My Editor’s Pick for December

Motives for adherence to a gluten-free diet: a qualitative investigation involving adults with coeliac disease

Dowd et al., JHND 2014; 27(6): 542-549

Background

Currently, the only treatment for coeliac disease is lifelong adherence to a strict gluten-free diet. Strict adherence to a gluten-free diet is challenging, with recent reports suggesting that adherence rates range from 42% to 91%. The present study aimed to: (i) identify motives for adhering to a gluten-free diet and (ii) explore factors implicated in adherence and non-adherence behaviour in terms of accidental and purposeful gluten consumption among adults with coeliac disease.

Methods

Two hundred and three adults with coeliac disease completed an online questionnaire. Using a qualitative design, relationships were examined between reported adherence and motivation to follow a gluten-free diet, as well as the onset, duration and severity of symptoms.

Results

Feelings of desperation (‘hitting rock bottom’) and needing to gain or lose weight were associated with the strictest adherence to a gluten-free diet. Participants who accidentally consumed gluten over the past week developed symptoms the most quickly and reported the most pain over the past 6 months. Participants who consumed gluten on purpose over the past week reported a shorter duration of symptoms and less pain over the past 6 months.

Conclusions

Hitting rock bottom and needing to gain or lose weight were factors associated with the strictest adherence, when considered in the context of both accidental and purposeful gluten consumption. Future research is warranted to develop resources to help people with coeliac disease follow a strict gluten-free diet.

This paper is free to access until February.

BDA Research Symposium

I will be attending the BDA Research Symposium on the 3rd December to man the editorial desk. JHND intends to publish all of the abstracts from the meeting in one of the early 2015 issues. All abstracts have now been edited to ensure a consistent style and length. Authors attending the meeting are requested to visit the editorial desk to view and approve the edits that have been made, and to address any queries that have arisen during the editing process.

If you are an author, I look forward to seeing you at the meeting.

Client-centered dietetic counselling

Building bridges in dietary counselling: an exploratory study examining the usefulness of wellness and wellbeing concepts

McMahon et al., JHND Early View

Background

Over the last decade, professional discourse around health ownership has been evolving to recognise an individually-driven wellness/wellbeing approach. Concurrently, dietetic competencies have changed to include client-centred counselling incorporating individual client’s perspectives within dietary prescriptions. The present exploratory research aimed to explore how client-centred counselling practice was being represented in the dietetic literature and to examine dietitians’ perspectives about working with clients in the current environment.

Methods

To explore the professional position, a literature search was conducted using keywords encompassing client-centred care and competency within professional dietetic journals (2001–2010). To develop a contextual case study, 10 in-depth interviews with dietitians delivering weight-loss prescriptions within a clinical trial were conducted. Recordings of their perspectives on roles, opportunities/barriers and counselling strategies were transcribed verbatim and examined using inductive thematic and content analysis.

Results

Eleven articles were incorporated into a narrative review describing practice issues related to traditional forms of consultation and the effectiveness of client-centred approaches. The over-riding theme from the interviews (Professional Identity Dilemma) highlighted tension felt by dietitians in their dual role as nutrition expert and counsellor, trained to deliver biomedical imperatives (clinical targets), and their challenge to accept client-defined health perspectives. Supporting themes (Adherence factors and Constructs of health) exposed details on barriers to dietary change and the impact of contextual factors on this change that were linked to wellness and wellbeing concepts.

Conclusions

Appreciating wellness and wellbeing concepts may add a useful adjunct to client-centred approaches to dietary counselling through building bridges between clinical targets and client health perspectives.

Effect of peanuts on metabolic function

Effect of a high-fat meal containing conventional or high-oleic peanuts on post-prandial lipopolysaccharide concentrations in overweight/obese men

Moreira et al., JHND Early View

Background

An increased plasma lipopolysaccharide (LPS) concentration may favour metabolic disorders such as insulin resistance. The meal composition influences plasma LPS concentrations. The present study aimed to investigate the effect of the acute consumption of a high-fat meal (49% of energy from fat) containing conventional or high-oleic peanuts on post-prandial LPS concentrations and its relationship with lipaemia and insulinaemia in overweight and obese men.

