The vitamin C content of human milk was determined among twenty-six newly delivered mothers. Milk samples (colostrum, transitional and mature) were obtained at different stages of lactation. Mean vitamin C concentration varied from 3.52 ± 0.56 mg/dl for colostrum to 3.03 ± 0.67 mg/dl for mature milk with the advancement of time, but was in agreement with the infant’s daily requirement. Serum vitamin C of a sub-sample of mothers (n=7) was also estimated for a comparison of vitamin C concentration between maternal breastmilk and serum. Vitamin C level estimated in the serum was 0.44 ± 0.29 mg/dl, revealing an eight-fold lower concentration compared to the corresponding milk samples.
Hypertension and obesity are established and independent risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. There are important inter-relationships between these two factors that may explain the aetiology of coronary heart disease. To determine the prevalence of hypertension and obesity in a rural community setting in Malaysia, and to identify their associated factors, a cross-sectional study was conducted among residents aged 15 years and above in Mukim Dengkil, Selangor from June to October 1999. Sample size was 570, giving a response rate of 86.7%. Prevalence of hypertension was 26.8%, with the highest prevalence among those aged 60 years and above (57.3%), and 50 to 59 years old (53.3%). Factors found to be significantly associated with hypertension were male (χ²=4.71, df=1, p<0.05) and age (t=10.7, df=568, p<0.01). Prevalence of obesity was 11.4%, with the highest prevalence among those aged 40 to 49 years (22.7%) and 30 to 39 years (14.4%). The factors associated with obesity were age (p<0.01), female (χ²=12.45, df=1, p<0.05) and ethnicity (Fisher’s Exact probability, p<0.05) with Chinese and Malays having a higher prevalence compared to other ethnic groups. However, there was no significant association between hypertension and obesity (OR=1.14, 95% CI=0.65, 2.02). The prevalence of hypertension and obesity in this study is high. There is a need for prevention programs for these risk factors in rural communities in Malaysia.
Childhood obesity has been growing at an alarming rate and is the most common nutritional problem among children in developed as well as in developing countries. It is associated with significant morbidity and mortality, including cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal, endocrine and psychosocial morbidities. This unhealthy trend will progress to adulthood and is expected to lead to huge economic costs in health and social security systems. Among the many factors which contribute to the increasing prevalence of childhood obesity include environment and genetic factors. This paper discusses the aetiology, consequences and necessary interventions for this problem.
A cross-sectional study was conducted among the Mahishya population of Chakpota village in Southern West Bengal to determine the relationship between socio-economic conditions and certain haematological parameters, haemoglobin level and haemotocrit. Households were divided into high, middle and low socioeconomic groups on the basis of per capita income per year. The demographic data were collected from all the 255 households comprising 404 adult males and 383 adult females (above 20 years of age). Higher values in the parameters were observed among the males in all the three socioeconomic sub-groups. Significant differences in haemoglobin level and haemotocrit of males were observed between the three socioeconomic groups (p= <.01). On the contrary, insignificant differences in haemoglobin level and haemocrit were observed between the three socioeconomic groups among the females. Higher nutritional intake and lower parasitic infections may be responsible for the higher levels of the haematological parameters in the higher socioeconomic groups. Our study reveals that sex discrimination in food sharing seems to be the major cause for the gender difference in haemoglobin status in all the three economic groups. It is apparent from the study that cultural factors play an important role in determining the haemoglobin status at micro-level, even in high-income households.
This study examined a nutrition education program consisting of two content sessions: food-label reading, and food pyramid guide. In each session two groups of nutrition interns utilized four teaching methods: role-play/video presentation/display, grocery store tour, overhead transparency and lecture, and power point lecture, among a group of (N = 29) ninth grade, high school students. The purpose was to determine the most effective method of delivering nutrition education to high school students. Analysis using the Kruskal Wallis One-way Analysis of Variance showed that the combination method of role-playing/video presentation/visual display was most effective in the food pyramid session (χ² = 8.13, p = .04). While this method was given the highest rank in the food-label reading session it was not statistically significant. These results show that a combination of methods classified as the teacher’s style, is more effective than a style that involves a single teaching method.
Among the chemicals, pesticides which are mainly used in agriculture pose major health problems to human beings. Indiscriminate use of pesticides belonging to the class organophosphate, organochlorine, carbomate, and pyrethroid leads to various health problems affecting the nervous, endocrine, reproductive and immune systems. The toxicity of pesticide in human beings is influenced by various factors such as age, gender and health status of the individual in addition to the intensity and frequency of pesticide used. Comparatively, children are at greater risk than the adults. The human detoxification system plays a vital role in reducing the harmful effects of the pesticides. However, when the toxic level is increased beyond the capacity of the detoxification system, health condition deteriorates. Human diet plays a crucial role in maintaining the overall health of a person. Vitamins such as Vitamin C and E are effective in preventing DNA damage because of their antioxidant properties. Intake of fruits and vegetables improves the antioxidants level in the blood. Phenolic substances present in certain spices possess potent anticarcinogenic activities. Organic farming may be a viable solution to reduce the toxic effects of chemicals.
