102.4 g, respectively. Addition of the multi-micronutrient premix to school meals did not significantly affect the mean amount of food consumed by the schoolchildren (P > 0.05; independent sample t-test). No significant differences were seen between treatment and control groups in terms of ratings for taste, smell, and the general acceptance of the micronutrient fortified or the unfortified school meals. In conclusion, the addition of a multiple micronutrient premix to school meals was well liked by schoolchildren and did not adversely affect their food consumption.
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