Nutrition in the News | Issue #12

Nutrition in the News | Issue #12

This article was written by Harriet Smith, a Registered Dietitian and Health Writer. It is available in PortugueseFrench, and Spanish.

This is our 12th issue of Nutrition in the News! Roughly one year has gone by with Nutrium delivering to you all the relevant news on nutrition science and policies.

This month we are talking about exactly that: new food policies, in this case by the Mexican Government. As well as new studies reporting the link between alcohol and sugar-sweetened beverages with increased liver fat, and the link of psychology in food intake during mealtimes.

Tune in to our latest Nutrition in the News.

Publishers make coronavirus content freely available online

More than 30 leading global publishers have committed to making all of their COVID-19 and coronavirus-related publications, and the available data supporting them, immediately accessible in PubMed Central. Participating publications include: Wiley, SAGE Publishing, The Lancet and The British Medical Journal. This will help to support the ongoing public health emergency response efforts.

Vitamin D may help build resistance to respiratory infections

new opinion piece based on data from The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA) has suggested that daily vitamin D supplementation may enhance resistance to respiratory infections.

The article, which was published in the Irish Medical Journal, recommended that all adults living in Ireland take 20-50 mcg vitamin D per day. This is not yet a national recommendation, however guidance in other countries such as the UK recommend that all adults take a daily vitamin D supplement during winter months.

International bodies release guidance on nutrition and dietetic support during coronavirus

British Dietetic Association (BDA) Critical Care Specialists Group

The BDA Critical Care Specialists Group has developed guidance on planning, delivering and managing dietetic services for the critically ill. The guidance covers topics such as tube feeding, training non-ICU dietitians and non-invasive ventilation.

The European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism (ESPEN)

ESPEN has released expert statements and practical guidance for the nutritional management of critically ill individuals with coronavirus in the ICU or those who are older and/or with polymorbidity.

The European Federation of the Associations of Dietitians (EFAD)

EFAD has collated and translated global resources and information to help dietitians to deliver optimal nutrition support to COVID-19 patients. Their resources are collated from over ten countries including Spain, Portugal, Israel, Hungary, Turkey and the UK.

World Health Organization

WHO has released a new guide on food and nutrition advice during self-quarantine. It offers practical advice for eating well when access to fresh food may be limited. The guide talks about meal planning, food delivery options, portion sizes, safe food handling practices and healthy eating advice. It contains several simple recipes and tips for eating as a family as well as a list of store cupboard essentials. WHO has also released a guide on staying physically active during self-quarantine, which you can read here.

AYMES launches first-to-the market vegan oral nutrition supplement

AYMES International have launched a First-to-Market Vegan Oral Nutrition Supplement with Support from The Vegan Society. In collaboration with The Vegan Society’s Trademark Team, a recent reformulation of AYMES ActaSolve Smoothie, using a vegan source of vitamin D, means that AYMES ActaSolve Smoothie is the only nutritionally balanced ONS suitable for vegan diets.

Claire James, Registered Dietitian and Head of Nutrition and Regulatory Affairs at AYMES says: “AYMES are delighted to be first to market with a nutritionally balanced oral nutritional supplement providing much needed choice for vegans who require nutritional support. Being able to produce a suitable palatable alternative which also brings nutritional benefits has been a big achievement and a step forward for vegan patients.”

You can read more about the steps involved in the product reformulation, here.

Mexico plans to introduce a new food label system to tackle childhood obesity crisis

Mexico plans to introduce a new food labelling system that will state whether a food or beverage is high in sugar, fat, or calories.

Similar to the food labelling system used in Chile, foods such as crisps and biscuits could have up to three black labels on them, highlighting that the product is high in fat, sugar, and calories.

Mexico has the highest prevalence globally for children who are overweight or obese. Healthcare professionals say that the new food labelling system is a step in the right direction as it could help consumers to make better-informed food choices. The UN, the World Health Organisation, and the World Public Health Nutrition Association are all said to have supported the initiative.

However, the proposed system has faced heavy criticism from the food industry who say that it would be expensive for small food manufacturers to comply with new packaging requirements and that the food labels won’t deter people from buying these foods anyway.

Consumption of alcoholic and sugar-sweetened beverages is linked with increased liver fat in middle-aged

new study, which was published in the Journal of Nutrition, has found that consuming an extra daily alcoholic beverage was associated with more liver fat. Non-alcoholic, calorie-equivalent replacement beverages were also studied.

This cross-sectional analysis used validated food frequency questionnaires to assess beverage intake in almost 2,000 middle-aged adults. Milk was associated with less liver fat, whereas sugar-sweetened beverages were equally associated with liver fat when compared with alcoholic beverages. This suggests that drinking too much alcohol or sugary drinks may contribute to liver fat accumulation.

Too much fat in the liver (known as fatty liver) can result in increased inflammation, which if untreated, can lead to permanent damage.

Young people eat less at mealtimes when distracted

You might not be surprised to hear that a newly published study has confirmed that young people ate less at mealtimes when distracted.

The randomised controlled crossover study of 119 young adults (mean age: 20.2 years) involved participants eating a meal of quiche whilst undergoing 15 minutes of Rapid Information Visual Processing (a form of visual distraction). One week later, the participants completed the study under the opposite condition (i.e. without distractions).

After a 30-minute rest period, participants were offered a snack and were given five minutes to eat it ad libitum. Participants completed a survey assessing fullness, hunger, and enjoyment of the meal using visual analogue scales.

When distracted, participants ate 13g less food when compared with no distractions. When distracted, they also struggled to recall what they’d eaten and how much they had consumed.

This study confirms that distractions (especially gadgets such as TVs and phones) decrease the amount of food consumed at mealtimes. For a more mindful approach to mealtimes, try switching off your devices and instead focus on savoring food as you eat it, eating slowly, and chewing thoroughly.


If you haven't already, make sure to give a look at the Nutrition tag on our blog where you can catch up with the previous Nutrition in the News issues and also grab our nutrition guides for professionals.

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.