To explore how the quality of school lunch consumed reflected overall eating patterns in school-aged children.
Children filled in an Internet-based questionnaire about their eating patterns. The children were then divided into balanced and imbalanced school lunch eaters on the basis of their responses in the questionnaire. A balanced school lunch consisted of, by the definition used in the present study, a main dish, salad and bread.
Eleven primary schools and one middle school in eastern Finland.
A total of 531 schoolchildren (247 boys and 284 girls) aged 11-16 years.
The school lunch was balanced in 46·5% of children. Eating a balanced school lunch was associated with overall healthier eating patterns outside school. Children who ate a balanced school lunch had more regular meal times and consumed healthier snacks. They ate fruit or berries and vegetables, dairy products and wholegrain foods more often, consumed fewer salty snacks, pizzas, meat pies and drank fewer soft drinks and energy drinks. Their eating patterns at home were also healthier, with vegetables being offered at every family dinner and fruit being offered daily, whereas soft drinks were offered seldom.
The choices made by children in their school lunch reflect the overall eating patterns among school-aged children. Eating a balanced school lunch is associated with more regular meal patterns, the availability of healthier foods at home and an overall healthier diet, suggesting that healthy eating patterns are learnt at home.
Sucrose induces high postprandial glucose and insulin responses. In vitro studies suggest that berries may reduce the digestion and absorption of sucrose and thereby suppress postprandial glycemia, but the evidence in humans is limited.
We investigated the effects of sucrose ingested with blackcurrants (Ribes nigrum) and lingonberries (Vaccinium vitis-idaea) on postprandial glucose, insulin, and free fatty acid responses.
Twenty healthy women participated in a randomized, controlled, crossover meal study. They consumed whole blackcurrants or lingonberries (150 g served as purées) or blackcurrant or lingonberry nectars (300 mL), each with 35 g added sucrose. Sucrose alone (35 g in 300 mL water) was used as a reference. Blood samples were collected at 0, 15, 30, 45, 60, 90, and 120 min.
In comparison with sucrose alone, ingestion of sucrose with whole berries resulted in reduced glucose and insulin concentrations during the first 30 min and a slower decline during the second hour and a significantly improved glycemic profile. Berries prevented the sucrose-induced late postprandial hypoglycemic response and the compensatory free fatty acid rebound. Nearly similar effects were observed when sucrose was consumed with berry nectars. The improved responses were evident despite the higher content of available carbohydrate in the berry and nectar meals, because of the natural sugars present in berries.
Blackcurrants and lingonberries, as either whole berries or nectars, optimize the postprandial metabolic responses to sucrose. The responses are consistent with delayed digestion of sucrose and consequent slower absorption of glucose.
Starch in white wheat bread (WB) induces high postprandial glucose and insulin responses. For rye bread (RB), the glucose response is similar, whereas the insulin response is lower. In vitro studies suggest that polyphenol-rich berries may reduce digestion and absorption of starch and thereby suppress postprandial glycemia, but the evidence in humans is limited. We investigated the effects of berries consumed with WB or RB on postprandial glucose and insulin responses. Healthy females (n = 13-20) participated in 3 randomized, controlled, crossover, 2-h meal studies. They consumed WB or RB, both equal to 50 g available starch, with 150 g whole-berry purée or the same amount of bread without berries as reference. In study 1, WB was served with strawberries, bilberries, or lingonberries and in study 2 with raspberries, cloudberries, or chokeberries. In study 3, WB or RB was served with a mixture of berries consisting of equal amounts of strawberries, bilberries, cranberries, and blackcurrants. Strawberries, bilberries, lingonberries, and chokeberries consumed with WB and the berry mixture consumed with WB or RB significantly reduced the postprandial insulin response. Only strawberries (36%) and the berry mixture (with WB, 38%; with RB, 19%) significantly improved the glycemic profile of the breads. These results suggest than when WB is consumed with berries, less insulin is needed for maintenance of normal or slightly improved postprandial glucose metabolism. The lower insulin response to RB compared with WB can also be further reduced by berries.
Knowledge of dietary habits makes the basis for public nutrition policy. The aim of this study was to assess dietary intake of Icelandic six-year-olds.
Subjects were randomly selected six-year-old children (n=162). Dietary intake was assessed by three-day-weighed food records. Food and nutrient intake was compared with the Icelandic food based dietary guidelines (FBDG) and recommended intake of vitamins and minerals.
Fruit and vegetable intake was on average 275Â±164 g/d, and less than 20% of the subjects consumed =400 g/day. Fish and cod liver oil intake was in line with the FBDG among approximately 25% of subjects. Most subjects (87%) consumed at least two portions of dairy products daily. Food with relatively low nutrient density (cakes, cookies, sugar sweetened drinks, sweets and ice-cream) provided up to 25% of total energy intake. The contribution of saturated fatty acids to total energy intake was 14.1%. Less than 20% of the children consumed dietary fibers in line with recommendations, and for saturated fat and salt only 5% consumed less than the recommended upper limits. Average intake of most vitamins and minerals, apart from vitamin-D, was higher than the recommended intake.
Although the vitamin and mineral density of the diet seems adequate, with the exception of vitamin-D, the contribution of low energy density food to total energy intake is high. Intake of vegetables, fruits, fish and cod liver oil is not in line with public recommendations. Strategies aiming at improving diet of young children are needed.
