Nutrition in the News | Issue nº 4

It's time for another roundup of nutrition news and this month has been a bit of eventful one.

We are featuring health campaign news across the UK and new studies featuring dietary habits through life, coffee, and evidence on personalized nutrition.

Keep reading to know what's been going on in the nutrition world this month.

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Obesity ‘causes more cases of some cancers than smoking’ says Cancer Research UK

You might have seen Cancer Research UK’s latest campaign to raise awareness of the link between obesity and cancer. It warns people that being overweight or obese has overtaken smoking as a leading cause of major cancers. Their campaign has caused a stir amongst academics and healthcare professionals, with some accusing the campaign of ‘fat-shaming'.

A group of UK health professionals has written an open letter to Cancer Research UK criticising the campaign here. Critics of the campaign say that obese is a complex disease and likening it to smoking is an inappropriate comparison. They suggest that campaigns should empower people to make changes rather than stigmatising and shaming them.

Others view the campaign as a useful message which highlights the facts surrounding the link between obesity and cancer.

Poor diet quality is associated with increased frailty in older adults

A new study published in July 2019 found that poorer overall diet quality and lower vegetable protein intake and may increase a person’s risk of becoming frail in older age.

This prospective cohort study was conducted in over 2,000 community-dwelling older adults in America who were followed up for four years.

It adds to existing research which has consistently shown that eating a healthy, balanced and diverse diet in older years can help with maintaining good health.

Coffee could be the secret to fighting obesity

Researchers have found that drinking a daily cup of coffee can stimulate brown adipose tissue (also known as ‘brown fat’) may help with tackling obesity and diabetes.

Brown fat is one of two types of fat found in humans (the other being white fat) and its main function is to create heat by burning calories.

The effects of caffeine on brown fat were tested both in vitro and in vivo (in humans), and this is one of the first studies to have found a way of artificially stimulating brown fat in humans.

It’s important to remember that this study was conducted in a small sample of 9 healthy adults who were not obese and did not have diabetes. More research is needed before we can conclude whether or not coffee is an effective intervention in people with diabetes and obesity.

One Size Doesn’t Fit All: Personalised Nutrition is Becoming a Reality

One of the world’s largest nutrition research projects, led by an international team of scientists, has shown that individual responses to the same foods are different, even in identical twins.

These pioneering findings were presented at the American Society of Nutrition and the American Diabetes Association conferences in June 2019. The research team are using machine learning techniques to analyse the data, which will later be used to develop an app for consumers.

Contrary to popular belief, these scientists from King's College London, Massachusetts General Hospital and nutritional science company ZOE are demonstrating that when it comes to nutrition, one size doesn’t fit all.


Make sure to head over to our Nutrition section on the blog to check the previous editions of Nutrition in the News.

Please note that we do not share any particular side on any of these news headlines, our goal is simply to inform on what professionals and the news have been discussing about to keep you informed and deliver to you the information at the distance of one click.

Let us know what other sources you often go to for evidence-based analysis of the latest information about nutrition, and other topics that were highlighted recently.