Timor-Leste is a small, post-crisis country with a population of about 850,000, of which in 2001, more than 40% were below 15 years of age. Average life expectancy is 57 years. 85% of the population live in rural areas. 40% of the population 15 years or older cannot read or write. 70% do not have electricity.
The people of Timor Leste have experienced harsh and difficult conditions as a result of colonial and occupational rule, which has greatly contributed to today’s poor nutritional status. The country is one of the poorest in the region, with not only low income but also poor performance on social indicators such as education, literacy and health.
Despite the efforts and achievements witnessed during the first two years of reconstruction, most sectors are still facing major challenges in running their programs effectively. The overriding burden of poverty, with its accompanying variables of poor water and environmental sanitation, nutrition and housing has significant repercussions on the health of the community. Post-independence Timor Leste faces these problems with optimism but recognises the difficulties ahead.
Body image plays an important role in the management of body weight, especially among female adolescents. This study examined the differences in body image perception, weight management knowledge, eating behaviour and physical activity between overweight and normal weight Malaysian female adolescents. Body mass index screening was done on 588 secondary school students to identify overweight (OW) and normal weight (NW) subjects. A BMI-for-age of => 85th percentile and between => 5th and < 85th percentile were used as cut-offs for identifying suitable subjects of overweight and normal weight, respectively. Fifty girls identified as being OW were matched for age and ethnicity with 50 NW students. Subjects completed a self-administered questionnaire on demographics, eating behaviour and physical activity, a weight management knowledge inventory (WMKI) and the Body Silhouette Chart. The study sample comprised Malays (40%), Chinese (30%) and Indians (30%) with a mean age of 14.76 ± 1.15 years. The majority of them were from families with a monthly household income of less than RM1,000. Significantly more NW subjects (χ2=6.112, p=0.013) than OW subjects had incorrect perception of their current body weight status. The WMKI revealed that more OW subjects (64%) than NW subjects (52%) had a low level of weight management knowledge. Eating behaviour patterns were not significantly different between OW and NW subjects, but more OW subjects skipped one or more daily meals as compared to their NW counterparts (χ2=0.174, p=0.010). Physical activity patterns were similar in both groups. Healthy eating and physical activity promotion programmes in schools should include sound weight management practices.
Imbalances and deficiencies of nutrients are particularly prevalent among the elderly, resulting in increased risk of illness and impaired outcome, as well as reduced quality of life. A cross-sectional study was conducted to assess the nutritional risk and to determine its association with physical and mental health problems among the elderly in a semiurban community in the District of Hulu Langat, Selangor. Elderly people aged 60 years and above were included in the study, conducted from 11th March to 10th May 2004. Data were collected using a questionnaire-guided interview method. The Nutrition Screening Initiative Checklist (NSI-13) was used to assess the level (low, moderate, high) of nutritional risk of the subjects. The questionnaire also included the Barthel Index, Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS-30) and Elderly Cognitive Assessment Questionnaire (ECAQ) to identify functional status, depressive symptoms and cognitive impairment respectively, among the respondents. Out of 316 elderly residents, 300 agreed to participate in the study (response rate 94.9%). Respondents aged from 60 to 93 years old and the mean age was 67.08±6.6. Prevalence of moderate and high nutritional risks were 25.3% and 36.3% respectively. Nutritional risks were found to be significantly associated with age (p=0.015), marital status (p=0.00), chronic illness (p=0.000), functional disability (p=0.000) and depressive symptoms (p=0.010). In conclusion, the health status of the elderly strongly depends on their nutritional risk. Age, marital status, chronic illness, functional disability and depressive symptoms are factors to be emphasised when assessing the nutritional risk of the elderly.
A study on a few selected socio-biological and demographic determinants of birth weight was conducted at a hospital in Sagar town, Madhya Pradesh. Records of 2,680 single live births over a period of one year (1st January to 31st December 2000) were analysed. It was found that male infants were 124 g heavier than female infants. Tabular representation of data showed that maternal age, education, ethnicity, father's income and occupation, infant's sex and parity were strongly associated with birth weight of infants. Regression analysis gave a comprehensive picture of such associations and confirmed the above findings. The study showed that the socio-economic and biological variables considered in the analysis have significant effect on birth weight.
A case control study to determine the association of dietary fibre and cancer among Malaysians. It was conducted among 100 newly-diagnosed cancer patients admitted to the Radiotherapy and Oncology Ward, Hospital Kuala Lumpur. A total of 100 controls matched with the cases for age, sex and ethnic origin were selected from the Outpatient Health Clinic in Sentul. The subjects were interviewed to obtain information on their habitual dietary intakes and lifestyles. Family history of cancer, smoking habits, and alcohol consumption were found to be significant risk factors for cancer (p<0.05 for all parameters). The mean intake of total energy was higher among men with nasopharyngeal cancer and women with gastrointestinal cancer as compared to their controls (p<0.05 for both parameters). The percentage of energy contribution from fat was higher among cases (35%) than controls (32.1%). The mean dietary fibre intake among cases (10.86 ± 8.90 g/d) was apparently lower than the controls (13.22 ± 5.99 g/d), with significant differences noted for breast cancer and also nasopharyngeal cancer. Women with low fibre intake (< 10g/d) had a 2.2 times higher risk of getting breast cancer. There is a need to educate the public to adhere to a wholesome diet, in particular to increase the consumption of high-fibre food for disease prevention.