Little is known about the mediating effects of the determinants of fruit and vegetable (FV) intake in school-based interventions that promote FV intake, and few studies have examined the impact of the degree of implementation on the effects of an intervention. The present study examined whether the degree of implementation of an intervention had an effect on children's fruit or vegetable intake and determined possible mediators of this effect. The study is part of the European PRO GREENS intervention study which aimed to develop effective strategies to promote consumption of fruit and vegetables in schoolchildren across Europe. Data from 727 Finnish children aged 11 years were used. The baseline study was conducted in spring 2009 and the follow-up study 12 months later. The intervention was conducted during the school year 2009-2010. The effects were examined using multilevel mediation analyses. A high degree of implementation of the intervention had an effect on children's fruit intake. Knowledge of recommendations for FV intake and liking mediated the association between a high degree of implementation of the intervention and an increase in the frequency of fruit intake. Knowledge of recommendations for FV intake and bringing fruits to school as a snack mediated the association between a low degree of implementation of the intervention and an increase in the frequency of fruit intake. Overall, the model accounted for 34 % of the variance in the change in fruit intake frequency. Knowledge of recommendations acted as a mediator between the degree of implementation of the intervention and the change in vegetable intake frequency. In conclusion, the degree of implementation had an effect on fruit intake, and thus in future intervention studies the actual degree of implementation of interventions should be assessed when considering the effects of interventions.
Few studies exist on the validity of food frequency questionnaires (FFQs) administered to elderly people. The aim of this study was to assess the validity of a short FFQ on present dietary intake, developed specially for the AGES-Reykjavik Study, which includes 5,764 elderly individuals. Assessing the validity of FFQs is essential before they are used in studies on diet-related disease risk and health outcomes.
128 healthy elderly participants (74 y ± 5.7; 58.6% female) answered the AGES-FFQ, and subsequently filled out a 3-day weighed food record. Validity of the AGES-FFQ was assessed by comparing its answers to the dietary data obtained from the weighed food records, using Spearman's rank correlation, Chi-Square/Kendall's tau, and a Jonckheere-Terpstra test for trend.
For men a correlation = 0.4 was found for potatoes, fresh fruits, oatmeal/muesli, cakes/cookies, candy, dairy products, milk, pure fruit juice, cod liver oil, coffee, tea and sugar in coffee/tea (r = 0.40-0.71). A lower, but acceptable, correlation was also found for raw vegetables (r = 0.33). The highest correlation for women was found for consumption of rye bread, oatmeal/muesli, raw vegetables, candy, dairy products, milk, pure fruit juice, cod liver oil, coffee and tea (r = 0.40-0.61). An acceptable correlation was also found for fish topping/salad, fresh fruit, blood/liver sausage, whole-wheat bread, and sugar in coffee/tea (r = 0.28-0.37). Questions on meat/fish meals, cooked vegetables and soft drinks did not show a significant correlation to the reference method. Pearson Chi-Square and Kendall's tau showed similar results, as did the Jonckheere-Terpstra trend test.
A majority of the questions in the AGES-FFQ had an acceptable correlation and may be used to rank individuals according to their level of intake of several important foods/food groups. The AGES-FFQ on present diet may therefore be used to study the relationship between consumption of several specific foods/food groups and various health-related endpoints gathered in the AGES-Reykjavik Study.
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We examined whether there are sex differences in children's fruit and vegetable (FV) intake and in descriptive norms (i.e. perceived FV intake) related to parents and friends. We also studied whether friends' impact is as important as that of parents on children's FV intake. Data from the PRO GREENS project in Finland were obtained from 424 children at the age 11 years at baseline. At baseline, 2009 children filled in a questionnaire about descriptive norms conceptualised as perceived FV intake of their parents and friends. They also filled in a validated FFQ that assessed their FV intake both at baseline and in the follow-up in 2010. The associations were examined with multi-level regression analyses with multi-group comparisons. Girls reported higher perceived FV intake of friends and higher own fruit intake at baseline, compared with boys, and higher vegetable intake both at baseline and in the follow-up. Perceived FV intake of parents and friends was positively associated with both girls' and boys' FV intake in both study years. The impact of perceived fruit intake of the mother was stronger among boys. The change in children's FV intake was affected only by perceived FV intake of father and friends. No large sex differences in descriptive norms were found, but the impact of friends on children's FV intake can generally be considered as important as that of parents. Future interventions could benefit from taking into account friends' impact as role models on children's FV intake.
Nontargeted metabolite profiling allows for concomitant examination of a wide range of metabolite species, elucidating the metabolic alterations caused by dietary interventions.
The aim of the current study was to investigate the effects of dietary modifications on the basis of increasing consumption of whole grains, fatty fish, and bilberries on plasma metabolite profiles to identify applicable biomarkers for dietary intake and endogenous metabolism.
Metabolite profiling analysis was performed on fasting plasma samples collected in a 12-wk parallel-group intervention with 106 participants with features of metabolic syndrome who were randomly assigned to 3 dietary interventions: 1) whole-grain products, fatty fish, and bilberries [healthy diet (HD)]; 2) a whole-grain-enriched diet with the same grain products as in the HD intervention but with no change in fish or berry consumption; and 3) refined-wheat breads and restrictions on fish and berries (control diet). In addition, correlation analyses were conducted with the food intake data to define the food items correlating with the biomarker candidates.
Nontargeted metabolite profiling showed marked differences in fasting plasma after the intervention diets compared with the control diet. In both intervention groups, a significant increase was observed in 2 signals identified as glucuronidated alk(en)-ylresorcinols [corrected P value (Pcorr)