Online dietary assessment of children

Validation of a web-based questionnaire to assess the dietary intake of Brazilian children aged 7–10 years

Davies et al., JHND Early View

 

Background

The Food Intake and Physical Activity of School Children (CAAFE) comprises an online questionnaire to self-report diet and physical activity of Brazilian schoolchildren.

Background

The present study aimed to assess the validity (matches, omissions and intrusions) and moderating factors of the CAAFE.

Methods

Direct observation was made of foods consumed (five public schools) and child self-reporting on the CAAFE. Additional data included school grade, gender, body mass index, completion of food diary, socioeconomic status and access to computer. Data were analysed using regression.

Results

In total, 602 children participated in the study [mean (SD) age 9.5 (1.24) years; 53.6% boys]. On average, there were 43% matches, 29% intrusions and 28% omissions. Matches doubled in third grade compared to the second grade (P = 0.004); matches almost tripled for afternoon snack compared to morning snack (P < 0.001); and matches were 69% higher for children with access to a computer at home (P < 0.01). Intrusions decreased by almost one-half in fifth compared to fourth grades (P = 0.004). Omissions declined significantly in the third and fourth grades but increased in the fifth grade. Omissions were 47% lower for children in the highest income and lower among children who completed the food diary. No differences were found for gender or body mass index.

Conclusions

Children older than 8 years old, who owned a computer and completed a food diary, performed better in the CAAFE. A high incidence of disagreement was found in relation to the schools and the type of meal. Overall matches (43%), intrusions (29%) and omissions (28%) indicate that further studies are required to improve the validity of the CAAFE.

Personality traits of dietitians

A cross-sectional exploration of the personality traits of dietitians

Ball et al., JHND Early View

Background

Personality traits refer to habitual patterns of behaviour, thought and emotions, and have been shown to influence health professionals’ career decisions, career development, job satisfaction and retention. There is an opportunity to better understand and support the career pathways of dietitians by exploring their personality traits. The two primary aspects of personality are: (i) temperament traits, which determine automatic emotional responses to experiences, and are generally stable over lifetime, and (ii) character traits, which reflect personal goals and values, and tend to develop with life experience. The present study explored the levels of temperament and character traits of dietitians, as well as their relationship to demographic variables.

Methods

The study comprised a cross-sectional online survey of 346 Australian dietitians [95% female; mean (SD) age 32 (10) years; mean (SD) time since graduation 7 (9) years]. Temperament and character traits were measured by the Temperament and Character Inventory. Key demographic variables were measured to describe career decisions and pathways of dietitians. Multivariate analyses of variance was used to investigate the relationship between demographic variables and personality traits.

Results

Levels of several traits were significantly associated with gender, age and highest level of education. In comparison to the general population, the dietitians displayed average levels of Novelty Seeking; high levels of Harm Avoidance, Reward Dependence, Persistence, Self-Directedness and Cooperativeness; and low levels of Self-Transcendence.

Conclusions

The dietitians in the present study displayed levels of personality traits that were similar to other health professionals, although they differed from the general population. These findings are the precursor to further work that may inform recruitment strategies and career counselling in dietetics.

Dietitian burnout in Australia

Unknown

An investigation into the Professional Quality of Life of dietitians working in acute care caseloads: are we doing enough to look after our own?

Osland JHND Early View.

Background

The development of compassion fatigue (CF) has been described across a variety of acute care caseloads in some health professions. The present study was undertaken to determine whether dietitians working in these caseloads also experience CF.

Methods

A voluntary, anonymous survey incorporating the Professional Quality of Life tool was developed in an online format, and was e-mailed to dietitians working in public acute care settings.

Results

Eighty-seven completed surveys were returned. Average rates of compassion satisfaction (CS) and burnout and low rates of secondary traumatic stress (STS) were reported. Dietitians in high-risk workloads reported higher levels of STS than those with low-risk workloads (χ2 = 5.4, = 0.02). Differences in STS were found between those practising in paediatric compared to adult caseloads (χ2 = 16.6,< 0.01). Dietitians in smaller facilities reported higher STS (χ2 = 10.6, < 0.01) and lower CS (= 0.05) than larger facilities. Working for >5 years as a dietitian was associated with higher rates of STS and burnout than in those working for <5 years (χ2 = 7.9, = 0.05 and χ2 = 3.8, = 0.05, respectively). Those who perceived greater levels of support reported lower rates of burnout (rs = −0.41, < 0.01) and higher rates of CS (rs = 0.39, < 0.01) than those not feeling supported. All dietitians reported undertaking self-care practices; however, up to 24% reported practices that may represent maladaptive coping methods.

Conclusions

Although the present study suggests dietitians experience a good professional quality of life, vulnerable areas were identified, suggesting the need for additional support in some areas of dietetic practice.

