Happy Spring at Last!
We have a terrific set of articles this month with some nutrition-related biology, policy, and a bit of culinary perspectives at the end.
The first article has to do with body weight and health outcomes. The body mass index (BMI) is a commonly used method for expressing weight for height, and while it is not a perfect proxy for adiposity, it is useful. The lead article assesses the associations of BMI with obesity and mortality. It is first authored by Luis Mestre and includes a team led by Dr. David Allison of our Editorial Board. I learned a lot about BMI's strengths and weaknesses from this article and look forward to the sequel which will focus on other associations in an upcoming issue of Nutrition Today. There is a CE test that accompanies the article for those who need CE credits.
The health effects of the many nondigestible carbohydrates that we eat include, but are certainly not limited to, dietary fiber. Annmarie Mysonhimer and Dr. Hannah Holscher do a very nice job reviewing them and their health effects .
Next, we turn to a topic of great significance to older persons. Hope Edwards and her colleagues working with Dr. Mathew Farrow review the pros and cons of the various types of nutritional supplementation that have been proposed to prevent muscle atrophy in older adults. The evidence varies, and for those with older friends, you may want to pass along the article to them.
Turning from biology to nutrition policy, our contributing editor Dr. Dennis Saviano has put together a team with first author Elisabeth Kelb that has produced a nice commentary on ways to expand public and private partnerships to improve access to benefits of families enrolled in the USDA supplemental nutrition programs like WIC and SNAP.
Another policy issue has to do with water. While we hear a lot about how water is better to drink than high calorie beverages if we are watching our weights. However, one of the limitations of that advice is that often water fountains are nonexistent or broken or placed far away from where the potential drinkers are located, even in the universities where leading academics are giving that advice. Dr. JD Adams and colleagues explore access to water fountains in universities and suggest some needed improvements.
On national and international food and nutrition policy, Dr. Allison Yates provides a review of some of the most consequential developments in the last part of the 20th century that Dr. Doris Calloway was involved in.
We wind the issue up on a culinary note. Our expert on spices and herbs, Dr. Keith Singletary, reviews dill as a culinary aide and what we know about its health effects. Enjoy the issue!
Johanna Dwyer DSc, RD
Editor-in-Chief, Nutrition Today