Children's Nutrition

Infant food allergy linked to genetics and skin exposure to food, dust and wipes

19 Apr 2018 --- Food allergy is triggered by perfect storm of genetics and skin exposure to infant wipes, dust and food, according to a new Northwestern Medicine study. Infant and childhood food allergy, whose cause has long been a mystery, has now been linked to a mix of environmental and genetic factors that must coexist to trigger the allergy. The factors contributing to food allergy include the genetics that alter skin absorbency, use of infant cleansing wipes that leave soap on the skin, skin exposure to allergens in dust and skin exposure to food from those providing infant care. Food allergy is triggered when these factors occur together.

Lack of green vegetable products for infants leaves bitter taste in mouth

16 Apr 2018 --- A new US study focused on the difficulties of convincing infants to eat their greens concludes that the lack of commercially prepared vegetable products specifically targeting this age group is doing little to solve the problem. 

Gut-brain axis: NZMP SureStart joins research program to aid infant formula development

09 Apr 2018 --- NZMP SureStart, the global B2B pediatric ingredients brand of Fonterra, has joined Smarter Lives, a five-year research program that investigates how nutrition impacts the gut-brain axis. Smarter Lives is funded by New Zealand’s Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and led by New Zealand research institute, AgResearch. It will investigate how foods influence brain function via the “sophisticated communication systems” between the gut and the brain.

Clinical merger: Novartis acquires AveXis for US$8.7bn, expands in gene therapy

09 Apr 2018 --- Novartis has entered into an agreement and plan of merger with AveXis, Inc. to acquire the US-based Nasdaq-listed clinical-stage gene therapy company for US$8.7 billion in cash (US$218 per share). The transaction was unanimously approved by the Boards of both companies. The move comes just days after Novartis agreed to sell its stake in a consumer healthcare joint venture for $13 billion to GlaxoSmithKline.

Last word on packed lunch items comes from child, study claims

06 Apr 2018 --- The study concluded that children, not their parents, are often the primary decision maker of whether they will eat a school lunch or what is packed in their lunch. Children have an active role in dictating what goes into their packed lunches, the study suggests, through means of reporting what other children are eating and making specific requests whilst out shopping. The study was published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.

Study uncovers interplay between omega 3, sleep and cognition in kids

05 Apr 2018 --- Frequent fish consumption may aid better quality sleep and cognitive functioning in children, a Chinese study has found. The study, published in Nature, claims to be the first study to delineate the mediating pathways between greater fish consumption and improved cognition amongst children.

Research Digest: Malaria “mystery,” gut funghi and DNA-tested cranberries

30 Mar 2018 --- The weekly NutritionInsight research digest reports on the so-called “mystery” relationship between malaria and iron, supplying a possible answer as to why iron deficiencies can sometimes provide malaria protection, whilst iron supplementation seemed to enhance it. Further, in health, researchers studied instances of fungi in the human gut, concluding that most fungi is consumed via the mouth, and exits the body by natural means eventually. Lastly, steps are being taken to ensure the authenticity and safety of botanical healthcare products by Fruit d’Or nutraceuticals. We report this amid stories that frauds and fakes have been on the market, advertising health claims that were unfounded and mislead consumers. 

Mondelēz International Foundation launches healthy lifestyle programs across 10 countries

29 Mar 2018 --- The Mondelēz International Foundation has announced the launch of healthy lifestyle programs aimed at bringing nutrition education, active play and fresh foods to at-risk children and their families across 10 countries. As part of the foundation’s multi-year US$50 million commitment to promote healthy lifestyles and address obesity, the programs aim to reach an estimated 365,000 children and their families over the next three years in Argentina, Australia, Egypt, France, Nigeria, Russia, Ukraine, US, China and India.

Mandatory nutrition policies key ally in lowering sugar consumption among children

28 Mar 2018 --- Mandatory nutrition policies could be a valuable tool in helping high school students to lower their sugar intake, a University of Waterloo study has found. The study compared the consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks between 41,000 secondary school students in Ontario, where school nutrition policies are mandatory, and Alberta, where they are voluntary. The study took place during the 2013-2014 school year.

Infant formula: DuPont and Inbiose gain EU regulatory approval of human milk oligosaccharide ingredient  

28 Mar 2018 --- DuPont Nutrition & Health and Inbiose NV have gained regulatory approval of their first human milk oligosaccharide (HMO) ingredient for infant formula in the European market. Evidence suggests that HMOs benefit the health of developing infants by supporting digestive, immune and cognitive development. While human milk remains the gold standard for nourishing a baby’s growth, not every mother is able to breastfeed; the large-scale production of HMOs brings infant formula an important step closer to human milk, DuPont reports.

