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SUBJECT: AJCN Aug 2014

Distressing controversies for August:

CONTROVERSIES: 1)Next will be apple pie? - Generalizations that any breakfast is worthwhile may be false. [Weight effect study - contrary to widely espoused views eating breakfast had no discernable effect on weight loss in free-living adults who were attempting to lose weight.] [Breakfast does not change resting metabolic rate] [Getting at least 20% of daily energy at breakfast may help thinking.]We all "know" that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Of course this is true, if you are selling breakfast cereals. Putting profits aside, breakfast is currently part of 1) most weight-reduction procedures and 2) school breakfast programs designed to improve cognitive/school performance. The publication of these articles may give us reason to examine the veracity of these ideas. Does skipping a meal, such as breakfast, increase food consumed at subsequent meals sufficient to compensate for the lost meal? The evidence, contrary to our intuition, is a very convincing “no”. Edefonti et al (3) addresses another long-held belief among nutritional scientists and the public: eating breakfast improves cognitive performance. This issue is as much political as it is scientific, because school breakfast feeding programs have been supported, in part, by the argument that serving breakfast improves school performance. As a result, no consistent relation emerged between the consumption of breakfast and cognitive/academic performance. With the lack of solid evidence affirming the beneficial effect of eating breakfast on cognitive/academic performance and the fear of the high prevalence of childhood obesity, it seems unwise to argue that school breakfast programs should be used to boost school performance. Rather, it may be wiser to argue that providing school breakfast is effective in increasing school attendance, and school attendance is a good predictor of academic achievement.

2)Fruit and veggie intake has no effect on weight loss - Metastudy discounts most studies that reach the opposite conclusion. On the basis of the current evidence, recommending increased F/V consumption to treat or prevent obesity without explicitly combining this approach with efforts to reduce intake of other energy sources is unwarranted. 

OBESITY: Obesity changes brain connections to increase desire to eat - In the fasting state, obesity appears to be associated with stronger functional connectivity between brain areas involved in cognitive control, motivation, and reward, whereas these connections are largely unaffected by food intake in obese compared with lean subjects.

Vegetarian are as effective as meat diets for appetite control and weight loss

Sleep loss causes men, more than women, to gain weight - especially during late-night hours.

Fried foods 7 times weekly increases diabetes risk 55% - Frequent fried-food consumption was significantly associated with risk of incident T2D and moderately with incident CAD. Relative risk for individuals who consumed fried foods <1, 1–3, 4–6, or ≥7 times/wk were 1.00 (reference), 1.15, 1.39, and 1.55, respectively.

PREGNANCY: Early maternal diet of too much sugar increases chidren's adiposity - Higher maternal dietary GI and GL in early pregnancy are associated with greater adiposity at birth and 4 and 6 y of age.

A new approach to weight gain when pregnant lowers risk of adverse outcome - We identify weight-gain z scores in which risk of unplanned cesarean delivery, preterm birth, small-for-gestational-age infant, and large-for-gestational-age infant are not meaningfully increased. The new approach illustrated in this article has a number of advantages over current methods for establishing pregnancy weight-gain guidelines because it is systematic, it is reproducible, and it provides a tool for policy makers to derive guidelines that explicitly reflect values at which risk of adverse outcome becomes meaningfully increased.

ALSO Current food guidelines in US and China lower mortality - A greater compliance with Chinese or US dietary guidelines is associated with lower total mortality in Chinese adults. Favorable associations are more evident in men than women and more consistent for cardiometabolic mortality than cancer mortality.

MSG stimulates appetite and enhances satiety - The addition of MSG/IMP to a low-energy preload had a biphasic effect on appetite by stimulating appetite during ingestion and enhancing postingestive satiety.

Lowering homocysteine did not slow cognitive aging - Elevated plasma homocysteine is a risk factor for Alzheimer disease. Homocysteine lowering by using B vitamins had no significant effect on individual cognitive domains or global cognitive function or on cognitive aging. [Please see Roc's healthspan email for possible risk reduction for Alzheimer's and aging]

In 20% of US households, parents must go hungry to feed their children - Food insecurity is adversely associated with dietary quality in adults, particularly intakes of nutrient-rich vegetables, fruit, and dairy that promote good health. However, food insecurity was less-consistently associated with lower dietary quality in children. The idea that parents effectively shield their children from compromised dietary quality because of food shortages is supported by the evidence.

- Roc, Nutrition Investigator
*To be added or removed from the nutrition research Email List . *To review the disclaimer. *To ask Roc a question. Seeing the interdependent nature of the rest of the universe, Siddhartha saw the empty nature of all phenomena-that all things are empty of a separate, isolated self. – Old Path, White Clouds