Discover five recent scientific articles from our food, health and sustainability watch.
A recent study examined the association between fresh fruit intake and the risk of hospitalisation and death associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
(COPD) in the Chinese population. A total of 500,000 adults from the China Kadoorie Biobank aged between 30 and 79 were recruited. During a mean follow-up of 10.9 years, 11,292 hospitalisations and deaths related to COPD were recorded. Participants who consumed fresh fruit daily had a 22% lower risk of COPD-related hospitalization and death compared with non-consumers. In addition, risk reduction was greater in non-regular smokers and individuals with a normal BMI. According to this work, increasing fruit consumption, together with cigarette cessation and weight control, should be considered in the prevention and management of COPD.
As the prevalence of childhood obesity continues to rise, it is necessary to understand the factors that influence on its genesis and maintenance. A recent study explored the links between the timing of meal and sleep, their regularity throughout the week, sedentary behaviour, and the degree of obesity. Data from children and adolescents with obesity were obtained from a questionnaire on food and sleeping. According to this work, the degree of obesity is strongly influenced by later mealtimes and the distribution of calories throughout the day than by the total number of calories ingested. In addition, a lower consumption of vegetables and irregular sleep times were related to a higher degree of obesity. These findings underline the need to include recommendations on meal and sleep times in childhood obesity prevention.
A recent study assesses the change in behaviours among children exposed to digital applications designed to promote healthy behaviours. Two interventions involving exposure to the applications were carried out on a sample of 1,500 Albanian schoolchildren aged between 12 and 15. Data regarding children’s behavioural practices were then collected. Overall, after the interventions, there was a significant increase in the prevalence of all healthy behavioural practices measured. Engagement in healthy behaviours was higher among rural children, and especially those pertinent to Roma/Egyptian communities. These findings demonstrate that digital applications can be useful for strengthening school-based health promotion programs.
A cross-sectional study investigates the association between physical activity level, sedentary behaviour, fruit and vegetable intake, and the risk of sarcopenia among older Chinese adults. A total of 5418 adults who participated in the Study on Global Aging and Adult Health (SAGE) were included in this work. Participants reported information about their physical activity, sedentary behaviour, and dietary habits. Results showed that only 32.6% of participants met the recommendations on physical activity, sedentary behaviour and fruit and vegetable consumption. Yet, statistical analysis showed that following these recommendations was associated with a reduced risk of sarcopenia. Thus, this study underlines the value of adhering to public health recommendations in sarcopenia prevention.
Excessive exposure to UV radiation is associated with a wide range of adverse effects on the skin. While the use of photoprotective preparations is highly recommended, diet also plays an essential role in preventing skin aging. A recent review collected information on the effects of vegetables and their compounds on the skin when used externally or included in the diet. The studies included in this work reported among other things that broccoli, cucumber, kale, tomatoes and carrots have a protective effect against UV radiation. In addition, bioactive substances found in vegetables such as lycopene and β-carotene have antioxidant properties, and thus limit premature skin aging. Diets rich in vegetables could help to prevent skin photoaging
, and therefore reduce the risk of skin cancer.