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Article

Huanguang Qiu, Ganxiao Leng, Xiaolong Feng and Sansi Yang

This paper aims to examine impacts of the poverty alleviation relocation (PAR) program on diet quality of low-income households in China. We explore the impact mechanism of

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine impacts of the poverty alleviation relocation (PAR) program on diet quality of low-income households in China. We explore the impact mechanism of relocation on diet quality and the heterogeneous effects of different relocation modes.

Design/methodology/approach

A fixed effects model is constructed using panel data of 1126 low-income households collected over three years in eight provinces of China. The PAR program provides a natural experiment which dramatically changes the living conditions surrounding farmers. We are able to identify the causal effects of relocation on diet quality free from selection bias.

Findings

The empirical results show that the PAR program improves diet quality of low-income households and that better market access and increasing incomes induced by relocation play an important role in this improvement. Improved market access significantly reduces the over-consumption of staple foods, whereas higher income significantly reduces the intake divergences of non-staple foods. The impacts of different relocation modes on diet quality are highly heterogeneous.

Practical implications

Our findings indicate that the PAR program benefits diet quality of low-income households through greater market access and increases in total household income. Market improvements and food subsidies are conducive to improving the diet quality of the low income.

Originality/value

Despite widespread evidences of healthy diets being associated with household environments and income, selection bias remains. This paper utilizes an exogenous program to explore the causal impacts of market access and family income on diet quality and to separate their different effects.

Details

China Agricultural Economic Review, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-137X

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Article

Laura Lachance, Michael Sean Martin, Pamela Kaduri, Paula Godoy-Paiz, Jorge Ginieniewicz, Valerie Tarasuk and Kwame McKenzie

The purpose of this paper is to increase the understanding of adolescents’ perceptions of food insecurity and diet quality, and the impact that these factors have on…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to increase the understanding of adolescents’ perceptions of food insecurity and diet quality, and the impact that these factors have on mental health.

Design/methodology/approach

This study used a community-based research approach. It gathered qualitative data from 11 in-depth interviews conducted with adolescents aged 13-19. Participants were recruited through various programmes they attended at a community organization in Toronto.

Findings

Overall, results indicate that respondents clearly identified a linkage between food insecurity and mental health. They also identified several effects of poor diet quality on mental health. Respondents understood food insecurity and poor diet quality to exist on a continuum. However, they also identified other reasons for making poor dietary choices such as peer pressure. Mental health effects of food insecurity and poor diet quality included sadness, stress, worry, anger, shame, impaired concentration, and fatigue.

Practical implications

This research will help to inform future research design in the field of social determinants of mental health. As well, the findings will help guide the development of interventions targeted towards this vulnerable age group.

Originality/value

This is the first qualitative study to explore food insecurity and poor diet quality, as existing on a continuum, from the perspective of adolescents. The authors are also the first to explore the impact of these factors on the mental health of adolescents, based on their own understanding. What is more, the authors focused on a culturally diverse population living in an underprivileged neighbourhood in Toronto. The authors chose this population because they are at higher risk of both food insecurity and poor diet quality.

Details

Ethnicity and Inequalities in Health and Social Care, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-0980

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Article

Elina Maseta, T.C. Mosha, Cornelio Nyaruhucha and Henry Laswai

Child undernutrition is a persistent problem in Africa, especially in areas where the poor largely depend on starchy staples with limited access to diverse diets. The…

Abstract

Purpose

Child undernutrition is a persistent problem in Africa, especially in areas where the poor largely depend on starchy staples with limited access to diverse diets. The purpose of this study was to determine the protein quality, growth and rehabilitating potential of composite foods made from quality protein maize.

Design/methodology/approach

Four composite diets were prepared from quality protein maize, namely quality protein maize-soybeans; quality protein maize-soybeans-cowpeas; quality protein maize-soybeans-common beans and quality protein maize alone. A fifth diet was prepared from common maize alone. The control diet (Chesta®) was made from maize, soybeans, fish, bone and blood meal. The formulations were made to meet the greatest amino acid score and the desired amount of energy and fat according to the FAO/WHO (1985) recommendation for pre-school children. Albino rats were used in evaluating the protein quality of the formulations.

