evidence-based blog of Filippo Dibari

Posts Tagged ‘healthy-living’

TED Talk: ‘What if we incentivized doctors (and nutritionists) to keep us healthy instead of paying them only when we’re already sick?’

In Over-nutrition, Under-nutrition on April 5, 2018 at 11:46 am

from TED talk

November 2017




Free online course: Food as Medicine Explore the role of food in health

In Over-nutrition, Under-nutrition on August 27, 2016 at 8:15 am

Apply nutrition science to guide you on using food as medicine for you and your family.

Go to course – starts 24 Oct

About the course

How can we use food as medicine?

This free online course introduces the concept of food as medicine. You will explore how food can be important both in preventative health and as an aid in the management of certain chronic diseases today, in the past and in the future. You will also learn about what’s in food that gives it the potential to improve our health.

Nutrition science: how do you know what to eat and how much?

The science behind nutrition is a complex and ever-evolving field, and making sense of it all can be hard. In this course you will discuss the latest evidence-based nutrition guidelines and unpick some of the current controversies so that you can decide what’s right for you.

A body systems approach to food and diet

You will explore key body systems, including the brain and the gut, and explore foods that may play a role in the optimal functioning of these systems. We will discuss genetics and the advances in our knowledge of how this interacts with food and nutrition, plus how we can manage our weight in context of the environment that we live in.

We will also examine the relationships between food, fertility and pregnancy and how using food as medicine can influence the health of future generations.

A practical course on food as medicine

This course will help you to recognise which types of foods are essential for health and wellbeing, and how food can play an important role in treating/preventing disease. You will learn how to apply the latest nutrition guidelines to improve your personal food choices, nutritional intake and take a modern look at how we can use food as medicine.

Learn from a diverse team of nutrition experts

This course is designed by a team of experts in food, nutrition science and dietetics from Monash University. As researchers and clinical health practitioners, they apply the latest research to practical patient care.

A valuable course for anyone interested in health and nutrition

This course will have broad general interest appeal to everyone interested in food, nutrition and health. But it will be of particular interest to healthcare professionals who are looking to have more evidenced-based information, to assist them in providing food-based recommendations to their patients.



This course is designed for anyone with an interest in food, nutrition and health and does not require previous knowledge or experience in science, health studies or using food as medicine.

Effects of Ramadan fasting on cardiovascular risk factors: a prospective observational study

In Over-nutrition on September 24, 2012 at 3:47 pm

by Mohsen Nematy, Maryam Alinezhad-Namaghi, Masoud mahdavi Rashed, Mostafa Mozhdehifard, Seyedeh Sania Sajjadi, Saeed Akhlaghi, Maryam Sabery, Seyed Amir R Mohajeri, Neda Shalaey, Mohsen Moohebati and Abdolreza Norouzy

Nutrition Journal 2012, 11:69 – Published: 10 September 2012

(download the provisional entire paper)

Abstract (provisional)


Previous research has shown that Ramadan fasting has beneficial effects on cardiovascular risk factors, however there are controversies. In the present study, the effect of Ramadan fasting on cardiovascular risk factors has been investigated.


This is a prospective observational study that was carried out in a group of patients with at least one cardiovascular risk factor (including history of documented previous history of either coronary artery disease (CAD), metabolic syndrome or cerebro-vascular disease in past 10 y). Eighty two volunteers including 38 male and 44 female, aged 29–70 y, mean 54.0 [PLUS-MINUS SIGN] 10 y, with a previous history of either coronary artery disease, metabolic syndrome or cerebro-vascular disease were recruited. Subjects attended the metabolic unit after at least 10 h fasting, before and after Ramadan who were been fasting for at least 10 days. A fasting blood sample was obtained, blood pressure was measured and body mass index (BMI) was calculated. Lipids profile, fasting blood sugar (FBS) and insulin, homocysteine (hcy), high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) and complete blood count (CBC) were analyzed on all blood samples.


A significant improvement in 10 years coronary heart disease risk (based on Framingham risk score) was found (13.0 [PLUS-MINUS SIGN] 8 before Ramadan and 10.8 [PLUS-MINUS SIGN]7 after Ramadan, P <0.001, t test).There was a significant higher HDL-c, WBC, RBC and platelet count (PLT), and lower plasma cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL-c, VLDL-c, systolic blood pressure, body mass index and waist circumference after Ramadan (P <0.05, t test). The changes in FBS, insulin,Homeostasis Model Assessment Insulin Resistance (HOMA-IR), hcy, hs-CRP and diastolic blood pressure before and after Ramadan were not significant (P >0.05, t test).


This study shows a significant improvement in 10 years coronary heart disease risk score and other cardiovascular risk factors such as lipids profile, systolic blood pressure, weight, BMI and waist circumference in subjects with a previous history of cardiovascular disease.