Soy formula’s estrogen levels may affect baby girls’ reproductive system, study suggests

14 Mar 2018 --- Baby girls who were fed soy-based formula have subtle changes in the cells and tissues of their reproductive system when compared with infants fed with breastmilk or cow’s milk. This is according to the researchers at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, who stress that although the differences are subtle and not a cause for alarm, they do point to the need for further research. The study investigated the postnatal development of estrogen-responsive tissues, along with specific hormone levels, according to the infant feeding practices. 

Iodine deficiency on the rise globally: Must focus on natal nutrition, study warns

12 Mar 2018 --- Iodine is an essential nutrient particularly for the neurodevelopment of fetuses. Deficiency at this stage could have negative consequences, a review conducted by the Hospital de Riotinto, Spain and Unversity of Surrey, UK, have shown. The findings are of rising importance as iodine deficiencies are becoming more common, the review suggests.

Maternal diet and obesity can cause “fatty liver” in fetus, study finds

08 Mar 2018 --- Obesity and a high-fat, high-sugar diet during pregnancy may predispose children to obesity, study finds. The study, published in The Journal of Physiology, found that such conditions create a “fatty liver” in the fetus. The observations may explain why children of obese mothers live shorter lives than the offspring of normal weight mothers. "Fatty Livers" can lead to very troubling issues including later life obesity, cancers, and metabolic and cardiovascular problems.

Saffron extract may help prevent depression in teens, study shows

07 Mar 2018 --- Depressed teenagers treated with saffron extract showed improvements in symptoms, according to a study published in The Journal of Affective Disorders. The study had positive effects although it is needed to “replicate these studies to confirm our initial positive findings,” says Adrian Lopresti, Senior Research Administrator at Murdoch University. Saffron is most commonly known as an expensive, golden-hued ingredient mostly used in cooking. However, it has been traditionally used as a treatment for depression in Iran.

Instant vitamin fix: Instavit launches children’s oral vitamin spray

07 Mar 2018 --- Oral spray provider Instavit has released a range specifically aimed at supporting the nutritional needs of children. The spray format is touted as being easier to stomach for the kids than traditional pills. This product joins an increasingly busy shelf of pill-free supplement delivery systems, such as gummies, gels, beadlets and now, sprays, offering increased convenience to users.

Omega 3 does not improve children's learning abilities, study finds

05 Mar 2018 --- New research has found no evidence omega 3 fish oil supplements help aid or improve the reading ability or memory function of underperforming schoolchildren. These findings are in contradiction to an earlier study – in 2012 – run by the same team using the same supplement.

Childhood allergies reduced by taking fish oil and probiotics during pregnancy: study

02 Mar 2018 --- Scientists from Imperial College London found that when pregnant women took a daily fish oil capsule from 20 weeks pregnant, and during the first three to four months of breastfeeding, the risk of egg allergy in the child was reduced by 30 percent. The team, who were commissioned by the UK Food Standards Agency, also found that taking a daily probiotic supplement from 36 to 38 weeks pregnant, and during the first three to six months of breastfeeding, reduced the risk of a child developing eczema by 22 percent.

Allowing active decision making key to healthy toddler snacking: study

27 Feb 2018 --- Teaching toddlers about healthy eating choices must be simplified to be successful. Solidifying sensible eating habits in young children is key to life-long healthy living, but programs must be age-appropriate. This is according to a new study, published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. The study found that preschoolers who understand the difference between healthy and non-healthy snack items are likely to choose healthier items. However, the teaching method must be simple enough for their cognitive level. In this study, children are active decision makers. 

Resistant starch: A promising ingredient in battling malnutrition in infants

27 Feb 2018 --- An ingredient as simple as resistant starch could hold the answer to reducing malnutrition among infants in low-middle income countries, according to a study led by researchers at Flinders University in South Australia. Resistant starch occurs naturally in foods such as oats, maize and green bananas but can also easily be added to food products. The addition of this prebiotic is thought to aid gastrointestinal health, which is of particular importance in areas where sanitation is lacking.

Sweet tooth: Kids' taste preferences could be down to genetics, study says

26 Feb 2018 --- There may well be a deeper reason behind your child reaching for crackers, cookies or veggies when hunger strikes. Genetic variants in taste receptors could play a role in children’s snacking choices. These variants determine preferences or aversions to sweet, bitter and fatty tastes. A study - conducted by researcher Elie Chamoun, member of the Guelp Family Health Study - found that nearly 80 percent of preschoolers carried at least one of these potential at-risk genotypes that could predispose them to poor snacking habits.