Friday, February 4, 2011

The protocol of the ENERGY cross sectional study now published

ENERGY stands for European Energy balance Research to prevent excessive weight gain among youth, and is a European Commission funded project aiming to study important dietary, physical activity and sedentary behaviors among youth aged 10-12 across Europe. ENERGY also investigates determinants of engaging in such behaviors and develops and tests an intervention scheme to promote more healthful energy-balance behavior in schoolchildren. The protocol paper of the cross-sectional ENERGY study, describing the methods, procedures and measures of the study, and with Dr. Maartje van Stralen as first author, has now been published in BMC Public Health.

Research concerning elderly populations at EMGO+

Last Tuesday we show cased our research concerning elderly populations. The focus was especially on research conducted by the departments of General Practice, Nursing Home Medicine, Public & Occupational Health and Medical Humanities, i.e. the 'extramural' departments of the VU University Medical Center. Professor Guy Widdershoven chaired the afternoon symposium. Professor Dorly Deeg provided an overview of the history and scope of research among the elderly at the VU University and its medical center; Professor Henriette van der Horst shared her thoughts on the future of such research. A panel of project leaders provided their reactions to these introductions, which gave input for a general discussion with the audiende. Finally, more than 50 posters on relevant recent research were presented and discussed. 

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Farewell address by Prof. Martijn Katan

Yesterday Professor Martijn Katan gave his farewell address as professor of nutrition at the department of health sciences and the EMGO Institute for health and care research. Before Martijn Katan's lecture there was a short symposium with two distinghuised invited speakers: Professors Jan Vandenbroucke and Marion Nestle. Marion Nestle presented her work on food politics and the relation between nutrition researcher, nutrtion researchers and food policies of governments and food industry. Vandenboucke and Katan himself spoke about the problems nutrition researchers face in establishing evidence-based practice. Martijn Katan used examples from his own research career - his world famous research on transfats and cafestol- to urge the future generation of nutrition researchers to go back to the reductionist approach, focussing in nutrients rather than foods or food patterns. I myself have argued that a focus on food patterns may be more fruitful; see for example the paper I wrote with Elling Bere on the Nordic Diet. However, Katan certainly has a point that internally valid research on the potential health promoting effects of food patterns is very difficult (Katan would claim it to be impossible, I think...).