Food Choice, Nutrition, and Public Health

A special issue of Foods (ISSN 2304-8158). This special issue belongs to the section "Food Nutrition".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (10 March 2024) | Viewed by 5434

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Food and Nutrition, National Institute of Health Doutor Ricardo Jorge, I.P (INSA)., Av. Padre Cruz, 1649-016 Lisbon, Portugal
Interests: food chemistry; food science; nutritional quality; public health nutrition; healthy and sustainable diet

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Guest Editor
Egas Moniz School of Health and Science, Campus Universitário - Quinta da Granja, Monte da Caparica, 2829-511 Caparica, Portugal
Interests: health impact of foods and diets; public health; healthy diets; sustainable diets; risk-benefit assessment of foods
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Food and dietary choices are linked with health and well-being of individuals. Over 11 million deaths and 255 million disability-adjusted life years were attributable to dietary risk factors. Human behaviour regarding food choices is complex and influenced by many factors, including biological, physiological, social and economic aspects. Understanding the individual motives behind certain food choices is fundamental to changing consumption habits, modulate healthy behaviour and become more sustainable. Currently, dietary concerns address over-consumption of calories, added sugars and saturated fats, as well as the  insufficient consumption of whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Consumer demand for food is a key factor to be considered when formulating various agricultural and public health policies to promote healthier eating patterns.

This Special Issue entitled “Food Choice, Nutrition, and Public Health” welcomes the submission of either original articles, systematic reviews or meta-analyses or reviews, concerning classical or innovative approaches to the issues related to food choice, food composition, nutrition and public health. The issue also welcomes research papers on food choice behaviour and the impact that these choices have on nutritional status, dietary quality, health outcomes, food literacy and food preferences.

Dr. Mariana Santos
Dr. Ricardo Assunção
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Foods is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2900 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • diet
  • dietary recommendations
  • eating behavior
  • food composition
  • food preferences
  • food choice
  • healthy eating
  • nutrition
  • health impact of foods

