Children's Nutrition

Long-term school meals improve children’s learning abilities, Berlin study finds

14 Feb 2019 --- Children who ate lunch for a period of three to five years scored 18 percent higher in reading test scores and 9 percent higher in math test scores than those with less than a year of school lunches. This is according to a European School of Management and Technology (ESMT) Berlin study. The findings enforce the significance of long-term nutrition for school children, with the researchers noting that the effects of nutrition on cognition are cumulative. The researchers highlight the importance of free school meals and call for governments to take notice.

Maternal supplementation can increase infant birth size, but access barriers remain, study warns

12 Feb 2019 --- For women in resource-poor settings, taking a daily nutritional supplement before conception or in early pregnancy may provide enough of a boost to improve growth of the fetus, according to a study funded by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH). Maternal under-nutrition in low-income countries has repeatedly been linked to negative outcomes for their children, such as chronic nutritional deprivation. However, a further study published in BMC Nutrition highlights how many barriers remain in accessing women in more impoverished and rural areas to provide adequate nutritional interventions.

DMK inaugurates new US$164m high-tech infant nutrition plant in Germany

08 Feb 2019 --- German dairy cooperative DMK yesterday inaugurated a new plant in Strückhausen, Germany. Featuring cutting-edge technology, DMK reports the facility will be used solely for the production of infant nutrition, such as its Humana brand. DMK has invested €145 million (US$164 million) in converting the site into a “state-of-the-art” facility. The company hopes to also boost the economy of the Lower Saxony region and create local job opportunities.

Microbiome research advance for China’s baby food market: Jennewein and Yili form HMO partnership

06 Feb 2019 --- Jennewein Biotechnologie, which specializes in the research and manufacture of human milk oligosaccharides (HMO), and Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group (Yili Group), China’s leading dairy company, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on research into infant microbiome and HMOs. Their goal will be to develop an innovative infant formula and dairy products specifically tailored to the Chinese market – the largest market for baby food globally.

Hong Kong researchers boost DHA absorption with novel nano-encapsulation

04 Feb 2019 --- Researchers at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) have developed a new nano-encapsulation technology that optimizes the absorption of DHA. The researchers used Zein – an edible corn protein – to mimic milk fat globule membrane (MFGM), prevent DHA from oxidation and increase its absorption. The encapsulation method can reportedly be used to increase absorption in nutrient delivery.

Nestlé acquires technology to help fight iron deficiency through food fortification

31 Jan 2019 --- Nestlé has acquired a novel technology that will enable it to address iron deficiency, one of the world’s most widespread nutritional deficiencies. The technology, FERRI PRO, was developed to address nutritional iron deficiencies without adversely affecting the taste of food and beverages by researchers at the Riddet Institute Centre of Research Excellence (CoRE), Massey University, New Zealand.

Treating non-alcoholic fatty liver disease with low-sugar diet holds “clinical relevance,” study finds

23 Jan 2019 --- A diet low in free sugars – those added to foods and beverages and occurring naturally in fruit juices – resulted in significant improvements in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in adolescent boys. This is according to findings from the University of California San Diego School of Medicine and the Emory University School of Medicine in the US. Although a healthy diet is recommended for managing NAFLD, a diet specifically low in sugar was an “unproven treatment,” yet the US researchers found that it was successful in reducing liver fat in participants. There may be clinical potential in a low-sugar diet for treating the disease, the researchers note.

Nestlé opens new global maternal and infant nutrition R&D center in Ireland

22 Jan 2019 --- Nestlé has inaugurated its first Research and Development Centre in Ireland at its existing manufacturing facility in Limerick, marking the completion of a three-year building program with a capital investment of €27 million (US$30.65 million). The new R&D center will focus on scientific research to support innovations in the development of milk-based maternal and infant nutrition products for the global market. 

Unhealthy demographic targeting? Bulk of black and Hispanic teens US food TV advertising budget goes on junk options

15 Jan 2019 --- Of the US$1.1 billion spent on advertising to black and Hispanic teens – via Spanish-language and black-targeted TV programming – over 80 percent was channeled to adverts for fast food restaurants and by food and beverage companies marketing unhealthy food. This is according to a report from the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity at the University of Connecticut.

Brand-specific effects: Exposure to sugary foods advertising strongly influences children’s diets, research warns

09 Jan 2019 --- Children exposed to television adverts that promote high-sugar cereals are more likely to eat the brands of cereals they have seen advertised, a new study has found. Researchers have previously shown that children will request and prefer brands they have seen recently advertised on TV, but until now no study had tested the exposures' impact on children’s diets in a real-world setting.