Findings

The food intake was significantly different (p < 0.05) among diets; with a trend of intake decreasing from quality protein maize-based to conventional maize alone diets (apart from the control diet). Protein efficiency ratio and net protein ratio varied significantly (p < 0.05) across the experimental diets. Protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS) was 80 per cent (quality protein maize-soybeans-cowpeas), 87 per cent (quality protein maize-soybeans), 103 per cent (common maize alone), 98 per cent (quality protein maize), 80 per cent (quality protein maize-soybeans-common beans) and 53 per cent (control).

Research limitations/implications

Two diets, namely quality protein maize-soybeans-common beans and quality protein maize-soybeans-cowpeas, showed the greatest potential to support growth and rehabilitation of undernourished rats. Human trial is proposed to validate the findings.

Originality/value

Despite adoption of quality protein maize in several parts of the country, there are no studies that have been done to determine the potential of quality protein maize to support optimal growth and rehabilitation of undernourished children. The objective of this study was, therefore, to evaluate the protein quality, growth and rehabilitating potential of composite foods made from quality protein maize.

Details

Nutrition & Food Science, vol. 47 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

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Article

Kelly Cristina Moura Bombem, Daniela Silva Canella, Daniel Henrique Bandoni and Patricia Constante Jaime

– The purpose of this paper is to assess the impact of a worksite nutritional intervention on the dietary quality of adult workers from the city of São Paulo, Brazil.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to assess the impact of a worksite nutritional intervention on the dietary quality of adult workers from the city of São Paulo, Brazil.

Design/methodology/approach

A 6-month controlled community trial was performed involving 236 workers from São Paulo, Brazil. The intervention was implemented through interactive software that sends recommendations about diet and physical activity by e-mail. Data were collected for all participants using a 24-hour dietary recall and also for a sub-sample containing 25.4 per cent of the participants. Diet quality was assessed by the diet quality index adjusted (DQIa) comprising 10 components (grains and tubers; vegetables; fruits; milk and dairy products; meat and eggs; beans and legumes; total fat; saturated fat; sodium; and variety), scored from 0 (inadequate consumption) to 10 (recommended consumption). Intragroup impact of the intervention was assessed according to variation in total DQIa, its components and energy consumption. Impact adjusted between groups was also determined.

Findings

The intervention yielded improvements in DQIa and for the components cereals and tubers, vegetables, milk and dairy products and total fat. The workers who had a worst diet quality before the study were more susceptible to the intervention, which improved significantly the diet quality, with an adjusted impact of +6.4 points.

Originality/value

Few behavioral interventions have been performed using technologies, like e-mail, to encourage a healthy lifestyle. This study shows the importance of the counseling to promote a higher-quality diet, which can result in control of the obesity.

Details

Nutrition & Food Science, vol. 44 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

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Article

Gertrude Nneka Onyeji and Rasaki Ajani Sanusi

The purpose of this is study is to evaluate the diet quality in nine local government areas drawn from three states of the south-east geo-political zone of Nigeria.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this is study is to evaluate the diet quality in nine local government areas drawn from three states of the south-east geo-political zone of Nigeria.

Design/methodology/approach

A multi-stage sampling procedure yielded 1,200 women of childbearing age (15-49 years), who responded to a multi-pass 24-hour diet recall questionnaire at the household. Diet quality (DQ) was assessed using the “diet quality index international” (DQI-I) tool with a scale of 0-100.

Findings

Mean age of respondents was 28 ± 5.6 years and body mass index was 26.81 ± 4.8 kg/m2. Majorities (96 per cent) were married, 53.2 per cent had complete secondary and 18 per cent post-secondary education, 41.7 per cent were traders, 14.3 per cent civil servants and 25.8 per cent were unemployed. Main staple foods included root and tubers, cereals, legumes and vegetables. The total DQ in the South-east was 58.8 ± 8.1 with a low “variety” (9.5 ± 3.0), poor “adequacy” (22.3 ± 4.7), good “moderation” (25.0 ± 3.8) and “overall balance” (2.0 ± 1.8).The total DQ in Imo, Enugu and Anambra were 58.6 ± 8.3, 58.8 ± 8.0 and 59.0 ± 8.1, respectively (P > 0.05).

Research limitations/implications

The study was limited to three states in South-east Nigeria; it does not give a holistic view of the DQ of women of childbearing age in Nigeria.

