15 June 2022 In General Health

BACKGROUND & AIMS: Biological age (BA) is the hypothetical underlying age of an organism and has been proposed as a more powerful predictor of health than chronological age (CA). The difference between BA and CA (Deltaage) reflects the rate of biological aging, with lower values indicating slowed-down aging. We sought to compare the relationship of four a priori-defined dietary patterns, including a traditional Mediterranean diet (MD) and three non-Mediterranean diets, with biological aging (Deltaage) among Italian adults. We also examined distinctive nutritional traits of these diets as potential mediators of such associations.

METHODS: Cross-sectional analysis on a sub-cohort of 4510 subjects (aged >/=35 y; 52.0% women) from the Moli-sani Study (enrolment, 2005-2010). Food intake was recorded by a 188-item semi-quantitative food-frequency questionnaire. A Mediterranean diet score (MDS) was used as exposure and compared with non-Mediterranean dietary patterns, i.e. DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension), Palaeolithic and the Nordic diets. A Deep Neural Network based on 36 blood biomarkers was used to compute BA and the resulting Deltaage (BA-CA), which was tested as outcome in multivariable linear regressions adjusted for clinical factors, lifestyles and sociodemographic factors.

RESULTS: In a multivariable-adjusted model, 1 standard deviation increase in the MDS was inversely associated with Deltaage (beta = -0.23; 95%CI -0.40, -0.07), and similar findings were observed with the DASH diet (beta = -0.17; 95%CI -0.33, -0.01). High dietary polyphenol content explained 29.8% (p = 0.04) and 65.8% (p = 0.02) of these associations, respectively, while other nutritional factors analysed (e.g. dietary fibre) were unlikely to be on the pathway. No significant associations were found with either the Palaeolithic or the Nordic diets.

CONCLUSIONS: Increasing adherence to either the traditional MD or the DASH diet was associated with delayed biological aging, possibly through their high polyphenol content.

15 June 2022 In General Health

OBJECTIVES: To test the efficacy of calorie labelling for alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages on restaurant menus on noticing calorie information, calorie knowledge, and perceived and actual influence on hypothetical beverage orders.

METHODS: Participants included upper-level university students of legal drinking age residing in Ontario, Canada (n = 283). Using a between-groups experiment, participants were randomized to view one of two menus: (1) No Calorie Information (control), and (2) Calorie Information adjacent to each beverage. Participants completed a hypothetical ordering task, and measures related to noticing calorie information, calorie knowledge, and actual and perceived influence of calorie information on beverages ordered were assessed. Linear, logistic, and multinomial logistic regression models were used to examine the four outcomes.

RESULTS: The odds of noticing calorie information were significantly higher in the Calorie Information (72.6%) versus No Calorie Information condition (8.0%) (OR = 43.7, 95% CI: 16.8, 113.8). Compared to those in the No Calorie Information condition, participants in the Calorie Information condition had significantly lower odds of responding 'Don't know' (OR = 0.04, 95% CI: 0.02, 0.09), underestimating (OR = 0.06, 95% CI: 0.02, 0.2), and overestimating (OR = 0.05, 95% CI: 0.02, 0.2) versus accurately estimating calories in beverages ordered. No significant differences were observed between menu labelling conditions in the calories in beverages ordered or the perceived influence of calorie information on the number of beverages ordered.

CONCLUSION: Exposure to menus with calorie information increased consumers noticing the calorie information, and accurately estimating calories in alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages ordered. These results have implications for policy-makers considering mandatory menu labelling policy inclusive of alcoholic beverages.

15 June 2022 In General Health

BACKGROUND: Risk genes linked to the development of gout have been identified, and lifestyle factors are related to gout risk. It remains unclear whether healthy lifestyle factors can mitigate the genetic risk of gout. Therefore, we aimed to explore whether and to what extent a healthy lifestyle can mitigate the risk of gout related to genetic factors.

METHODS: Within the UK Biobank, 416,481 gout-free participants (aged 37-74) were identified at baseline. Polygenic risk for gout was assessed and categorized as low (lowest tertile), middle (tertile 2), and high (highest tertile). Healthy lifestyle factors included no/moderate alcohol consumption, no smoking, physical activity, and a healthy diet. Participants were categorized into three groups according to their number of healthy lifestyle factors: unfavorable (0 or 1), intermediate (any 2), and favorable (3 or 4). Data were analyzed using Cox proportional hazard models.

RESULTS: Over the follow-up (median: 12.1 years), 6206 participants developed gout. Compared to low genetic risk, the hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) of gout was 1.44 (1.35-1.54) for middle and 1.77 (1.66-1.89) for high genetic risk. The HRs (95% CIs) of gout were 0.63 (0.59-0.67) for a favorable lifestyle and 0.79 (0.75-0.85) for an intermediate lifestyle, compared to an unfavorable lifestyle. In joint effect analysis, compared to participants with low genetic predisposition and a favorable lifestyle, the HRs (95% CIs) of gout were 2.39 (2.12-2.70)/3.12 (2.79-3.52) in those with middle and high genetic predisposition plus unfavorable lifestyle profiles, and 1.53 (1.35-1.74)/1.98 (1.75-2.24) for those with middle and high genetic predisposition plus favorable lifestyle profiles, respectively. Moreover, compared to an unfavorable lifestyle, the HRs of gout related to a favorable lifestyle was 0.64 (95% CI, 0.56-0.73) for low genetic risk, 0.65 (95% CI, 0.58-0.72) for middle genetic risk, and 0.62 (95% CI, 0.57-0.69) for high genetic risk. There was a significant additive interaction between unfavorable lifestyle and high genetic risk on gout.

CONCLUSIONS: Healthy lifestyle was associated with a lower risk of gout and may attenuate the risk of gout related to genetic factors by almost a third.

28 April 2022 In General Health

This work aimed to relate alcohol consumption with adherence to the Mediterranean diet (MD) and with food neophobia (FN) among Italian and Spanish university students. Volunteers (n = 194, 108 Italian and 86 Spanish), recruited at the La Sapienza University of Rome and the Catholic University of Murcia, filled in standardized questionnaires to evaluate alcohol consumption (AUDIT), FN (FN Scale: FNS), and adherence to the MD (MDS-14, MED-55, QueMD).

In addition to the previously reported QueMD sub-score (aMED), a sub-score for non-typical MD foods (ntMED, carbonated and/or sugar-sweetened beverages (soft drinks), butter, margarine, or cooking cream, and manufactured sweets, pastries, and cakes) was evaluated. Italian females had higher MED-55 and FNS scores, and a lower AUDIT score than Spaniards (p < 0.01). Students who stayed with their family (resident) were more adherent to MD than those who moved away from home. Resident Italians consumed less beer, hard liquors, and cocktails than Spaniards on Saturday nights (p < 0.01).

There were negative correlations between AUDIT and QueMD (R squared: 0.137, p < 0.05), and AUDIT and ntMED (R squared: 0.201, p < 0.01) in Spaniards, however, there was no relationship between AUDIT and other MD scores. In conclusion, this pilot study suggests that non-typical MD foods and Saturday night consumptions, related to being far from home, have a great impact on alcohol consumption.

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