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

17 pages, 1932 KiB  
Article
Effects of Different Nutritional Patterns and Physical Activity on Body Composition: A Gender and Age Group Comparative Study
by Mauro Lombardo, Alessandra Feraco, Elisabetta Camajani, Stefania Gorini, Rocky Strollo, Andrea Armani, Elvira Padua and Massimiliano Caprio
Foods 2024, 13(4), 529; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13040529 - 08 Feb 2024
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Abstract
This cross-sectional study analyses differences in dietary habits, taste preferences, variety of protein sources and body composition (BC) profiles among individuals following omnivorous, flexitarian, lacto-ovo-vegetarian and pescatarian diets. Furthermore, it assesses the correlations between these dietary patterns and various sports, classified by exercise [...] Read more.
This cross-sectional study analyses differences in dietary habits, taste preferences, variety of protein sources and body composition (BC) profiles among individuals following omnivorous, flexitarian, lacto-ovo-vegetarian and pescatarian diets. Furthermore, it assesses the correlations between these dietary patterns and various sports, classified by exercise intensity, in relation to BC parameters. The study analysed the eating habits and BC data of 1342 participants aged 18–65 years, classified into four diet groups based on their 7-day food diaries and questionnaire responses. Our analysis revealed gender- and age-related differences in weekly food consumption and protein source variety, with men generally consuming more meat, processed meat and fish than women, especially in younger age groups. Differences in dairy and soy consumption were also noted between age groups, while legume and soy preferences showed no gender disparity across all ages. Among non-sporting individuals, vegetarians exhibited lower fat mass (FM%) compared to other diets, while among athletes, vegetarians and pescatarians in in endurance and strength sports, respectively, displayed lower FM%, with flexitarians and omnivores in endurance sports showing higher FM%. Non-athletic omnivores and vegetarians demonstrated a greater proportion of body protein, while among athletes, those engaged in strength training exhibited a higher body protein content across all dietary groups compared to those in endurance training. Among non-athletic groups, vegetarians exhibited the lowest FM/FFM (fat mass/fat-free mass) ratio, while among athletes, vegetarians in endurance sports and participants in strength training across other diets showed lower FM/FFM ratios. The results emphasise the complex interaction between diet, BC and lifestyle choices, revealing how different combinations of diet and sport are associated with optimised BC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Choice, Nutrition, and Public Health)
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15 pages, 307 KiB  
Article
Family Income Level, Income Structure, and Dietary Imbalance of Elderly Households in Rural China
by Gangyi Wang, Yanzhi Hao and Jiwei Ma
Foods 2024, 13(2), 190; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13020190 - 06 Jan 2024
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Abstract
In rural areas, the aging of households is becoming increasingly severe, and the issue of dietary imbalance among the elderly is becoming increasingly prominent. Using data from the China Health and Nutrition Survey (CHNS), the negative binomial regression method was used to investigate [...] Read more.
In rural areas, the aging of households is becoming increasingly severe, and the issue of dietary imbalance among the elderly is becoming increasingly prominent. Using data from the China Health and Nutrition Survey (CHNS), the negative binomial regression method was used to investigate the impact of household income level on dietary imbalance among rural elderly people, and to explore the heterogeneity of household income structure and its role in the relationship between the two. Research has found that an increase in total household income significantly improves the dietary quality of rural elderly people, and the income structure variable enhances its negative pulling effect on dietary imbalance. For elderly people with moderate dietary imbalance, the effect of increased family income is most significant. In different income groups, the impact of total household income on dietary imbalance in the high-income group is greater than that in the low-income group, and there is also a significant difference in the role played by the proportion of net income from agricultural operations. Therefore, it is necessary to increase the non working income of the elderly, strengthen social responsibility for elderly care, and alleviate the problem of dietary imbalance among rural elderly people. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Choice, Nutrition, and Public Health)
21 pages, 299 KiB  
Article
Do Food and Meal Organization Systems in Polish Primary Schools Reflect Students’ Preferences and Healthy and Sustainable Dietary Guidelines? The Results of Qualitative Research for the Junior-Edu-Żywienie (JEŻ) Project
by Ewa Czarniecka-Skubina, Jadwiga Hamulka, Marta Jeruszka-Bielak and Krystyna Gutkowska
Foods 2024, 13(1), 61; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13010061 - 22 Dec 2023
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Abstract
The school environment, together with that of the family, shapes students’ eating behaviors, and is an important element of formal and informal nutrition education. The informal and practical dimensions can be realized through the food and meals offered/sold in school canteens, shops, and [...] Read more.
