Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Food study finds diets get healthier over time

16.09.2004


Adults eat around twice the amount of fruit and vegetables and less fat and sugar than they did as children, a new study suggests.



Contrary to popular opinion, nutritionists at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne found that most people’s diets get healthier from childhood to young adulthood. However, the research team, who were funded by the Wellcome Trust and who have published their results in the academic journal, Appetite*, also discovered that many people perceive barriers to healthy eating.

People who took part in the study said parents, partners and children influenced their diet, together with their amount of free time and work patterns. These factors can exert either a positive or a negative effect.


For example, people who saw their parents’ influence as positive consumed more fruit and vegetables as adolescents. And whereas a third of people, mainly men, felt their partners had a positive influence on their diet, ten per cent, mainly women, indicated their partners’ influence was negative.

A third of participants blamed a busy lifestyle as a reason for not being able to prepare ‘healthy meals’, often because they believed fruit and vegetables needed time for preparation and cooking. These people were more likely to have smaller intakes in fruit and vegetables over the 20 years than those who did not say a lack of time had influenced their diet. However, it was perceived lack of time, rather than actual free time, that influenced people’s food choices.

For the study, the Newcastle University research team examined the food consumption of 200 schoolchildren aged 11-12 years old and revisited the same people 20 years later in their early thirties. On both occasions, participants kept detailed food diaries and were also questioned about their diets and the perceived influences on food intake. Researchers then analysed the two sets of results.

The lead author of the study, Amelia Lake, a registered dietician and Newcastle University researcher, said the findings suggested that although general healthy eating messages were getting through to most people, they also needed to be more carefully targeted to reach individuals who believe their lifestyle still prevents them from eating well.

Schemes such as the Government’s ‘Five a Day’ project, which recommends that each person eats five portions of fruit or vegetables per day, need to be combined with advice specifically tailored to individuals, perhaps in consultations with doctors and nurses.

However, Miss Lake, a researcher with Newcastle University’s Human Nutrition Research Centre, said the reasons for dietary patterns and change were complex: “A lot depends on people’s individual coping mechanisms and attitude to life. A lack of time is not necessarily the reason for people not attempting to eat healthily. Some working adults are inspired to make a healthy meal in the evenings, while somebody with the same amount of time on their hands would feel under pressure and be inclined to send out for a takeaway. “These results suggest that the diet is really up to the individual and their personality, and that general health messages are not necessarily enough when a variety of factors are working to prevent people from eating healthily.

Miss Lake added: “Diet needs to be taken more seriously. Home has a major impact on what children and adults eat, schools and workplaces and health care professionals have a role to play. “Work from this study has shown that children who were high fruit and vegetable consumers maintain this intake into their early thirties. This reaffirms the importance of the National Fruit in Schools Scheme, where children are being encouraged to eat fruit.

“We also need to examine the availability of healthy food in venues such the workplace and in shops. Despite all the healthy eating messages that abound, it’s still easier to go to a local shop and buy a chocolate bar rather than a piece of fruit.”

Claire Jordan | alfa
Further information:
http://www.ncl.ac.uk

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung

nachricht Scientists reveal source of human heartbeat in 3-D
07.08.2017 | University of Manchester

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

What the world's tiniest 'monster truck' reveals

23.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Treating arthritis with algae

23.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Witnessing turbulent motion in the atmosphere of a distant star

23.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>