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Logical Fallacies in the Food and Nutrition Conversation: How to Spot Them & Defuse Them

Recorded January 18, 2023

IAFNS is a Continuing Professional Education (CPE) provider with the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). CDR Credentialed Practitioners will receive 1.5 Continuing Professional Education Units (CPEUs) for completion of this recorded webinar until January, 2026.

Description: Talking about food can get complicated. Discussions on nutrition can be even more complex. The way we think about food may be influenced by what we hear from family and friends, health care providers, and on the news and social media. With so many different sources to take in, it can be overwhelming and confusing to know what is fact and what is fiction. Thinking critically about food and nutrition is important. And recognizing logical fallacies related to food helps with identifying misinformation.

This webinar will feature Leah McGrath, RD, LDN (Buildup Dietitians) and Melanie Trecek-King (Thinking Is Power and Massasoit Community College).

Commission on Dietetic Registration Performance Indicators:

  • 2.1.5 Evaluates the effectiveness of communication methods used to ensure understanding of presented information.
  • 2.2.3 Delivers accurate and credible messaging.
  • 4.2.5 Analyzes and synthesizes information and identifies new information, patterns and findings.
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If a CEU certificate is needed, please complete the survey

IAFNS Beltsville Webinar: Flavonoids

Recorded December 1, 2022

IAFNS is a Continuing Professional Education (CPE) provider with the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). CDR Credentialed Practitioners will receive 1.5 Continuing Professional Education Units (CPEUs) for completion of this recorded webinar until December 1, 2025.

Description:

USDA Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center has an active program to improve understanding of the role of flavonoid-rich foods in promoting health, addressing the issue from multiple angles. In this session, research will be presented on how flavonoid-rich berries affect bioenergetics in humans, as well as how a fruit and vegetable supplemented diet rich in flavonoids impacts host health by modulating gut microbiome composition and transcriptome response in a translational animal model. We will also describe our recently released flavonoid data products designed for use with national dietary data and how these resources can be used to inform dietary guidance for flavonoids and advance knowledge about flavonoid-health relationships. Finally, to further support the links between diet and health, as well as cross-talk between USDA’s FoodData Central and other databases, our databases have been expanded to include common, unique identifiers, which will expand the utility of data on food content of flavonoids and other compounds.

Webinar program:

Overview of the USDA Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center
Naomi K. Fukagawa

Flavonoid Values for USDA Survey Foods and Beverages 2017-2018: A New Data Tool to
Promote Research on Flavonoid-health Relationships
Rhonda Sebastian

How Eating the RDA for Fruits and Vegetables effects Microbiome, Gut health, Gut
immunology: Fruit/Vegetable Research with Pigs
Gloria Solano-Aguilar, PhD

Berry/Flavonoid Research Focusing on Human Health Outcomes and Cellular Bioenergetics
Janet Novotny, PhD

FoodData Central Work Allowing Links to Databases such as Flavonoids
Kyle McKillop

Commission on Dietetic Registration Performance Indicators:

  • 6.2.3 Analyzes and interprets data to form valid conclusions and to make recommendations.
  • 6.8.1 Masters and maintains current and evidence-based knowledge within subject areas.
  • 8.1.3 Evaluates the chemical nature and composition of food on food quality, acceptability, and compatibility to inform product development, menu planning and food preparation techniques.

If a CEU certificate is needed, please complete the survey

IAFNS USDA Beltsville: Botanicals and the Impact of Growing Conditions and Food Preparation on Food Composition

Recorded November 15, 2022

IAFNS is a Continuing Professional Education (CPE) provider with the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). CDR Credentialed Practitioners will receive 1.5 Continuing Professional Education Units (CPEUs) for completion of this recorded webinar until November 15, 2025.

Description:

Plant foods are important part of the human diet. They contain various nutrients and large groups of secondary metabolites as bioactive compounds. Food compositions in plant foods are affected by many factors such as genetics, environment, management, and preparation/processing. In this section, the changes of different nutrients/secondary metabolites from strawberries, lettuces, broccoli, sweet corn, and coffee will be presented in response to the different growing conditions, pre/post-harvest management, and food preparation and processing methods. In addition, a botanical database based on mass spectrometric data will be introduced and it will be a very important resource used by common users and professionals in human nutrition research.

