The dietary intervention study involved 497 online shoppers who received real-time personalised advice, recommending foods lower in saturated fat. The study showed that shoppers who received dietary advice reduced the saturated fat in their shopping baskets by 10%, a positive step towards a healthier heart.
Cardiovascular disease is Australia’s biggest killer, leading to tens of thousands of deaths per year. Researchers believe this innovative, low cost method of influencing dietary patterns has great potential to reduce this toll. Benefits could be especially large as the Internet savvy younger generation ages.
Co-principal Investigator of the study, Dr Rachel Huxley said today, “Online food shopping offers a unique opportunity to change food purchasing habits. Almost 150,000 Australians already purchase at least some of their groceries online every year and that number is growing. This approach offers Australians a low cost, long-term, non-drug strategy for reducing their fat intake and their cholesterol levels.”
Researchers obtained a list of commonly purchased food items that contained up to 92% saturated fat and identified a suitable low fat alternate for each. As consumers selected their product, they were presented with the opportunity to either retain the product or swap it for the alternate lower in saturated fat. A simple side-by-side, on screen display of the original item and the suggested alternate was used.
The average age of the participants was 40, each shopping for an average of about three people. The study also showed that shoppers maintained good dietary practices over consecutive shopping events. Benefits appeared greater among people with higher body mass index and greater age who may have most to gain. Lower fat dairy products were the items most frequently added to the shopping after dietary advice was provided.
Co-principal Investigator Dr Bruce Neal noted, “It is easy to imagine an adaptation of the system that could provide advice about salt intake or advice to consumers with specific disease states such as diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol.”
New technologies united with this simple approach provides opportunities for wider development. “With automated personally tailored computer advice now of proven benefit in a commercial setting, the challenge will be to see the results translated into practice. This will require imaginative approaches developed in collaboration with public health advocacy groups, regulatory bodies and the food retail industry,” he added.
This project was published today in the open-access journal PLoS Clinical Trials from the Public Library of Science and funded by The National Heart Foundation of Australia and the Future Forum.
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Today, plants and microorganisms are heavily used for the production of medicinal products. The production of biopharmaceuticals in plants, also referred to as “Molecular Pharming”, represents a continuously growing field of plant biotechnology. Preferred host organisms include yeast and crop plants, such as maize and potato – plants with high demands. With the help of a special algal strain, the research team of Prof. Ralph Bock at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology in Potsdam strives to develop a more efficient and resource-saving system for the production of medicines and vaccines. They tested its practicality by synthesizing a component of a potential AIDS vaccine.
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Atomic clock experts from the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) are the first research group in the world to have built an optical single-ion clock...
The University of Würzburg has two new space projects in the pipeline which are concerned with the observation of planets and autonomous fault correction aboard satellites. The German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy funds the projects with around 1.6 million euros.
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Physicists from Saarland University and the ESPCI in Paris have shown how liquids on solid surfaces can be made to slide over the surface a bit like a bobsleigh on ice. The key is to apply a coating at the boundary between the liquid and the surface that induces the liquid to slip. This results in an increase in the average flow velocity of the liquid and its throughput. This was demonstrated by studying the behaviour of droplets on surfaces with different coatings as they evolved into the equilibrium state. The results could prove useful in optimizing industrial processes, such as the extrusion of plastics.
The study has been published in the respected academic journal PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America).
Exceeding critical temperature limits in the Southern Ocean may cause the collapse of ice sheets and a sharp rise in sea levels
A future warming of the Southern Ocean caused by rising greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere may severely disrupt the stability of the West...
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