Originality/value

The total DQ-I score revealed average overall DQ (59/100) for South-east. However, distinct patterns of low consumption of fruits and vegetables were identified. The need for national (and cross-continental) comparison of DQ using the DQI-I tool is hereby advocated.

Details

Nutrition & Food Science, vol. 48 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

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Article

Zamzam Paknahad, Leila Yazdanpanah, Mohammad Reza Maracy, Amir Reza Moravejolahkami, Seyed Ali Javad-Mousavi and Abbas Nemati

Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) suffer from many health problems including poor sleep. This paper aims to evaluate the relationship between diet

Abstract

Purpose

Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) suffer from many health problems including poor sleep. This paper aims to evaluate the relationship between diet quality indices (DQIs) and sleep quality in COPD.

Design/methodology/approach

The current cross-sectional study was carried on 121 COPD patients. Subjective quality of sleep was determined by Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) and categorized into “poor” and “good” sleep quality. Dietary history was assessed by the DQIs. Disease status was categorized according to the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) Guidelines.

Findings

In total, 103 men and 18 women with a mean age of 66.1 ±10.9 were studied. The subjects were categorized into four groups based on GOLD; 3.3% of subjects were at Stage 1, 38% in Stage 2, 38% in Stage 3 and 20.7% in Stage 4. In total, 38% of subjects were good, and 62% were bad sleepers according to PSQI score. There was no significant relationship between the severity of COPD and PSQI score. We observed a significant inverse relation between PSQI total score and Mediterranean diet (MED) scale, Healthy Eating Index (HEI)-2010 and HEI-2005 (p = 0.024, 0.037 and 0.024, respectively) in males.

Originality/value

This study showed a high prevalence of poor quality of sleep and sleep disturbances among COPD patients. There was an inverse association between PSQI and sleep disorders and DQIs scores in COPD patients. Regardless of the severity of airflow obstruction, poor diet quality may constitute a risk factor for sleep quality.

Details

Nutrition & Food Science , vol. 50 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

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Article

D.M. Marchioni, B. Gorgulho, M. Lipi and A.N. Previdelli

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the energy density (ED) of workers' diets and examine their relationship with nutrient intake, diet quality, socio‐demographic and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the energy density (ED) of workers' diets and examine their relationship with nutrient intake, diet quality, socio‐demographic and anthropometric factors.

Design/methodology/approach

Dietary data were collected by a 24‐hour recall. ED, defined as energy per unit weight of diet, included all food and excluded all beverages. Diet quality was evaluated using the Brazilian version of the health eating index. The associations between ED and socio‐demographic variables and body mass index were examined using regression models.

Findings

The study evaluated 201 individuals: 51 percent male; mean age 33.4 years (SD=9.5); 43 percent overweight. Women and men presented similar mean ED: 1.99 (95 percent CI: 1.90‐2.09) and 1.95 (95 percent CI: 1.89‐201). ED was inversely associated with age (β: −0.009; 95 percent CI: −0.015; −0.002) and with leisure physical activity (β: −0.049; 95 percent CI: −0.096; −0.002) and directly associated with liquid intake during meals (β: 0.159; 95 percent CI: 0.003; 0.285). Diets with higher ED were of lower quality: richer in total fat, saturated fat, trans fatty acids and added sugars, and concomitantly providing less vitamin C and less fiber. There was no association between ED and anthropometric variables.

Originality/value

The high ED diets consumed by these workers might represent a risk, because of the relationship between low quality diets and chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease, obesity and cancer.

Details

Nutrition & Food Science, vol. 43 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

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Article

Olivia Genevieve El Jassar, Isobel Nadia El Jassar and Evangelos I. Kritsotakis

This paper aims to assess the quality of health information available to patients seeking online advice about the vegan diet.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to assess the quality of health information available to patients seeking online advice about the vegan diet.

Design/methodology/approach

A cross-sectional sample of patient-oriented websites was selected by searching for “Vegan diet” in the three most popular search engines. The first 50 websites from each search were examined. Quality of information was assessed using the DISCERN instrument, a questionnaire tool designed to judge the quality of written information on treatment choices. Readability was determined with the Flesch Reading Ease score (FRES) and Flesch–Kincaid Grade Level (FKGL). Relevance to health and disease was assessed by counting the appearances of ten related keywords, generated by searching the query term “Vegan diet” into PubMed and recording the top ten health-related words.