Food intake of children weakly mirrors their parents.

Relationships between dietary intakes of children and their parents: a cross-sectional, secondary analysis of families participating in the Family Diet Quality Study

Robinson et al., JHND Early View

Background

Being overweight and obese in Australian children is common. Current evidence related to parental influence on child dietary intake is conflicting, and is particularly limited in terms of which parent exerts the stronger relationship. The present study aimed to assess mother–father and parent–child dietary relationships and to identify which parent–child relationship is stronger.

Methods

A cross-sectional analysis was performed of dietary intake data from 66 families with one parent and one child aged 8–12 years who were participating in the Family Diet Quality Study, in the Hunter and Forster regions of New South Wales, Australia. Dietary intakes were assessed using adult and child specific, validated semi-quantitative 120-item food frequency questionnaires. Diet quality and variety subscores were assessed using the Australian Recommended Food Scores for adults and children/adolescents. Pearson’s correlations were used to assess dietary relationships between mother–father, father–child and mother–child dyads.

Results

Weak-to-moderate correlations were found between mother–child dyads for components of dietary intake (= 0.27–0.47). Similarly, for father–child dyads, predominantly weak-to-moderate correlations were found (= 0.01–0.52). Variety of fruit intake was the most strongly correlated in both parent–child dyads, with the weakest relationships found for fibre (g 1000 kJ–1) in father–child and percentage energy from total fats for mother–child dyads. Mother–father dyads demonstrated mostly moderate-to-strong correlations (= 0.13–0.73), with scores for condiments showing the weakest relationship and vegetables the strongest. For all dyads, strong correlations were observed for overall diet quality (r = 0.50–0.59).

Conclusions

Parent–child dietary intake is significantly related but differs for mother versus fathers. Further research is required to examine whether differing dietary components should be targeted for mothers versus fathers in interventions aiming to improve family dietary patterns.

Careless talk

As the journal operates entirely electronically I am sometimes copied in to email exchanges between authors after decision letters are sent out regarding manuscripts. The scenario is that the email providing the decision is sent by ScholarOne to all of the authors of the paper. They then comment on the decision by hitting Reply All, and as a result I am copied in to their correspondence.

Most of the time I am tickled by the happy exchanges that go on, the ‘Well done everybody!’ messages, the ‘congratulations to all of the team’, etc. Sometimes though I see things that maybe the authors wouldn’t want to share with me. I have seen correspondence that basically amounts to ‘thank goodness for that. JHND was the 8th journal we tried…’, which is less amusing for me. The responses to rejection can also be illuminating and top of my list is the email that went from the lead author to all of his colleagues (and me), describing the reviewers as a bunch of fascists. 

Summer time

Apologies in advance to authors as we enter the summer period in the northern hemisphere. This time of year is especially difficult for us in trying to secure reviewers for manuscripts and to get those reviews back in a timely manner. This means that maintaining a fast turnaround becomes more challenging than usual.

And of course, the editors need a break too. Normal service will be restored as soon as possible.

Assessing body composition in post-menopausal women

Comparison of multi- and single-frequency bioelectrical impedance analysis with dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry for assessment of body composition in post-menopausal women: effects of body mass index and accelerometer-determined physical activity

Gaba et al., JHND Early View

Background
Bioelectric impedance analysis (BIA) is commonly used in research to assess body composition. However, studies that validate the accuracy of BIA exclusively in post-menopausal women are lacking. The main purpose of the present study was to evaluate the agreement of multi-frequency (MF)-BIA and single-frequency (SF)-BIA with dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) in the estimation of fat mass (FM) and fat-free mass (FFM) among post-menopausal women with variation in body mass index (BMI) and physical activity (PA).

Methods
FM and FFM were estimated by BIA and DXA in 146 post-menopausal women with a mean (SD) age of 62.8 (5.2) years. PA was determined by an accelerometer.

Results
The mean (SD) difference between MF-BIA and DXA was −1.8 (1.8) kg (P = 0.08) and 1.3 (1.8) kg (P = 0.01) for FM and FFM, respectively. SF-BIA provided a significantly lower estimate of FM [−2.0 (2.2) kg; P = 0.04] and a higher estimate of FFM [1.8 (2.4) kg; P < 0.01] compared to DXA. MF-BIA provided significantly better estimates of FM and FFM with narrower limits of agreement than SF-BIA in obese and insufficiently active subjects. In other BMI and PA groups, both BIA devices showed a similar deviation from DXA.

Conclusions
BIA tends to underestimate FM and overestimate FFM relative to DXA. MF-BIA appears to be a more appropriate method for the assessment of body composition than SF-BIA in post-menopausal woman with BMI >30 kg/m2 and in those who are insufficiently active.