Webinar program:

Overview of the USDA Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center
Naomi K. Fukagawa

Botanical Databases
Pei Chen, PhD

Capturing the Secondary Metabolites Variability in Fruits and Vegetables with Different Growing Conditions
Jianghao Sun, PhD

Effects of Food Processing on the Carotenoids in Sweet Corn
Xianli Wu, PhD

Coffee Chemistry: Complexity of Coffee Compounds and Impact of Roasting Condition
Jae Park, PhD

Commission on Dietetic Registration Performance Indicators:

  • 4.2.5 Analyzes and synthesizes information and identifies new information, patterns and findings.
  • 6.2.3 Analyzes and interprets data to form valid conclusions and to make recommedentions.
  • 6.8.1 Demonstrates knowledge of nutrient requirements throughout the lifespan, and their role in health promotion and disease prevention.
  • 8.1.3 Evaluates the chemical nature and composition of food on food quality, acceptability, and compatibility to inform development, menu planning and food preparation techniques.

If a CEU certificate is needed, please complete the survey

Sample Collection, Preservation, and Data Analysis in Gut Microbiome Research: Current Methods and Potential Impact on Results

The development of dietary guidance relies upon the ability to synthesize a body of evidence and arrive at a reasonably well-supported conclusion. Although publications have purported to identify characteristics of a “healthy gut microbiome”, the one certainty at present is that gut microbiome is highly variable across individuals. In addition, the reality is that gut microbiome research still requires method advancement and refinement. Continuing to improve methods, and working toward alignment across laboratories will move all closer to understanding how diet can impact health at the point of the gut microbiome. In a virtual workshop held on October 13, 2022, the current state of knowledge related to sample collection, utility of standards, sequencing, and bioinformatic and biostatistical approaches was reviewed by experts working in the field. Speakers expanded on how selection among the various methodological options can impact study results. This project includes generating a summary of these discussions will be prepared for submission to a peer-reviewed journal.

Scientific Editor: Riley Hughes, PhD, Independent Scientist

Amount: $3,000

Year: 2022

This work was supported by the IAFNS Gut Microbiome.

USDA Beltsville Webinar: Complex Carbohydrates and the Complexity of Carbohydrates

Recorded November 3, 2022

IAFNS is a Continuing Professional Education (CPE) provider with the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). CDR Credentialed Practitioners will receive 1.0 Continuing Professional Education Units (CPEUs) for completion of this recorded webinar until November 3, 2025.

Description:

Investigations of the biological efficacy and mechanisms of action for dietary fiber (DF) in human health and nutrition are complicated because, unlike many nutritional components which are discrete compounds, DF represents a diverse set of polymeric materials.  Variations in monomeric composition, degree of polymerization, and structural motifs arising from food preparation all impact the digestibility and probiotic effect of different dietary fiber sources. Scientists at the USDA Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center (BNHRC) seek to address issues related to these challenges by performing interdisciplinary collaborative research. Their preliminary studies are highlighted in this presentation.

Dr. Dave Luthria will describe his work on high-throughput fiber analysis using automated Ankom Technology, including highlighting the challenges associated with commonly used methodologies for fiber analysis. The pros and cons of different methods used for fiber analysis will be reviewed. Dr. Allen Smith will present his work on examining the biological effects of a food ingredient, resistant potato starch, on the gut microbiome and its impact on inflammation in rodent models. Dr. Thomas Wang will describe his work in a diet-induced-obesity rodent model where different resistant starch levels from cooked rice varietals were used to determine the biological efficacy and mechanism of action for resistant starch in a whole food.  Finally, Dr. Michael Bukowski will close by describing the future of complex carbohydrate analysis using a combination analytical chemistry and polymer analysis techniques.

Webinar program:

Overview of the USDA Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center
Naomi K. Fukagawa

Research Advances and Challenges in Dietary Fiber Analyses
Dave Luthria, PhD

Research Plans to Improve Carbohydrate Analyses
Mike Bukowski, PhD

Effect of Resistant Starch as an Ingredient on Animal Gut Health
Allen Smith, PhD

Food and Nutrition Research: Carbohydrates in Select Foods, Raw and Processed
Pamela Pehrsson

Rice as a Source of Resistant Starch and Diet Induced Obesity and Gut Microbiome
Tom Wang, PhD

Commission on Dietetic Registration Performance Indicators:

  • 4.1.2 Interprets and integrates evidence-based research and literature in decision-making.
  • 4.2.6 Integrates relevant information with previous learning, experience, professional knowledge, and current practice models.
  • 6.2.3 Analyzes and interprets data to form valid conclusions and to make recommendations.

If a CEU certificate is needed, please complete the survey

Understanding the Opportunities and Challenges to Sodium Reduction in Food Service and Key Strategies to Foster Progress

The objective of this project is to document the outcomes of a dialogue with leaders from the food service sector, government, and academia to understand the challenges and opportunities related to sodium reduction in the food service sector. This work related to the dynamics, initiatives, and challenges in the food service sector will help identify and communicate opportunities to foster progress with sodium reduction, inform public health initiatives around sodium and to track progress over time.