Findings

Of 150 websites retrieved, 67 (44.7 per cent) met inclusion criteria. Of these, 42 (62.7 per cent) were non-pharmaceutical commercial, 7 (10.4 per cent) institutional, 6 (9.0 per cent) magazines or newspapers, 4 (6.0 per cent) support websites, 4 (6.0 per cent) charitable websites, 2 (3.0 per cent) encyclopedias and 2 (3.0 per cent) personal blogs. The overall DISCERN rating of the websites was fair (mean 41.6 ± 15.4 on an 80-point scale), but nearly half (31/67) of the websites were assessed as having “poor” or “very poor” quality of information. FRES and FKGL readability indices met the recommended standards on average (means 63.3 ± 9.6 and 6.6 ± 1.7, respectively), but did not correlate with high DISCERN ratings. Analysis of variance on DISCERN scores (F(6,60) = 6.536, p < 0.001) and FRES (F(6,60) = 2.733, p = 0.021) yielded significant variation according to website source type.

Originality/value

Quality standards of health information available on the internet about the vegan diet vary greatly. Patients are at risk of exposure to low quality and potentially misleading information over the internet and should be consulting dietitians or physicians to avoid being misled.

Details

Nutrition & Food Science , vol. 49 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

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Article

Agata Wawrzyniak, Agnieszka Elżbieta Woźniak, Anna Anyzewska, Małgorzata Kwiatkowska and Anna Kołłajtis-Dołowy

The purpose of this paper is to assess the Questionnaire Eating Behaviours (QEB), developed by the Science Committee of Human Nutrition of the Polish Academy of Sciences…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to assess the Questionnaire Eating Behaviours (QEB), developed by the Science Committee of Human Nutrition of the Polish Academy of Sciences, as an instrument to examine the opinions on food and nutrition and diet quality indicators in women in various age groups.

Design/methodology/approach

The study involved 161 healthy Polish women aged 18–92, divided into four age groups to assess the QEB questionnaire, as an instrument to examine the opinions on food and nutrition and diet quality indicators.

Findings

Women provided statistically significant responses to 40 per cent of the statements in the test. In the case of 60 per cent of responses proper answers increased with the age of the participant. Questionnaire determines that people whose opinions were more compliant with nutritional knowledge more often applied the principles of proper nutrition. Dependencies between the number of points from the test of opinions about food and nutrition and the Prohealthy-Diet-Index (pHDI-8) or the sum of points from the test and the Non-healthy-Diet-Index (nHDI-8) were indicated. People who obtained the higher pHDI-8 and the lower nHDI-8 coefficient better evaluated their diet.

Originality/value

The QEB questionnaire can be an effective, quick and cheap instrument recommended to examine the association between the opinion about food and nutrition and the quality of diet of people at various ages and useful in determining the directions of further education and improvement in the quality of diet, including its assessment in large population groups.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 121 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Keywords

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Michelle L. Frisco, Molly A. Martin and Jennifer Van Hook

Social scientists often speculate that both acculturation and socioeconomic status are factors that may explain differences in the body weight between Mexican Americans…

Abstract

Social scientists often speculate that both acculturation and socioeconomic status are factors that may explain differences in the body weight between Mexican Americans and whites and between Mexican Americans and Mexican immigrants, yet prior research has not explicitly theorized and tested the pathways that lead both of these upstream factors to contribute to ethnic/nativity disparities in weight. We make this contribution to the literature by developing a conceptual model drawing from Glass and McAtee’s (2006) risk regulation framework. We test this model by analyzing data from the 1999–2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Our conceptual model treats acculturation and socioeconomic status as risk regulators, or social factors that place individuals in positions where they are at risk for health risk behaviors that negatively influence health outcomes. We specifically argue that acculturation and low socioeconomic status contribute to less healthy diets, lower physical activity, and chronic stress, which then increases the risk of weight gain. We further contend that pathways from ethnicity/nativity and through acculturation and socioeconomic status likely explain disparities in weight gain between Mexican Americans and whites and between Mexican immigrants and whites. Study results largely support our conceptual model and have implications for thinking about solutions for reducing ethnic/nativity disparities in weight.

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