Browsing Faculty of Health and Social Care by Journal
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Applying the Food Multimix concept for sustainable and nutritious dietsBackground: Despite a rich and diverse ecosystem and biodiversity, worldwide, more than 2 billion people suffer from micronutrient malnutrition or hidden hunger. Of major concern are a degradation of our ecosystems and agricultural systems which are thought to be unsustainable thereby posing a challenge for the future food and nutrition security. Despite these challenges, nutrition security and ensuring well balanced diets depend on sound knowledge and appropriate food choices in a complex world of plenty and want. We have previously reported on how the food multimix (FMM) concept, a food-based and dietary diversification approach can be applied to meeting energy and micronutrient needs of vulnerable groups through an empirical process. Our objective in this article is to examine how the concept can be applied to improve nutrition in a sustainable way in otherwise poor and hard-to-reach communities. We have reviewed over 100 FMM food recipes formulated from combinations of commonly consumed traditional candidate food ingredients; on average five per recipe, and packaged as per 100 g powders from different countries including Ghana, Kenya, Botswana, Zimbabawe and Southern Africa, India, Mexico, Malaysia and United Kingdom; and for different age groups and conditions such as older infants and young children, pregnant women, HIV patients, diabetes and for nutrition rehabilitation. Candidate foods were examined for their nutrient strengths and nutrient content and nutrient density of recipes per 100 g were compared to reference nutrient intakes (RNIs) for the different population groups. We report on the nutrient profiles from our analysis of the pooled and age-matched data as well as sensory analysis and conclude that locally produced FMM foods can complement local diets and contribute significantly to meeting nutrient needs among vulnerable groups in food-insecure environments. Key words: food multimix, candidate foods, sustainable, food security, resource-poor, nutrition interventions.
Exploring the health status of older persons in Sub Saharan AfricaSub-Saharan Africa has traditionally had a low life expectancy due to the onslaught of the HIV epidemic, high levels of chronic diseases, injuries, conflict and undernutrition. Therefore, research into public health concerns of older persons has largely been overlooked. With a growing population, the roll-out of antiretroviral treatment, and the effects of globalisation; Sub-Saharan Africa is experiencing an increase in the number of people over 50 years of age as well as an increase in the prevalence of non-communicable diseases. The aim of this review is to highlight available research on the health status of older persons in Sub-Saharan Africa, and to identify the current gaps that warrant further investigation. A literature search was conducted across multiple databases to identify studies in Sub-Saharan Africa on older persons (aged 50 years and older) related to health indicators including nutritional status, non-communicable diseases and HIV burden. Whilst it was concluded that older persons are at an increased risk of poor health, it was also determined that significant gaps exist in this particular area of research; namely nutrient deficiency prevalence. Resources should be directed towards identifying the health concerns of older persons and developing appropriate interventions.
Food supplementation among HIV-infected adults in Sub-Saharan Africa: Impact on treatment adherence and weight gainSub-Saharan Africa has the highest proportion of undernourished people in the world, along with the highest number of people living with HIV and AIDS. Thus, as a result of high levels of food insecurity many HIV patients are also undernourished. The synergism between HIV and undernutrition leads to poor treatment adherence and high mortality rates. Undernutrition has a debilitating effect on the immune system due to key nutrient deficiencies and the overproduction of reactive species (oxidative stress), which causes rapid HIV progression and the onset of AIDS. Therapeutic food supplementation used in the treatment of severe acute malnutrition is being applied to HIV palliative care; however, little biochemical data exist to highlight its impact on oxidative stress and immune recovery.
Sugar sweetened beverage consumption in the early years and implications for type 2 diabetes: A sub-Saharan Africa contextThis review aims to explore trends of early consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), within the context of growing child and adolescent obesity and escalating type-2 diabetes prevalence. We explore efforts to mitigate these, drawing on examples from Africa and elsewhere. SSBs including carbonated drinks and fruit juices, play a contributory role in the development of obesity and associated non-communicable diseases. SSA is an attractive market for beverage companies owing to its rapid economic growth, growing middle class and youthful populations. SSBs already contribute significantly to total sugar and energy consumption in SSA where a plethora of marketing techniques targeted at younger people are utilised to ensure brand recognition and influence purchasing and brand loyalty. Coupled with a general lack of nutrition knowledge or engagement with preventative health, this can lead to frequent consumption of sugary drinks at a young age. Many high and some middle income countries public health efforts address increasing prevalence of obesity and type-2 diabetes by focussing on strategies to encourage reduction in sugar consumption via health policy and public education campaigns. However, similar efforts are not as developed or forthcoming in low-income countries. Health care systems across SSA are ill-prepared to cope with epidemic proportions of non-communicable diseases, particularly when contextualized with the ongoing battle with infectious diseases. We conclude that greater efforts by governments and the nutrition community to educate the public on the health effects of increased and excessive consumption of SSBs are necessary to help address this issue.