A Nutritious Medida (Sudanese Cereal Thin Porridge) Prepared by Fermenting Malted Brown Rice Flour with Bifidobacterium Longum BB 536 Barka M Kabeir, Mustafa Shuhaimi, Kharidah Muhammad, Suraini Abd-Aziz & Abdul Manap Yazid
The nutritive value of spontaneously fermented brown rice flour medida, a Sudanese cereal thin porridge, is low. This study was carried out to improve the nutritional quality of medida. The flour was soaked and malted at 30°C to optimise the protein content. Flour malted for two days had the highest protein content. Skim milk was added to the malted brown rice flour medida and fermented using Bifidobacterium longum BB 536. Maximum count of B. longum BB 536 up to 9 log CFU/ ml was attained at 4.6 final fermentation pH. The resultant viscosity was similar to that of the spontaneously fermented brown rice flour medida. There was significant (P< 0.01) increase in both the energy density and the protein content, having increased 12 folds and 24 folds, respectively. The essential amino acids including lysine and methionine were highly augmented. The resultant medida have stable flowing characteristics and meet the whole protein and energy requirements for infants and children aged 1 – 10 years old.
Rice polishing is a by-product of rice milling. It is a good source of energy and an assortment of amino acids. The anti-nutritive factors associated with rice polishing reduce the availability of amino acids and other nutrients to poultry. Defatted rice polishing (DRP) was chemically treated with 0.4N HCl and 6% H2O2 solutions by soaking in ratio of 1:1.5. After the chemical treatments, one portion of each was further cooked with an extruder cooker maintained at 130oC for 10 seconds. The amino acid digestibility trial of untreated and treated DRP was done using precision fed cockerel assay. Thirty White Leghorn cockerels of 24 weeks of age, having uniform weight, were selected for the experiment and divided into five groups of six cockerels each. Three birds in each group were force-fed treated DRPs @ 25g per bird through crop intubation with the help of a funnel and plunger passed via the oesophagus. The other three were kept without feed throughout the experimental period to measure the endogenous amino acids excreted in the faeces. The excreta voided during 24 hours following force-feeding was collected at 12-hour intervals. The excreta of different groups were weighed, oven-dried and used for amino acid analysis. The results indicated that chemical or chemical plus extrusion cooking decreased the total amino acids present in DRP. The content of several amino acids were reduced as a result of chemical treatment. Further reduction of the amino acid content was observed when the chemically treated DRP were subjected to extrusion cooking. However, the acid (0.4N HCl), acid plus extrusion cooking and 6% H2O2 treatments improved the amino acid digestibility. On the other hand, treating DRP with 6% H2O2 plus extrusion cooking reduced the amino acids digestibility.
Serum Vitamin E, C and A Status in Pre-Eclampsia and Eclampsia Patients, and Their Correlation with Blood Pressure: a Study in Dhaka, Bangladesh Sheikh Nazrul Islam, Touhida Ahsan, Shahla Khatun, Md Nazrul Islam Khan & Monira Ahsan
The aim of this study was to determine serum concentrations of vitamin E, C and A in pre-eclampsia and eclampsia patients, and to analyse their relationship with blood pressure. It was a cross-sectional case controlled study comprising forty-four pre-eclampsia, fifty eclampsia, and thirty-five normo-tensive pregnant women of singleton gestations in their third trimester from two hospitals in Dhaka, Bangladesh. HPLC and spectrophotometric methods were employed to determine the serum concentrations of vitamin E, A, and C. SPSS software package was used to analyse the data. Serum vitamin C was found to be significantly higher (F=6.266, p=0.003) in the pre-eclampsia group than in the pregnant control and eclampsia groups, while serum vitamin E and A in patients and control did not differ significantly. Vitamin C levels in the pre-eclampsia group were found to be influenced by their maternal age (F(2,41)=3.197, p=0.05), and found to be positively related to the maternal age (r =0.250 and p=0.106). In the pre-eclampsia group, vitamin E showed a positive significant relationship with systolic pressure (beta coefficient= 0.303, P=0.052, R2=0.101) and diastolic pressure (beta co-efficient=0.459, P=0.002, R2=0.211). In the eclampsia group, vitamin C showed a negative significant relationship with systolic blood pressure (beta co-efficient=-0.502, P=0.000, R2=0.302) but in the case of diastolic pressure, the relationship was reversed (beta co-efficient=0.443, P=0.001, R2=0.237).