Methods

The test meal consisted of a shake containing conventional peanuts (CVP; n = 21), high-oleic peanuts (HOP; n = 23) or a control biscuit (CT; n = 21). Blood samples were collected in the fasting state and 1, 2 and 3 h post-prandially. LPS, insulin, lipids and glucose concentrations were assessed.

Results

LPS concentrations were lower in CVP [mean (SE) 0.7 (0.5) EU mL−1] and HOP [1.0 (0.9) EU mL−1] groups compared to CT [1.6 (1.2) EU mL−1] at 3 h post-prandially. Triacylglycerol and insulin concentrations increased in all groups. Triacylglycerol started to increase only after 2 h in the CVP and HOP groups. LPS correlated positively with triacylglycerol. Insulin returned to basal concentrations at 3 h only in the CVP and HOP groups.

Conclusions

The acute consumption of peanuts delayed the increase in serum triacylglycerol and favoured the quicker return of insulin to basal concentrations, especially in the CVP group. Our results suggest that the consumption of conventional or high-oleic peanuts may help to reduce the risk of endotoxaemia and metabolic disorders.

A self-administered 24-hour recall for Portuguese children

Validation of the Portuguese self-administered computerised 24-hour dietary recall among second-, third- and fourth-grade children

Carvahlo et al., JHND Early View.

Background

Current methods for assessing children’s dietary intake, such as interviewer-administered 24-h dietary recall (24-h DR), are time consuming and resource intensive. Self-administered instruments offer a low-cost diet assessment method for use with children. The present study assessed the validity of the Portuguese self-administered, computerised, 24-h DR (PAC24) against the observation of school lunch.

Methods

Forty-one, 7–10-year-old children from two elementary schools, in Lisbon, were observed during school lunch followed by completion of the PAC24 the next day. Accuracy for reporting items was measured in terms of matches, intrusions and omissions; accuracy for reporting amounts was measured in terms of arithmetic and absolute differences for matches and amounts for omissions and intrusions; and accuracy for reporting items and amounts combined was measured in terms of total inaccuracy. The ratio of the estimated weight of food consumed with the actual weight consumed was calculated along with the limits of agreement using the method of Bland and Altman.

Results

Comparison of PAC24 against observations at the food level resulted in values of 67.0% for matches, 11.5% for intrusions and 21.5% for omissions. The mean for total inaccuracy was 3.44 servings. For amounts, accuracy was high for matches (−0.17 and 0.23 servings for arithmetic and absolute differences, respectively) and lower for omissions (0.61 servings) and intrusions (0.55 servings). PAC24 was found to under-estimate the weight of food on average by 32% of actual intake.

Conclusions

PAC24 is a lower-burden procedure for both respondents and researchers and, with slight modification, comprises a promising method for assessing diet among children.

Evaluating body composition: a review

Body composition and morphological assessment of nutritional status in adults: a review of anthropometric variables

Madden and Smith JHND Early View.

Evaluation of body composition is an important part of assessing nutritional status and provides prognostically useful data and an opportunity to monitor the effects of nutrition-related disease progression and nutritional intervention. The aim of this narrative review is to critically evaluate body composition methodology in adults, focusing on anthropometric variables. The variables considered include height, weight, body mass index and alternative indices, trunk measurements (waist and hip circumferences and sagittal abdominal diameter) and limb measurements (mid-upper arm and calf circumferences) and skinfold thickness. The importance of adhering to a defined measurement protocol, checking measurement error and the need to interpret measurements using appropriate population-specific cut-off values to identify health risks were highlighted. Selecting the optimum method for assessing body composition using anthropometry depends on the purpose (i.e. evaluating obesity or undernutrition) and requires practitioners to have a good understanding of both practical and theoretical limitations and to be able to interpret the results wisely.