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.

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Take a sneaky peek

Take a sneaky peek

The Editorial for the next issue of JHND is already available online at this link. Do take a look.

We are really keen to attract papers from the top authors in our field and have done a lot of work to make the journal more appealing. As shown in the editorial, our response times are much better than in the past and in the drive for quality our acceptance rate has fallen. As the title says- we are tougher but more rewarding.

Unsatisfactory complementary feeding practices in Sri Lanka

Current infant feeding practices and impact on growth in babies during the second half of infancy

Bandara et al., JHND Early View

Background

Sri Lanka has made remarkable improvements in health, social and educational indices. However, child malnutrition exists as a significant health problem. Infant feeding indicators have not reached expected levels and improvements are partly constrained by a lack of data. The present study aimed to determine current infant feeding practices and their impact on growth among 6–12-month-old infants.

Methods

The study comprised a descriptive cross-sectional investigation conducted in randomly selected (= 7) Public Health Midwife areas in Galle, Sri Lanka. An interviewer-administered questionnaire was used to obtain data on sociodemographics and infant feeding. Mothers (= 515) attending well-baby clinics were recruited on voluntary and consecutive basis. Infants’ body weights and lengths were measured using standard procedures.

Results

Exclusive breastfeeding rate for first 6 months was 49.0%. In total, 42.6% infants (219 out of 515) were given rice as first weaning food, followed by salt (58.6%) and sugar (42.3%). Oil had been introduced to 84.9% of infants by the end of 12 months. Most infants (over 71%) were given dairy products, whereas 62.3% were being fed various liquid foods using bottles. The introduction of commercial infant cereals, chocolates, plain tea, ice cream and deep fried snacks was noted. Age-specific body weight and length were not achieved by 30.5% and 29.5% of infants, respectively. Weight for length was not achieved by 25.5% of the infants. Delayed achievements of motor milestones were observed. Mothers’ knowledge scores on basic nutrients were low.

Conclusions

Complementary feeding indices of the study group were not satisfactory. Maternal and child healthcare personnel need to identify causative factors for inappropriate feeding with a view to improve the complementary feeding patterns.