The school environment, together with that of the family, shapes students’ eating behaviors, and is an important element of formal and informal nutrition education. The informal and practical dimensions can be realized through the food and meals offered/sold in school canteens, shops, and vending machines. As children and adolescents spend 6–10 h/day in schools and consume at least two meals there, the school food environment is important from a public health perspective. The aim of this study is to assess food and meal organization in primary schools in Poland. The study was conducted using individual in-depth interviews (IDIs) involving 24 school headmasters and 24 representatives of people employed in school canteens or catering companies involved in meal organization in schools. The nutritional food on offer at schools is important for shaping students’ food preferences and choices, consequently influencing the development, functioning, and health of this subpopulation. The school environment can be an ideal place for hands-on nutrition education. In addition to the knowledge provided, there must be a consistent message concerning the provision of nutrition information to students between the teachings of parents, teachers, and, indirectly, the food and meals available at school. Our qualitative study is confirmed by the results of quantitative research to better understand the organization of nutrition and the problems and needs of primary schools in this area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Choice, Nutrition, and Public Health)
19 pages, 7310 KiB  
Article
Analysis of the Influence of Socio-Demographic Variables and Some Nutrition and Lifestyle Habits on Beverage Consumption in the Spanish Population
by Elena Sandri, Vicent Modesto i Alapont, Eva Cantín Larumbe and Germán Cerdá Olmedo
Foods 2023, 12(23), 4310; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12234310 - 29 Nov 2023
Viewed by 848
Abstract
Beverages and drinks play a significant role in maintaining the integral health of individuals. The aim of this study is to discover the pattern of beverage consumption in different groups of the Spanish population and to investigate its relationship with other nutritional variables [...] Read more.
Beverages and drinks play a significant role in maintaining the integral health of individuals. The aim of this study is to discover the pattern of beverage consumption in different groups of the Spanish population and to investigate its relationship with other nutritional variables and habits. To achieve the objectives, an observational, descriptive and cross-sectional study was conducted. For data collection, a questionnaire was designed and validated that explored different beverage and food consumption variables as well as socio-demographic and lifestyle variables. The instrument was disseminated, among the Spanish young adult population, through snowball sampling using social networks, collecting a sample of 17,541 valid surveys. Bivariate comparative analyses and correlation analyses were performed, and finally, the principal component analysis (PCA) method was used in order to study the relationships between variables related to drinking and health. The main results show significant differences in the pattern of beverage consumption between the socio-demographic variables of sex, age and educational level, as well as between different areas of Spain, while the PCA model shows the relationship between the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages with the Healthy Nutrition Index of the population and sport practice. Based on the results of the study, the following conclusions were reached: the beverage consumption pattern of the Spanish population is affected by socio-demographic variables. Healthier drinking habits affect the nutrition and health of the population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Choice, Nutrition, and Public Health)
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15 pages, 963 KiB  
Article
Association between Variation in Body Fat Mass Magnitude and Intake of Nutrients, including Carbohydrates, Fat, and B Vitamins, in a Cohort of Highly Trained Female Athletes
by Marius Baranauskas, Ingrida Kupčiūnaitė, Jurgita Lieponienė and Rimantas Stukas
Foods 2023, 12(22), 4152; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12224152 - 16 Nov 2023
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Abstract
The most common sports nutrition strategies were constructed not only for maximizing musculoskeletal adaptations to exercise, but also to minimize health risks in athletes. Given the lack of research highlighting the potential effects of the intake of carbohydrates, fats, and B vitamins on [...] Read more.
The most common sports nutrition strategies were constructed not only for maximizing musculoskeletal adaptations to exercise, but also to minimize health risks in athletes. Given the lack of research highlighting the potential effects of the intake of carbohydrates, fats, and B vitamins on body fat percentage in a population of female athletes, this study aimed to elucidate whether the intake of macronutrients and B vitamins could be associated with the variation in body fat percentage in a cohort of professional female athletes. This cross-sectional study was weighted to represent Lithuanian elite female athletes (n = 89). The dietary assessment of the female athletes was carried out using a 3-day dietary recall method. Their body composition was assessed using the bioelectrical impedance analysis method. For females, the reported average intakes of energy, carbohydrates, protein, and fat were 2475 kcal/day, 5.1 g/kg/day, 1.5 g/kg/day, and 36.7%, respectively. Excess B vitamin intake was revealed, ranging within plus 1–2 standard deviations (SDs) around the mean requirements. As a consequence, excessive body fat percentage was potentially factored as a negative outcome in maintaining optimal body composition in female athletes. Multivariate logistic regression analysis of a sample of female athletes revealed that, despite a slightly positive energy balance (∆ 95 kcal/day), the carbohydrate-deficient diet (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 0.3, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.1; 0.7), along with higher intakes of vitamin B1 (aOR 2.9, 95% CI 2.6; 7.8), vitamin B2 (aOR 6.7, 95% CI 1.1; 8.3), and vitamin B3 (aOR 1.8, 95% CI 1.4; 7.8) from food, was associated with a lower percentage of body fat. Therefore, more attention should be given to the intake of B vitamins in professional athletes with a range of body fat mass percentages for the purpose of achieving long-term goals of maintaining body composition and fitness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Choice, Nutrition, and Public Health)
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