Wednesday January 22, 2020

Food Packed For Children in Lunch Boxes Lack Nutritional Quality: Study

Although the amount of sugary food in lunchboxes declined over ten years it is still higher than recommended

0
//
Food
Some researchers found that the percentage of packed lunches meeting all eight food standards was very small, increasing slightly from 1.1 per cent in 2006 to 1.6 per cent over ten years. Pixabay

Fewer than two in every 100 packed lunches eaten by children in primary schools meet nutritional standards of Food, according to a new study.

According to the researchers from University of Leeds, who conducted a major survey in UK, the lack of fresh food is to blame.

“This study underlines the role that parents, carers, the government and the food industry have in ensuring children eat more healthily,” said study researcher Charlotte Evans from University of Leeds.

“The research has found that on some fronts, packed lunches have improved but they are still dominated by sweet and savoury snack food and sugary drinks. The vast majority provide poor nutritional quality. Addressing that issue over the next 10 years will require a concerted effort,” Evans added.

For the findings, published in the journal BMJ Open, the research compared the nutritional quality of packed lunches brought into a sample of primary schools in 2006 and then in 2016.

The results reveal how the nutritional quality of lunchboxes has changed over 10 years. It is estimated that more than half of primary schoolchildren take a packed lunch to school.

Over the 10-year period, the researchers found that many children did not have any dairy foods in their lunch, and meals did not meet the recommended standard for calcium. There was a reduction in the number of packed lunches meeting the standards for vitamin A, vitamin C and zinc.

According to the study, there was no reduction in saturated fats. There was no reduction in the portion size of crisps. The researchers said the food industry has not focused on reducing the size of savoury snacks in the same way it has on sweet snacks.

Although the amount of sugary food in lunchboxes declined over ten years it is still higher than recommended. The researchers investigated whether packed lunches met the food standards that apply to cooked meals in England’s schools.

Lunch Box, Lunch, Camping, Lunch Box
Fewer than two in every 100 packed lunches eaten by children in primary schools meet nutritional standards of Food, according to a new study. Pixabay

Since 2006, eight standards have been introduced for cooked school lunches. Confectionery, savoury snacks and sweetened drinks are restricted while vegetables, protein and dairy have to be included in each meal.

ALSO READ: Xiaomi Dispatches Over 10 Lakh Devices in Offline Market Within a Single Day

Packed lunches, however, are not subject to any control. The researchers found that the percentage of packed lunches meeting all eight food standards was very small, increasing slightly from 1.1 per cent in 2006 to 1.6 per cent over ten years. “Improving what children eat at school will help reduce the risk of childhood obesity,” Evans said. (IANS)

Next Story

Drugs That Treat Arthritis in Dogs Can Kill Cancer Cells: Study

Drug for arthritis in dogs can fight cancer in people

0
Cancer Cells
Drugs for diabetes, inflammation, alcoholism and even for treating arthritis in dogs can also kill cancer cells. Pixabay

Drugs for diabetes, inflammation, alcoholism — and even for treating arthritis in dogs — can also kill cancer cells in the lab, according to a new health news and study.

The researchers systematically analysed thousands of already developed drug compounds and found nearly 50 that have previously unrecognised anti-cancer activity.

The findings, which also revealed novel drug mechanisms and targets, suggest a possible way to accelerate the development of new cancer drugs or repurpose existing drugs to treat cancer.

“We thought we’d be lucky if we found even a single compound with anti-cancer properties, but we were surprised to find so many,” said study researcher Todd Golub from Harvard University in the US.

Cancer Cells
Most of the non-oncology drugs that killed cancer cells in the study did so by interacting with a previously unrecognized molecular target. (Representational Image). Pixabay

The study, published in the journal Nature Cancer, yet to employ the Broad’s Drug Repurposing Hub, a collection that currently comprises more than 6,000 existing drugs and compounds that are either FDA-approved or have been proven safe in clinical trials (at the time of the study, the Hub contained 4,518 drugs).

Historically, scientists have stumbled upon new uses for a few existing medicines, such as the discovery of aspirin’s cardiovascular benefits.

“We created the repurposing hub to enable researchers to make these kinds of serendipitous discoveries in a more deliberate way,” said study first author Steven Corsello, from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and founder of the Drug Repurposing Hub.

The researchers tested all the compounds in the Drug Repurposing Hub on 578 human cancer cell lines from the Broad’s Cancer Cell Line Encyclopedia (CCLE).

Using a molecular barcoding method known as PRISM, which was developed in the Golub lab, the researchers tagged each cell line with a DNA barcode, allowing them to pool several cell lines together in each dish and more quickly conduct a larger experiment.

The team then exposed each pool of barcoded cells to a single compound from the repurposing library, and measured the survival rate of the cancer cells.

They found nearly 50 non-cancer drugs — including those initially developed to lower cholesterol or reduce inflammation — that killed some cancer cells while leaving others alone.

Some of the compounds killed cancer cells in unexpected ways.

“Most existing cancer drugs work by blocking proteins, but we’re finding that compounds can act through other mechanisms,” said Corsello.

Cancer Cells
The researchers tested all the compounds in the Drug Repurposing Hub on 578 human cancer cells lines from the Broad’s Cancer Cell Line Encyclopedia. (Representational Image). Pixabay

Some of the four-dozen drugs researchers identified appear to act not by inhibiting a protein but by activating a protein or stabilising a protein-protein interaction.

For example, the team found that nearly a dozen non-oncology drugs killed cancer cells that express a protein called PDE3A by stabilising the interaction between PDE3A and another protein called SLFN12 — a previously unknown mechanism for some of these drugs.

These unexpected drug mechanisms were easier to find using the study’s cell-based approach, which measures cell survival, than through traditional non-cell-based high-throughput screening methods, Corsello said.

Also Read- Mothers Find Gaps in Accessibility of Breastfeeding Resources at Work: Research

Most of the non-oncology drugs that killed cancer cells in the study did so by interacting with a previously unrecognized molecular target.

For example, the anti-inflammatory drug tepoxalin, originally developed for use in people but approved for treating osteoarthritis in dogs, killed cancer cells by hitting an unknown target in cells that overexpress the protein MDR1, which commonly drives resistance to chemotherapy drugs. (IANS)