- Katie Coakley
- Larry Istrail
- Meghan Johnson
- Dylan Lennon
- Ralph Pietrofesa
- Sabrina Sales
- Lindsey Smith
- Colby Vorland
- Corrie Whisner
Nutrition Notes Daily is now available! This concluding version features the global yogurt satellite, a summary of media coverage, and a review of Wednesday's session on "Dietary Phosphorus Excess: A Risk Factor." Attendees can also share their thoughts by completing a survey on the meeting.
A roundup of EB 2013 highlights from bloggers and How yogurt might have saved humanity and could again.
Thanks to everyone who blogged, tweeted, and shared the science from ASN's Scientific Sessions! We look forward to seeing you in 2014 in San Diego.
Are sugary drinks to blame for obesity and diabetes or have they been simply served up by the media, politicians, and even some scientists as a scapegoat for all of society's ills?
In recent months, the question has sparked harsh words, flared tempers, op-eds, demonization, and even talk of creating policy that would ban or limit consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages like sodas. But what does the scientific evidence really show once emotion and exaggeration are removed from the equation?
With the intent of setting the scientific record straight, respected academics and nutrition researchers came together to discuss the issues in Boston on Tuesday, April 23, at Experimental Biology 2013. The symposium, organized by the American Society for Nutrition, would be the second of its kind over two years at the conference to evaluate sugar and how it relates to health. The event was sponsored by the Corn Refiners Association (CRA) and endorsed by the Medical Nutrition Council. Read more about the event.
Calories on menus -- it hasn't had quite the public health affect that we'd hoped for. Critics of the program say it's because the number is given out of context. How does a 550 calorie (with 29g of fat and 10g saturated fat) double cheeseburger fit into someone's daily calorie needs? And whose calorie needs? A 200lb muscular man, a 120 lb trim female, or 250lb overweight man or woman? What about if you add in a fries and large soda with that? Doing math while standing in a crowded fast food line with 3 kids at your side – forget it. There are also people that think that if they chose the salad over the meatball sub, they have permission to get the chips and soda with it. It's easy to see why someone without an education in nutrition might look right past those calorie numbers.
But what if we give that calorie label a little context? That may help the cause, according to research that Ashlei James, graduate student at Texas Christian University, presented at the Nutrition Education minisymposium on Tuesday. Ashlei and her team randomized 200 men and women ages 18-30 into three menu groups: no calorie labels, calorie labels only, and calorie labels plus minutes of walking it would take to burn off those calories. All three menus offered the same food and beverage choices, and calories burned were based on the average 150lb person walking at 3.5miles per hour. All participants were blinded and told they were there for a study on hunger cues.
The group with the calories plus walking minutes ordered an average of 139 fewer calories than the group with no menu labels, and consumed 97 fewer calories of their meal, both of which were statistically significant. There was no significant difference in what was ordered or consumed between the other two groups or between the calories only and calories plus walking group. When asked, 90% of participants from the two groups with menu labels responded that they noticed the labels.
Interestingly, there was no difference in calories consumed after the meal among the groups suggesting that group that ate less didn't make up for it later.
Similar results were found in a web-based study that tested the same idea earlier this year. These results provide some promising data for the future of calorie labeling. Consuming just 100 fewer calories at just one meal per day can result in up to a 10-pound loss in one year.
However, it's important to note that this was a small study among young men and women, and only looked at one meal in a research setting. To learn more about the general public's response to such information, it would be interesting to see this hypothesis tested in a real life setting at a fast food or chain restaurant.
Rachele Pojednic's blog "Social Media & Technology @nutritionorg EB 2013, live coverage of the session from Tuesday at EB 2013! The mobile-health field, or “mHealth” to techies savvy in the discipline, is a burgeoning player within the nutrition conglomerate. To understand where the digital age fits into nutrition research and professions, the American Society for Nutrition (@NutritionOrg) Student Interest Group (SIG) brought together experts from all aspects of the field — investigators, dieticians, bloggers, professors, and industry professionals — to discuss current and future uses of technology in nutrition.