Alleviating digestion discomfort in infants: Arla Foods Ingredients develops new formula concept

07 Jan 2019 --- Arla Foods Ingredients has launched an “optimized comfort,” whey-protein based concept for infant formula. The concept contains a blend of alpha-lactalbumin and whey protein hydrolysates which aims to reduce gastrointestinal discomfort problems in infants. Such discomfort is said to be one of the most common reasons for parents to switch between formulas, according to Manel Romeu Bellés, Industry Marketing Manager at Arla Foods Ingredients. 

Tackling childhood obesity: Sugar intake for 10-year-old UK kids well above RDI

03 Jan 2019 --- By the age of ten, children have already exceeded the maximum recommended sugar intake for an 18-year-old, according to new evidence from Public Health England (PHE). This is based on their total sugar consumption from the age of two. The figures, released yesterday, coincided with the launch of the Change4Life campaign from PHE, which encourages families to “make a swap when you next shop” in a bid to cut sugar consumption and renew focus on sugar reduction as a method to tackle childhood obesity.

One in 10 US parents say their child has gotten sick from spoiled or contaminated food

18 Dec 2018 --- Parents cite restaurants as the most common source of food sickness in kids, but just one in four check inspection reports before dining out, a report from C.S Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health at the University of Michigan has found. One in 10 parents say their child has gotten sick from spoiled or contaminated food, and foodborne illness affects more than 75 million people a year. These are often caused by toxins, parasites, viruses and bacteria – such as salmonella and E. coli – and the researchers recommend that parents use simple precautions to avoid illness, such as checking restaurant inspection reports and following food safety rules when cooking and storing food.

Promoting nutrition in school is key to mitigating child obesity, study finds

17 Dec 2018 --- School-based nutrition programs and recommendations promote healthier eating habits and result in a lower body mass index (BMI) among middle schoolers, says a recent study by the Yale School of Public Health and the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at the University of Connecticut. The findings indicate the importance of promoting health in schools to help mitigate childhood obesity rates, note the researchers.

Scalable model for reducing anemia in girls: Indonesian study highlights collaboration as key

17 Dec 2018 --- A multi-sectoral approach that goes through the schooling system is key to reducing iron deficiency in girls, according to a project trialed in Indonesia and published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ). Seeking to implement a successful program that would be scalable in other geographic regions, the team began a project in West Java, Indonesia, which followed the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendation of weekly iron-folic acid supplementation (WIFAS) to reduce anemia in adolescents aged 10-19 years and women of reproductive age.

USDA school meals overhaul means salt and refined, white flour back on the menu

10 Dec 2018 --- The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has amended the nutrition rules for school meals established under the Administration of former US president Barack Obama, meaning that white bread and low-fat, flavored milk will be back on the menu across US school cafeterias. The move has drawn ire from nutrition advocates and think tanks but has been framed by US Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue as “empowering” and giving “flexibility” back to school cafeterias. The rule is part of USDA’s Regulatory Reform Agenda, developed in response to President Trump’s Executive Order to eliminate “unnecessary regulatory burdens.”

Whey protein among key drivers in infant nutrition purchasing, Arla study finds

06 Dec 2018 --- Mothers searching for the optimal infant nutrition product are attracted to high-quality, whey protein options that support “‘healthy growth,” according to a YouGov survey commissioned by Arla Foods Ingredients. Spanning 5,658 mothers in seven different countries, the survey sought to uncover common global themes regarding what consumers – particularly generation X and millennials – want from their breast-milk substitute products.

Preventing chronic disease: Obesity makes asthma more likely and severe in children

26 Nov 2018 --- One million cases of childhood asthma could be directly attributable to obesity, a study utilizing big data for pediatric research has found. Led by Nemours Children's Health System, the research highlights the need to prioritize addressing childhood obesity as it appears to be one of the few preventable risk factors for pediatric asthma.

Campaigners condemn ASA reversal of junk food advert ban for Kellogg’s product

21 Nov 2018 --- Breakfast cereal giant Kellogg’s has welcomed the reversal of a UK Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) junk food advert ban and called for the re-examination of the initial decision. Kellogg’s says the original judgment could have had “potential consequences” for the industry, disincentivizing food companies from developing better-for-you alternatives. The U-turn, which followed an independent review, has sparked criticism from obesity campaigners who originally brought the action against the granola advert. 

The next infant formula staple? NZMP eyes milk fat globule membrane potential

21 Nov 2018 --- As scientific understanding of infant development evolves, the industry is seeing growing opportunities for infant nutrition formulas that come as close to human breast milk as possible, and which benefit aspects such as brain and immune health. In this space, NZMP, Fonterra’s B2B ingredients business, is making strides in uncovering the potential of milk fat globule membrane (MFGM).