ASN members are helping the public understanding the impact of nutrition research on public health through short videos showcasing their research.

The fourth annual video competition was recently held and the winners were announced at NUTRITION 2021 LIVE ONLINE. The winning videos were unveiled to meeting attendees at the start of the online event on June 7, 2021.

Introducing the 2021 winners…

First Place: Healthy mothers and children in India: The role of biofortified foods

Submitted by Submitted by Jen Foley and Kristina Michaux

This video highlights the ways in which biofortified foods can be integrated into India’s national food support programs to increase their impact and achieve better health for the nation. The video will be helpful for decisionmakers and program managers seeking to improve food and nutrition security in India. 

The video is based on the Multiple Biofortified Crops Study (MBFC), which was designed to measure the impact of combining multiple biofortified crops into daily meals on the health, nutrition and growth of infants and their mothers. The MBFC was delivered within feeding centers akin to Anganwadi centers, and showed the practical feasibility — and likeability — of swapping biofortified iron pearl millet, zinc wheat, and vitamin A sweet potato for conventional food ingredients in this setting. It is noteworthy that introducing multiple biofortified crops to farming households provides dietary complementarity, enabling households to acquire multiple essential micronutrients (iron, zinc, and vitamin A) from one food basket. It also gives farmers a choice based on their staple food preferences in their area.

The already proven health impacts of eating individual biofortified foods include: reversal of iron deficiency and improved cognition and physical activity in adolescents who eat iron-biofortified pearl millet and young adult women who consume iron-biofortified beans; reduced vitamin A deficiency and diarrhea in children who eat vitamin A-biofortified orange sweet potato; and improved ability to fight off common infections in women and children who eat zinc-biofortified wheat.

The MBFC randomized controlled study began in 2019 and key activities concluded in 2021; data analysis is under way and results are expected by 2022. This video was submitted by Kristina Michaux and Jen Foley from HarvestPlus on behalf of the MBFC study team. The study was conducted in collaboration between Cornell University, Arogyavaram Medical Centre (AMC), and Shreemati Nathibai Damodar Thackersey (SDNT) Women’s University, Kasturba Health Society Medical Research Centre.

Second Place: Which milk is best for children?

Submitted by Submitted by Shelley Vanderhout, Jonathon Maguire, Bhavna Samtani, and Mary Aglipay

Childhood obesity has tripled in the past 30 years with nearly 1 in 3 Canadian children overweight or obese. Cow’s milk is a staple in the majority of Canadian children’s diets and is commercially available with different milk fat content (skim, 1%, 2%, and whole (3.25%)). Since 1992, Health Canada has recommended that children older than 2 years of age consume reduced fat cow’s milk (ie. 1-2% fat) rather than whole cow’s milk (ie. 3.25% fat) to prevent childhood obesity. However, new research suggests that reduced fat cow’s milk intake early in life may be causing rather than preventing childhood obesity.  

This video focuses on TARGet Kids! (The Applied Research Group for Kids) research to determine the best milk fat for children. With the aim of building “Healthy children together,” TARGet Kids! is a network of researchers, clinicians, parents and policy makers who are attempting to optimize children’s growth, development and nutrition. Dr. Shelley Vanderhout, a registered dietitian and post-doctoral fellow working with the TARGet Kids!team, is conducting an innovative clinical trial to understand how milk fat impacts child health. This research is relevant to clinicians, parents and policymakers who recommend and provide cow’s milk to children on a daily basis. Providing children with the ideal cow’s milk fat content for healthy growth, development and nutrition may be a simple and accessible way to promote a healthier future for children everywhere.

Third Place: Dietary Assessment techniques at the division of Human Nutrition & Health at WUR

Submitted by Edith Feskens, Desiree Lucassen, Elske Brouwer-Brolsma, Marlou Lasschuijt, and Guido Camps

It is well-known that a suboptimal diet is, after tobacco, the second-leading risk factor for disability-adjusted life years and deaths worldwide. Consequently, many studies focus on the identification of modifiable dietary factors affecting the development of obesity and non-communicable diseases. Accurate assessment of diet and eating behaviors plays an important role in these studies. The division of Human Nutrition and Health of Wageningen University and Research aims to improve human health through better nutrition. We work with food, study nutrition and try to understand diets.

Our dietary assessment and eating behavior group developed a variety of technology-based tools to aid and improve assessment of dietary intake and eating behaviors. Multiple web-based tools have been developed based on traditional methodologies (i.e., FFQ, 24-hour recall). The Dutch FFQ-tool™ is a web-based system developed to generate, assess and analyses FFQs, whereas Compl-eat™ is a self-administered 24-hour recall tool with integrated nutrition computation module. In contrast, the Eetscore™ is a web-based screener for diet quality. It consists of a relatively short FFQ and is scored with the Dutch Healthy Diet 2015-index to evaluate adherence to the Dutch dietary guidelines. A more recent innovative tool is the smartphone app Traqq®, which can be used as a recall and food record. Additionally, we developed state of the art sensors to track eating behavior such as the mEETr. The mEETr consists of a regular dining tray with 3 build-in weighing stations that continuously measure the weight of a bowl, plate, and drinking cup or glass. Besides these weighing stations, the mEETr tray includes a video-camera holder. Based on these video images eating behavior characteristics can be determined such as number of bites, sips, chews and swallows. At the division of HNH we strive to use nutrition to make people healthier and happier, and we will continue to develop new innovative technologies to improve assessment of dietary behaviors.

Thanks to everyone who created and submitted videos this year! This 2022 contest will launch in late 2021. In the meantime, ASN has announced a new series of infographic competitions launching Summer of 2021. Click here for more information.