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The Ethics of What We Eat

In Over-nutrition on August 6, 2012 at 11:56 am

from the web site Keen Talks, Prof Peter Singer, expert in Bio-ethics, talks academically about the ethics behind what we choose to eat.

“The Ethics of What We Eat explores the impact our food choices have on humans, animals, and the environment. Recognizing that not all of us will become vegetarians, Singer offers ways to make healthful, humane food choices. As they point out: You can be ethical without being fanatical.

“Huge retailers wield enormous power over prices and compel those far up the chain of food production and distribution to make unhelpful decisions. Peter also examines the ethical pros and cons of eating meat in any form.

“Urban dwellers far removed from the source of the foods they eat will find Singer’s descriptions of food production more disturbing and violent than the quiet, attractive, plastic-wrapped displays in the local supermarket’s pristine meat case.”

Meditation, and weight management in women: a randomized controlled trial

In Over-nutrition on July 31, 2012 at 6:24 pm

The effect of a mindful restaurant eating intervention on weight management in women

Timmerman GMBrown A. School of Nursing, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78701, USA. gtimmerman@mail.utexas.edu

J Nutr Educ Behav. 2012 Jan-Feb;44(1):22-8.


OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effect of a Mindful Restaurant Eating intervention on weight management.

DESIGN: Randomized control trial.

SETTING: Greater metropolitan area of Austin, Texas.

PARTICIPANTS: Women (n = 35) 40-59 years old who eat out at least 3 times per week.

INTERVENTION: The intervention, using 6 weekly 2-hour, small group sessions, focused on reducing calorie and fat intake when eating out through education, behavior change strategies, and mindful eating meditations.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Weight, waist circumference, self-reported daily calorie and fat intake, self-reported calories and fat consumed when eating out, emotional eating, diet related self-efficacy, and barriers to weight management when eating out.

ANALYSIS: General linear models examined change from baseline to final endpoint to determine differences in outcomes between the intervention and control group.

RESULTS: Participants in the intervention group lost significantly more weight (P =.03), had lower average daily caloric (P = .002) and fat intake (P = .001), had increased diet-related self-efficacy (P = .02), and had fewer barriers to weight management when eating out (P = .001).

CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: Mindful Restaurant Eating intervention was effective in promoting weight management in perimenopausal women.

Eating Maps: Places, Times, and People in Eating Episodes

In Over-nutrition, Under-nutrition on May 27, 2012 at 7:17 am

by Jeffery Sobala, Christine Blakeb, Margaret Jastrana, Amanda Lyncha, Carole A. Bisognia & Carol M. Devinea

Ecology of Food and Nutrition, Volume 51, Issue 3, 2012


“This project developed a method for constructing eating maps that portray places, times, and people in an individual’s eating episodes. Researchers used seven consecutive days of qualitative eating recall interviews from 42 purposively sampled U.S. adults to draw a composite eating map of eating sites, meals, and partners for each person on a template showing home, work, automobile, other homes, and other places. Participants evaluated their own maps and provided feedback. The eating maps revealed diverse places, times, and partners. Eating maps offer a flexible tool for eliciting, displaying, validating, and applying information to visualize eating patterns within contexts.”

Comment: this tool was applied in a western country. However, the same may be interesting also when adapted to food and nutrition surveys in low-resource settings.

Film Trailer: “The Weight of the Nation”

In Over-nutrition on May 10, 2012 at 8:12 pm

In the US, IOM and CDC say: “…this may be the first generation of children who will have a shorter life expectancy than their parents…”.

Linear Programming in Nutrition: easy! Yes, but…only if somebody would have told me how to do it.

In Under-nutrition on May 3, 2012 at 11:40 am

This week I am working again for Valid International creating new formulations for feeding programmes in emergency settings. The software to create the theoretical formulation is a simple MS Excel sheet, using the add-in Solver. However the technique is based on linear programming : something very mysterious until few years ago for me, now much more accessible. Basically it is a mathematical approach to solve multi-factorial equations – scary isn’t it?

However, the potential use of Linear Programming (also) in nutrition is huge! You can design and assess diets and formulate new foods. Not only. As an example see this economic assessment of food prices using Linear Programming (Briend et al.). Or for the ones interested in therapeutic feeding, do not miss this paper.

For some simple theory  have a look at this UN document about  Linear Programming in nutrition, prepared by Andre’ Briend: very well done. If you are specifically interested on ready-to-use therapeutic food, see this recent paper. If you are looking for a simple software, try Nutrisurvey (the picture is from this software): a marvel work by Juergen Erhardt.

Question: are you a nutritionist or a food technologist? Did you receive a training in this amazing tool during your education? If not, why is it so? Do you think there is market out there for this?

My opinion – I had to learn myself… Interesting, but time demanding. As a nutritionist, or food technologist, my point is that this tool should be a compulsory part of our formal education (MSc, bachelor, etc.), just as much we learn about food and nutrient composition.

What is your point about it?



Find more information about LP also here.

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