Washington Post: The food industry pays ‘influencer’ dietitians to shape your eating habits. “The trade group paid an undisclosed amount to 10 registered dietitians, as well as a physician and a fitness influencer, to use their social media accounts to help blunt the WHO’s claims that aspartame, a mainstay of Diet Coke and other sodas, is ineffective for weight loss and ‘possibly carcinogenic.’ The campaign, which the beverage group acknowledged organizing, highlighted a little-known tactic the multibillion-dollar food and beverage industry is using to sway consumers faced with often-contradictory health messages about popular products.”
University of Illinois: Twitter analysis captures nutrition chatter early in pandemic . “A new study in the Journal of Medical Internet Research from authors at UIC and Texas Woman’s University Institute for Health Sciences used data from Twitter to assess how non-expert users discussed one area of heavy interest during COVID-19: nutrition. By analyzing over 70,000 tweets posted between January and September 2020, the authors characterized the most common topics of conversation, identifying supplements, fluids and fruits as especially prominent.”
University of Reading: Kids’ summer salad problem solved with SEE & EAT solution. “The SEE & EAT books, launched by a team at the University of Reading, were created to encourage children to eat healthier. Research led by Professor Carmel Houston-Price has shown that pre-schoolers are more likely to eat vegetables at mealtimes if they are already familiar with what the vegetable looks like and where it comes from.” The ebooks are available for free.
The Packer: Survey measures impact of rising costs, stress, social media on food choices. “The survey showed 4 in 10 Americans (42%) said they have come across social media content about food and nutrition in the past year. Predictably, exposure to this content is inversely proportional with age, with Gen Z (71%) and millennials (58%) reporting the highest exposure, as compared to older generations, the survey said. Two-thirds said they trust that information at least a little (46%) or a lot (21%), the survey found.”
Florida State University: FSU’s ‘Art in STEM’ returns for ninth year with in-person and virtual exhibitions. “The nearly two dozen works depict topics ranging from crystal growth to nanotechnology and chemical compounds and were created by students from the FSU departments of biological science, biomedical sciences, chemistry and biochemistry, mathematics, molecular biophysics, nutrition and integrative physiology, and scientific computing.”
University of Wollongong: Pacific Food Trade Database supports food system sustainability. “Researchers from the University of Wollongong (UOW) based Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security (ANCORS), led by food systems senior research fellow Dr Tom Brewer, have developed the Pacific Food Trade Database to assist regional analysis and decision making…. The database, which is open access and free to use, includes tonnage of imports and exports from 1995-2018 for 18 Pacific islands and territories.”
International Atomic Energy Agency: IAEA and FAO Kickstart the Development of Pioneering Protein Quality Database. “Nutrition experts from the IAEA, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Health Organization as well as national, research and academic institutions came together recently to outline the framework for a first-of-a-kind protein quality database, to help governments assess the protein adequacy of foods sold to consumers and develop optimal dietary protein requirements.”
Johns Hopkins University: One Size Doesn’t Fit All: An AI Approach To Creating Healthy Personalized Diets. “A Johns Hopkins systems engineer’s new method will allow patients to determine an achievable diet to improve their health and better manage negative symptoms.”
Institute for the Advancement of Food and Nutrition Sciences: Sodium Reduction Science And Strategies Database. “With heightened concerns about sodium intake and the limited impact of public health campaigns, strategies for reducing sodium in the nation’s food supply are increasingly important. A new searchable database of over 280 scientific papers looks at flavor, functional and physical modifications to lower sodium intakes.”
Cornell Chronicle: App for the pre-K set promotes healthy eating, exercise. “Preschoolers can be notoriously picky eaters – and that’s if you can get one to sit still for a meal. A series of free, evidence-informed apps for preschool-aged children, developed by a Cornell researcher and colleagues, aims to encourage healthy eating behaviors and exercise. A majority of parents said the apps helped their children try new foods and raise their activity level, according to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior on date.”
Penn State: Lessons on nutrition easy to digest in virtual reality spaces. “Virtual reality (VR) may provide nutrition teachers and dietitians with an entirely new way to serve real lessons on healthy eating, according to a team of Penn State researchers. In a study, students learned about nutrition both through an interactive VR lesson, as well as during a more traditional lecture that was hosted in a VR environment. The research also showed that nutrition educators might not even need all the bells and whistles of VR interactivity for those lessons to be effective.”
Northeastern University: Has Your Food Been Chemically Altered? New Database Of 50,000 Products Provides Answers. “In a paper published Tuesday in Nature Food, Giulia Menichetti, senior research scientist at Northeastern’s Network Science Institute, demonstrates that the concentrations of different nutrients in food follow a fixed pattern, and that the amount of any given nutrient in a food follows a similar mathematical formula. Inspired by these findings, her team determined that 73% of the U.S. food supply is ultra-processed, which they link to a higher risk of developing a variety of health issues. Their findings, which showed the level of processing for over 50,000 foods sold in the United States, were published in an online database for public use.”
Norwegian Institute of Public Health: NOURISHING and MOVING policy databases: full datasets from 14 European countries are now available. “CO-CREATE colleagues at the World Cancer Research Fund International have been hard at work generating evidence and infrastructure to support local and national policy changes to make healthy choices the easiest, most appealing, and preferred choices for adolescents across Europe. The NOURISHING and MOVING databases highlight where governments need to take action to promote healthy diets and decrease physical inactivity. New datasets of diet-related policies and physical activity policies across Europe have been added to both databases.”
HealthLeaders: Food Is Medicine Initiative Launched In Massachusetts. “The Massachusetts Food is Medicine Service Inventory website has been launched to connect individuals, healthcare providers, and community-based organizations to Food is Medicine services in their communities.” “Food is Medicine” seems pretty self-explanatory but if you want more information on this initiative, check out the Food Is Medicine Coalition Web site.
MakeUseOf: 3 Apps to Tell You What’s Inside Any Food. “Do you really know what’s in your favorite ice cream? What about your daily latte? Sure, you can check the nutrition label—but that’s not always easy…. Luckily, digital technology makes everything a lot easier. Below are three apps that can tell you what’s in your food and take the guesswork out of healthy eating. Let’s dive in.”