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[black small square] B12 in Older Adults


[black small square] Obesity Recommendations


[black small square] Allergy Antibodies



According to a recent research, many older adults have a vitamin B12 deficiency. The study took place in Ontario, Canada, among 412 adults who were 83 years old on average and living in long-term-care homes. Researchers found that approximately 14% of the residents were vitamin B12 deficient when they moved into long-term care. Not surprisingly, those who were taking vitamin B12 supplements (either orally or by injection) were less likely to have a deficiency than those who were not. A vitamin B12 deficiency can cause many symptoms and signs including tiredness, weakness, constipation, loss of appetite, depression, confusion, and numbness and tingling in the hands and feet. This study highlights the importance of checking vitamin B12 levels in older adults and starting treatment if a deficiency is found.


Source: Pfisterer KJ, Sharratt, MT Heckman GG, Keller HH. Vitamin B12 status in older adults living in Ontario long-term care homes: prevalence and incidence of deficiency with supplementation as a protective factor. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab 2016, 41:219-222, 10.1139/apnm-2015-0565.



In a recent study, restricting dietary fat led to body fat loss at a rate 68% higher than cutting the same number of carbohydrate calories when adults with obesity ate strictly controlled diets. Carbohydrate restriction lowered production of the fat-regulating hormone insulin and increased fat burning as expected, whereas fat restriction had no observed changes in insulin production or fat burning.


Compared with the reduced-fat diet, the reduced-carbohydrate diet was particularly effective at lowering insulin secretion and increasing fat burning, resulting in significant body fat loss, but interestingly, study participants lost even more body fat during the fat-restricted diet, as it resulted in a greater imbalance between the fat eaten and fat burned. These findings counter the theory that body fat loss necessarily requires decreasing insulin, thereby increasing the release of stored fat from fat tissue and increasing the amount of fat burned by the body. The researchers studied 19 nondiabetic men and women with obesity in the Metabolic Clinical Research Unit at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. Participants stayed in the unit 24 hours per day for 2 extended visits, eating the same food and doing the same activities. For the first 5 days of each visit, they ate a baseline balanced diet. Then for 6 days, they were fed diets containing 30% fewer calories, achieved by cutting either only total carbohydrates or total fat from the baseline diet, while eating the same amount of protein. They switched diets during the second visit. The researchers had previously simulated the study with a math model of human metabolism, whose body fat predictions matched the data later collected in the study. When simulating what might happen over longer periods, the model predicted relatively small differences in body fat loss with widely varying ratios of carbohydrates to fat. Those results suggest the body may eventually minimize differences in body fat loss when diets have the same number of calories. More research is needed to assess the physiological effects of fat and carbohydrate reduction in the long term. The data show that when it comes to body fat loss, not all diet calories are exactly equal. But the researchers are quick to point out that "the real world is more complicated than a research laboratory, and if you have obesity and want to lose weight, it may be more important to consider which type of diet you'll be most likely to stick to over time.


Source: Hall KD, et al. Calorie for calorie, dietary fat restriction results in more body fat loss than carbohydrate restriction in people with obesity. DOI:



The World Health Organization's (WHO's) Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity has presented its consensus report with a set of recommendations that are likely to be most effective at tackling the rising trend of children being overweight and obese. The recommendations are accompanied by specific actions and responsibilities for the different actors to support a more successful implementation. For children and adolescents already overweight or obese, the aim is to reduce the level of overweight, improve obesity-related disorders, and decrease the risk factors for additional weight gain. The recommendation is to provide appropriate weight management services that are family based, including nutrition, physical activity, and psychosocial components; and are delivered by multiprofessional teams with appropriate training and resources.


The recommendations address childhood obesity in 6 areas:


Promotion of intake of healthy foods: The commission encourages to set up programs to promote the consumption of foods that contribute to a healthy diet and to reduce intake of those that do not.


Promotion of physical activity: Lifestyles of many children are becoming more sedentary. Therefore, parents, carers, and professionals including teachers should encourage children to be more physically active. Governments should ensure that adequate facilities, such as recreational spaces and walking and cycling paths, are in place for children to use.


Preconception and pregnancy care: The care that a woman receives before, during, and after her pregnancy may greatly influence the health of a child. The commission recommends appropriate and timely screening, diagnosis, and management of conditions that can increase the risk of developing obesity in children. It is also advised to give guidance and advice promoting good nutrition and healthy diets before conception and during pregnancy for both mothers and fathers. Moreover, the use of alcohol, tobacco, and drugs should be avoided.


Early childhood diet and physical activity: Breast feeding exclusively for the first 6 months is recommended by WHO.


