Showing results for: Fats
Although there is no absolute consensus on the recommendation for total fat and dietary fat and saturated fat (SFA) intake between governing bodies and health organizations, there is a general sense of convergence. All guidelines currently suggest that total fat should not exceed 35% of daily calories. Although most guidelines propose a target for dietary SFA, there is no consensus on the value to aim for.
Food taxes & subsidies are effective at improving diets, according to a systematic review carried out by Australian researchers and published in the journal Nutrition Reviews. The systematic review analyses evidence from research published between January 2009 and March 2012 looking at the effectiveness of food taxes and subsidies on consumption. Included in the review were only papers assessing a specific food tax and those which directly and prospectively observed consumer responses to a fiscal policy intervention.
This paper provides a review of the current literature analysing environmental impacts of dietary recommendations. The review focuses on three aspects of dietary advice in particular: reducing the consumption of fat, reducing the consumption of meat-based protein and animal-based foods, and finally increasing the consumption of fruit and vegetables. It then reviews the environmental impact assessments and Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) that have been undertaken in foods that have relevance to these three dietary recommendations.
This systematic review examines the most common persuasive techniques used to promote junk food to children on television. The study shows that the approaches most frequently used are: free toys, gifts, discounts and competitions, promotional characters and celebrities, and appeals to taste and fun to promote junk food to children. These persuasive techniques were found to be used more often when promoting unhealthy food. The study authors argue that a ban on junk food advertising to children under 16 would be an important measure to fight child obesity. NB: the study looks at which persuasive techniques were most commonly used – it doesn’t assess which are the most effective.
This study (published in 2010) may be of interest. It looks at how the fat content and profile of poultry meat has changed over time. Although poultry meat is often considered to be a ‘healthy’ low fat meat, the study finds that the fat content now exceeds the protein content. Moreover, the composition of that fat has changed over time – due to changes in poultry diets, the Omega 3 content (ie. good fats that are also found in oily fish and that are often lacking in the diet) has declined relative to the more abundant Omega 6 fat.
This new policy report entitled ‘Sustainable consumption report: Follow-up to the green food project’, has been published by the UK’s Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and follows up from The Green Food Project (GFP) and the Defra Foresight report.
This study entitled: “Dairy products and the risk of type 2 diabetes: a systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of cohort studies” takes another look at the evidence on the association between intake of dairy products and the risk of type 2 diabetes.
This is an interesting study which tests preferences for sugar, fat, salt and umami (savoury-ness) among children in a range of European countries. It finds that children’s liking for these tastes varies by country, suggesting that culture has a very strong part to play in influencing food preferences. While hardly a major revelation in itself, what I take from this study is that the very common assumptions we see about the ‘inevitability’ of growth in demand for high fat and high sugar foods, or for meat products, are open to challenge.