Bread Oriented Stuff (but not entirely)
The consequences of maternal malnutrition are far-reaching, including higher child-mortality rates, more birth defects, increased susceptibility to infection, and specific nutritional deficiencies that can lock a child into a vicious cycle of poor health early in life. Moreover, intrauterine malnutrition can increase the risk of chronic conditions like obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease during adulthood.
Here’s the thing – they’re technically correct (the best kind of correct). Yes, childhood obesity dropped 40% based on that report, and if that is true, that is a dramatic decrease. However, that is one group, and even the researchers themselves conclude this may be meaningless. It begs the question why, and if this is an actual association or just an artifact of something else like the type and number of statistical tests used. But since the narrative had already been written, everyone followed suit, and next thing you know we’re all slapping hi fives and proclaiming that there has been a drop off in childhood obesity that may not actually be something worth celebrating. Now, had the results been portrayed fairly, two things would have happened. For one, the findings would not have been as positive as they are now. In fact, the headlines would have read “Business as usual: Obesity the same for the last decade” or “Obesity up 20% among elderly women!” (The latter refers to the finding that the prevalence of obesity went up among women aged 60 years and older from 31.5% to 38.1%). Secondly, a much more detailed discussion of the study findings would have happened – why has the prevalence stabilized? Have we finally reached saturation? Are all the people who could be obese now obese? Or is something else going on? But these weren’t the findings that were focused on.
And so, if my wife was to ask me what I had been doing all morning, I could truthfully have said that I had been “busy harnessing ecosystem services and investing sweat equity”, and she would have probably thought that I had become a little bit madder than I already am.
We did 70 interviews in 14 countries across Europe. The interviews enabled more up-to-date and accurate information than was provided on websites or in reports. Responses revealed important differences between official lists of food policies and their actual implementation on the ground. European countries are at very different stages of addressing public health nutrition issues. Most are promoting dialogue, recommendations, and guidelines (often regarded as an early part of the policy process). Voluntary reformulation of foods is also common, especially for salt, sugar, and total fat. Legislation, regulation, or fiscal interventions targeting salt, sugar, fat, or fruit and vegetable consumption are still uncommon. Many interviewees expressed a preference for regulation and fiscal interventions and generally believed that they were more effective than voluntary measures and information-based interventions, albeit politically more challenging. Conversely, information-based interventions were often seen as being more politically feasible than regulation and fiscal measures.
Does wheat make us fat and sick?
Probably not, according to a paper in the Journal of Cereal Science.
Mandy Rice-Davies may apply, but personally, I doubt it.
OneWorld Foundation, India (OWFI) has launched a new website for the OneWorld-POSHAN Media Fellowship that features news articles, published by fellows, related to undernutrition in India. Despite targeted initiatives, undernutrition remains one of the major development challenges faced by India today. In fact, malnutrition is the underlying cause in roughly half of the 2.1 million deaths in children under the age of five each year.
We may be witnessing the confluence of two inherent components of the human condition: incompetence and self-interest.
The lead author of the recent study on under-reporting of calorie intake, funded by a grant from Coca Cola, explains why he did the research and what it means.