Health, nutrition, and physical activity for school-aged children: School-ages children are often faced with many challenges. Peer pressure, body image, and exposure to unhealthy choices in school canteens may affect their decisions on what they eat and how physically active they are. It is important to create a healthy environment at schools with healthy meals and drinks, including access to fresh water. Also, nutrition and health education should ensure that children and adolescents understand the role of nutrition for good health. Similarly, regular participation in physical activities should be organized and promoted.


Source: World Health Organization



A new study using 5000 stored blood samples found no increase in the presence of food-specific immunoglobulin E (IgE), a blood marker associated with food allergy, in children's blood between the 1980s and the 2000s. The new data suggest that the increases in prevalence of food allergies over the past several decades may be due to either an increase in the recognition and diagnosis of food allergy or a changing relationship between the presence of IgE and food allergy symptoms. Since the 1990s, studies have shown the prevalence of food allergies in children has grown by at least 50%, and an estimated 5% of children in the Unites States have a food allergy, with the most common triggering allergens found in milk, eggs, shellfish, and peanuts. Why allergies have seemed to increase, however, has been unclear and has led to a significant amount of research on causes underlying the food allergy "epidemic." As the number of children with reported food allergies has risen, the authors wondered whether the number of children who have the IgE antibodies to food that are essential for food allergy to occur had risen as well. To answer this question, they analyzed data from nearly 8000 children aged 6 through 19 years as part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Some samples were collected between 1988 and 1994 and recently analyzed for food-specific IgE by the authors, and others were collected between 2005 and 2006, with food-specific IgE measured at that time. Overall, the team found no increase in the number of children sensitized to peanuts, milk, or eggs, whereas the number with antibodies to shrimp actually decreased. It is important to know whether changing sensitization to foods underlies these trends, because if sensitization has not changed, then continuing to look for environmental studies on more recent blood samples and broader groups of people would help confirm the finding and offer more details on the link between food-specific IgE levels and food allergies.


Source: Despite Recent Increases in Reported Food Allergy, Study Finds No Change in Antibody Levels Associated with Food Allergy, Johns Hopkins Medicine web site, April 25, 2016;



The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) has released the top food trends for 2016 gathered from a multitude of industry resources to come up with the following trends:


Clean labels spread to fine dining. Fine dining along with fast food and fast casual restaurants is now moving to 'clean' labels. They are announcing "healthification" of their menus by banning "artificial" ingredients/additives.


The intersection of health and convenience. Foods and beverages that deliver on both health and convenience will proliferate and gain wider distribution as consumers look for easy ways to incorporatemore good-for-you products into their lives. Think portion-controlled snacks and ready-to-eat salad kits complete with slightly exotic ingredients like hempseeds and edamame.


Less is more. Food manufacturerswill have to continue to make food products that are less processed as consumers demandmore transparency and foods that are closer to their natural state.


Smartphone staple. Just like a knife and fork, the smartphone will become an indispensable utensil for eating and dining in 2016. It can order and purchase food, find grocery and restaurant deals, count calories, provide nutrition knowhow, suggest recipes, replace mom for cooking advice, share memorable culinary experiences, connect farmers with retailers and restaurants, and reduce food waste through redirecting surpluses to those in need.


The packaging connection. Foodies have long been interested in the back story behind the foods they choose, but recent technologies have made it more possible than ever to bring this kind of information to the everyday consumer.


Cleaner labels. More than ever, consumers are pushing food manufacturers to use ingredients to produce products with so-called clean labels. Ingredient manufacturers have stepped up and now offer ingredients that are naturally derived, minimally processed, organic, and not genetically modified, all of which food manufacturers use to formulate clean label products.


Morally conscious foods. From farm to fork, these foods, their production methods, and the companies manufacturing them will align closely with consumers' moral values.


Gourmet convenience. With 48 million time-strapped Americans describing themselves as foodies, gourmet convenience will be among the new megatrends.


Generational nutrition. Baby Boomers, Gen Xers, andMillennialswill continue to play a role in popular nutritional trends aswell asproduct labeling. Baby Boomerswant to lead lives full of energy and strongmental focus.Generation Xers are concerned not only with their own health, but with the health of their children. Millennials tend to bemore focused on labels and natural foods, so being transparent-not only in terms of healthful ingredients but also in terms of how the foods and beverages are made-will be important.


Focus on food safety. Researchers, foodmanufacturers, regulatory agencies, and suppliers will continue to focus attention on pathogens, developing new and improved methods of analysis, instruments, detection supplies, and specific applications. Efforts will also continue on improving traceability of ingredients and products and harmonizing standards internationally. Food companies will be very involved inmeeting the requirements of the Food andDrugAdministration's final regulations implementing the Food Safety Modernization Act.


Source: Institute of Food Technologists.



The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Board of Directors has selected Sylvia Rowe, MA, as a recipient of 2016 Honorary Membership! The award will be presented to Sylvia during the Member Showcase on Monday, October 17, 2016, at the Academy's Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo in Boston, MA.

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