Nutrition in the News | Issue nº7

As nutrition professionals, it is crucial to keep up-to-date with the latest updates on nutrition science and news. Not only to base the nutritional recommendations on the most recent evidence-based information but also to be aware of today's reality and be informed when clients bring their concerns to the consultation.

In this October issue, Harriet Smith, Registered Dietitian and Health Writer from surreydietitian.co.uk has brought to us the latest articles in nutrition science as well as new health policies.

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Changes in Nut Consumption Influences Long-term Weight Change

A recent study found that increasing daily consumption of nuts is associated with less long-term weight gain and lower risk of obesity in adults.

The study, which combined data from three large American observational studies, analysed dietary intake and tracked the weight of over 144,000 adults over four-year intervals for a total of 20 or more years.

Daily increases in nut consumption were significantly associated with less weight gain per year; people who ate a daily 14g serving of nuts gained less weight (-0.37kg) than those who did not eat a daily serving of nuts over a 4-year period (average weight gain of 1.28kg).

This study suggests that swapping less healthy food (such as crisps) for nuts may prevent gradual long term weight gain and risk of obesity.

It is important to remember that observational studies are only able to identify associations. Plus, the majority of study participants were Caucasian health professionals of high socioeconomic status, meaning the results may not apply to all populations.

However, this study supports current dietary advice to include nuts as part of a healthy balanced diet.

Nutrition is Insufficiently Incorporated into Medical Education

A new study published in The Lancet concluded that medical students are not supported to provide high-quality, effective nutritional care to their patients.

This systematic review combined data from 24 global studies on the provision of nutritional education to medical students.

They found that nutritional education was insufficient amongst medical programmes across the world. This lack of education impacts the ability and confidence of medical students to include nutrition as part of patient care.

The researchers recommended that nutritional education should become a compulsory part of medical school teaching programmes to improve the integration of nutritional care in medical care plans.

Obesity is “Not a Choice”

A report published by the British Psychological Society recommends that public health campaigns avoid inferring that avoiding obesity is a simple ‘choice’.

The report acknowledges the complex causes of obesity, including biological, psychological, and social factors, and that it is not simply down to a lack of willpower. They advocate for an end to weight stigma and bias in the media.

The expert authors stress the importance of using evidence-based psychology in all campaigns which target behavior change to facilitate weight loss.

They recommend that psychologists work within multidisciplinary teams to deliver obesity and weight management interventions.

Instagram Announces New Rules for Posts on Weight Loss Products

The social media platforms Instagram and Facebook plan to impose new rules on posts promoting weight loss products, the BBC reports.

Posts advertising weight loss products (including cosmetic procedures) will be hidden from users who are under 18 years old. Posts which make false promises and bogus health claims (i.e., “quick weight loss results” or “detoxify the body”) will be easier to report and remove from these social media sites.

The changes are a result of recent pressure from campaign groups, including @i_weigh, an Instagram page started by Jameela Jamil. Jamil is a vocal critic of celebrity-endorsed posts promoting weight loss or detox products (such as Kim Kardashian’s post on appetite-suppressing lollipops).

Instagram are yet to release a public statement on these new rules.

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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 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.