The symposium, “Social Media and Mobile Technology for Education, Research and Practice” was held on Tuesday at Experimental Biology 2013 (@expbio) and was designed to address how to access and use technology to advance accurate and evidence based nutrition information in the digital age. Drs. Carol Bouschey (Purdue University), Lauri Wright (University of Southern Florida), Deborah Silverman (Eastern Michigan University), Ilene Smith (Porter and Novelli) and Michael McBurney (DSM Nutrition) were on the panel.
Read the rest of the blog, “Social Media & Technology @NutritionOrg #EB2013.”
View her introduction to the meeting, and visit past year's videos to learn more about this effort. This year's videos include ASN Media Award Winner Carolyn O'Neil on communicating with the media, Barbara Hansen from the Public Information Committee on the importance of basic research, graduate students Ryan Grant and Ann Liu sharing their experience, and ASN member George Bray sharing career and life advice. View the entire portfolio over on ASN's YouTube Channel.
For those of you who missed the Monday morning session "The World Has Changed and So Must Your Communication Style," the slides can be found here.
Many scientists are skeptical of a public-private sector relationship, particularly when it comes to conducting research. Academics are hesitant to take industry funding for fear that their research will be misguided, or seen as less reputable, and many industry scientists lack trust for academics. But this may be a shortsighted perspective for both parties. According to Richard Black, PhD, VP Global Nutrition at PepsiCo and James Hill, PhD, University of Colorado School of Medicine, there are many compelling reasons to work together.
Why work together
While Hill notes that one benefit to partnering with industry for research is funding, he believes industry's value extends far beyond that. “Industry touches people's lives,” he professed, “it's not possible to help people achieve healthy lives without industry.” According to Hill, academics excel in developing ideas, conducting the clinical trials, and developing science based programs, but they really need help from industry to get the programs out to the people. Take America on the Move, for example. Academics conducted the research, and with industry's help, they were able to reach more than 5 million people.
However, he doesn't believe that asking the food industry to reformulate the products is the answer to healthier lives. Instead, he notes, the private and public sector should work together to market healthier solutions. If the hope is to change the food supply, Black notes, industry cannot seek to modify the food chain without knowing what needs to be changed, and the public health industry needs the help of the food industry to make those changes.
How to work together
Both men agreed that to effectively foster this partnership, there must be authentic trust. The partnership should be one of “mutuality,” noted Black. The two parties should work together to develop a common goal; and both sides need to relinquish control – it will not work if one side believes they are going to tell the other side what to do. Each party can bring strengths to the equation, and they should complement each other. Establishing clear procedural steps and a general management process will allow for a positive partnership. Transparency is also a necessity.
The bottom line is that qualified, capable scientists work in both academia and industry. Working together towards a common goal will allow for greater public health outcomes. And as Hill reminded the skeptics in the room: just because you're partnering with industry, doesn't mean you're necessarily becoming an advocate for their product or service.
The balance is tipping from diet and lifestyle to use of drugs and bariatric surgery to combat obesity and chronic disease. However, new medical imaging technologies can help turn the tables.
University of Toronto professor of nutrition David Jenkins, MD, who is most well-known for developing the concept of the glycemic index, gave this year's Atwater Memorial Lecture co-sponsored by the American Society for Nutrition in Boston on Tuesday at Experimental Biology 2013. In his talk, he warned, “If diet is to be relevant, it should demonstrate the same effectiveness as drugs.”
The problem, he said, faced by diet and lifestyle recommendations has to do with a combination of their inconvenience, impracticality, and unproven results because of lack of well-designed trials demonstrating their effectiveness. The need for an adequate number of subjects that maintained compliance to studies also made them expensive to do. On the other hand, he said, “drugs are a story of success.” They are backed by strong evidence from randomized controlled trials. For example, statins are shown to generally reduce coronary heart disease risk by 20 to 30 percent.
Follow the link to the full discussion.
Nutrition Notes Daily at EB 2013 features a recap of the session "The World Has Changed and so Must your Communication Style," cutting-edge review of studies on environmental influences on nutrition, photos from the Fellows, 50-Year Members Luncheon and Meet the Fellows event, plus highlights from the Twitter feed.