Scientific Editor: Paula Trumbo PhD, Liberty University, Lynchburg VA

Amount: $6500

Year: 2022

This work was supported by the IAFNS Sodium Committee.

USDA Beltsville Webinar: Sources and Intake of Added Sugars in the U.S. Diet

Recorded October 26, 2022

IAFNS is a Continuing Professional Education (CPE) provider with the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). CDR Credentialed Practitioners will receive 1.5 Continuing Professional Education Units (CPEUs) for completion of this recorded webinar until October 26, 2025.

Description:

Numerous governmental and public health organizations recommend reduced intake of added sugars [defined as sugars that are either added during the processing of foods, or are packaged as such (e.g., a bag of sugar)] due to the adverse health effects associated with excess intake, including risk of obesity, dental caries, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. The 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) recommends a dietary pattern that contains <10% of energy from added sugars. Reducing the intake of added sugars in the diet is easier said than done because sweet taste is inherently liked.

This webinar will showcase the research conducted by the USDA-ARS investigating sweet taste perception, measuring sources of sugars in the U.S. food supply, and capturing intake of added sugars among the U.S. population. The event will start with an overview of the sweet taste receptor and how it is conserved across species. Next, the process used by USDA-ARS to measure sugars and added sugars in the food supply will be discussed. Findings from a recent cross-sectional analysis using data collected from What We Eat in America, the dietary intake component of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) will be presented. This analysis focuses on sources of added sugars and dietary patterns among adults that meet or exceed recommended levels of added sugars

Webinar program:

Overview of the USDA Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center
Naomi K. Fukagawa

Comparative Genomics of Sweet Taste Perception
Harry Dawson

Tracking Food and Beverage Intake using WWEIA
Donna Rhodes

Sources of Added Sugars in the Diet
Kelly Higgins

Overview of Sugars and Added Sugars in FoodData Central
Kyle McKillop

Commission on Dietetic Registration Performance Indicators:

  • 8.1.2 Integrates knowledge of biological, physical, and social sciences with knowledge of food and nutrition to make decisions related to nutrition care.
  • 8.1.4 Integrates knowledge of macro- and micronutrients for digestion, absorption and metabolism throughout the lifespan in practice.
  • 8.1.5 Demonstrates knowledge of nutrient requirements throughout the lifespan, and their role in health promotion and disease prevention.

If a CEU certificate is needed, please complete the survey

Reconciliation of Differences between Observational Studies and Randomized Controlled Trials: A Case Study on Low Calorie Sweeteners

Scientific evidence is commonly categorized into levels based on quality of evidence, commonly referred to as the hierarchy of evidence. The complexity of evaluating study quality based on study design becomes problematic for dietary exposures and health outcomes with conflicting evidence observed in observational studies and RCTs. Such conflicting evidence is well documented for low calorie sweeteners (LCS), in which observational trials tend to identify adverse associations between LCS use and adiposity, type 2 diabetes (T2D), mortality, cardiovascular disease (CVD), and cancer while RCTs highlight benefits or no effect of LCS on body weight, energy intake, markers of T2D, and markers of CVD (6). One possible explanation for this is that observational trials and RCT are simply addressing different research questions, evaluating different exposures, comparators, and outcomes.

 

The objective of the proposed project is to educate stakeholders on how to interpret contrasting evidence from observational studies and RCTs based on methodological differences between study designs, using LCS as a case-study. A rapid review of systematic reviews and metaanalyses on LCS and various health outcomes will be conducted to highlight how different intervention/exposures, comparators, outcomes, and study designs produce varying conclusions regarding the efficacy and safety of LCS. The deliverables of this project will be a peer-reviewed publication and presentation of findings at a conference for nutrition and dietetics practitioners

Institution: USDA Agricultural Research Service

Principal Investigator: Kelly Higgins, MPH PhD; David Baer, PhD

Amount: $2K (Matthew Kramer, USDA ARS - retired); other costs covered by USDA’s congressional appropriation

Year: 2022

This work was supported by the IAFNS Low- and No-Calorie Sweeteners Committee.

Understanding Authoritative Decisions Around Selection and Validation of Cognitive Performance Measures – with a Focus on Nutrition-Related Research

The objective of this project is to document the outcomes of an expert roundtable with the goal to understand decisions and approaches that underlie cognitive assessment tool selection by authoritative groups. This effort aims to enable the advancement of evidence evaluation and evidence development to support future dietary guidance, and to document learnings and how they can be used to support future DGAC evidence reviews related to diet/nutrition and cognitive health.

Principal Investigator: Amy R. Romijn, PhD, Swansea University

Amount: $5,000

Year: 2022

View this project on the Center for Open Science’s Open Science Framework here. 

View this project on the PROSPERO website here.

This work was supported by the IAFNS Cognitive Health Committee.