Friday, May 24, 2013

Joint programming initiative a healthy diet for a healthy life: DEDIPAC proposal getting close to completion

Led by the management team of the DEDIPAC (determinants of diet and physical activity) Knowledge Hub of the Joint Programming Initiative 'A Healthy Diet for a Healthy Life' , the DEDIPAC consortium is now in the final weeks of completing their proposal for strengthening research and building the research infrastructure for cross European research on determinants of diet and physical activity. The DEDIPAC MT had another live meeting last week at VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam to prepare the next draft of the DEDIPAC knowledge hub proposal, which is now circulated for final comments and adjustments among the consortium members.

DEDIPAC KH is a network of selected research groups and scientists from 12 JPI Member States that will carry out a programme of joint trans- und multidisciplinary activities for a better understanding on how individual, social and environmental determinants influence food and physical activity choices, and primarily to build a good network an infrastructure for such research.

DEDIPAC has three thematic areas: data assessment and harmonization. analyses of determinants, and interventions and policies. The proposal will be submitted in about two weeks time, and will be externally reviewed in July.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Eating while watching TV, and weight status in schoolchildren across Europe

In the ENERGY study data set, we have explored if and how eating while watching TV is associated with weight status among 10-12 year old children in 8 countries across Europe. The results have just been published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, with Froydis Vik as first author. Many studies in recent years have reported on the association between so-called sedentary behavior and weight status, and it has been suggested that children who sit more, have higher likelihood to be overweight and obese, and metabolic ill health. However, a recent review of the literature published in Obesity Reviews as well as a further recent original study published in Plos ONE failed to show that such sedentary behaviors predict metabolic ill health. However, for one specific sedentary activity, i.e. TV watching, the associations with overweight and obesity appear to be stronger. It has been suggested that 'mindless'  eating while watching TV could be an underlying factor.
In an earlier study, published in Public Health Nutrition, we already looked at having breakfast while watching TV, breakfast skipping and overweigh/obesity. In the present study we looked at all three meals -breakfast, lunch, dinner, and indeed found that children who watched TV while eating their main meals, especially while having lunch or dinner, had somewhat (20-30%) higher odds to be overweight or obese. Our study also further provided supportive evidence that children who eat regular meal -i.e. who do not skip breakfast or dinner-s are less likely to be overweight or obese.