Special Issue "The Close Relationship: Health and Nutrition"


A special issue of Healthcare (ISSN 2227-9032).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 March 2015

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Samir Samman
Department of Human Nutrition, University of Otago, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand
Website: http://sydney.edu.au/medicine/people/academics/profiles/ssamman.php
E-Mail: samir.samman@otago.ac.nz
Phone: +64 3 479 7945
Interests: nutritional science; vitamins; minerals; zinc; biomarkers; chronic disease

Guest Editor
Prof. Ian Darnton-Hill AO
The Boden Institute of Obesity, Nutrition, Exercise & Eating Disorders, Sydney Medical School, K25-Medical Foundation Building K25, The University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
Website: http://sydney.edu.au/medicine/people/academics/profiles/idarntonhill.php#themes
E-Mail: iandarntonhill@aol.com
Interests: public health nutrition; global health and nutrition policy; double burden of malnutrition

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Health is inextricably linked to nutrition. An unbalanced diet, whether deficient in one or more nutrients or excessive intakes of macronutrients, contribute to many physical and mental disorders. Whether people are healthy or not, is determined by their lifestyles, genetic predisposition and the environment, especially their nutrition. Diet-related factors that affect the health of individuals include access to an adequate and safe food supply, consuming a balanced diet, keeping active, and drinking alcohol in moderation, and others more subtle in their effects. How we deal with stress also affects health. This special issue of Healthcare examines “the close relationship: health and nutrition” and aims to bring together recent findings in this field. Previously unpublished articles that describe research in diverse populations are invited and welcome.

Prof. Samir Samman
Prof. Ian Darnton-Hill AO
Guest Editors


Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Healthcare is an international peer-reviewed Open Access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. For the first couple of issues the Article Processing Charge (APC) will be waived for well-prepared manuscripts. English correction and/or formatting fees of 250 CHF (Swiss Francs) will be charged in certain cases for those articles accepted for publication that require extensive additional formatting and/or English corrections.


  • micronutrients
  • macronutrients
  • dietary patterns
  • food security
  • food safety

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Displaying article 1-5
p. 505-515
Healthcare 2014, 2(4), 505-515; doi:10.3390/healthcare2040505
Received: 12 August 2014; in revised form: 2 December 2014 / Accepted: 11 December 2014 / Published: 18 December 2014
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(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Close Relationship: Health and Nutrition)
p. 468-491
Healthcare 2014, 2(4), 468-491; doi:10.3390/healthcare2040468
Received: 28 July 2014; in revised form: 14 October 2014 / Accepted: 10 November 2014 / Published: 21 November 2014
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(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Close Relationship: Health and Nutrition)
p. 429-444
Healthcare 2014, 2(4), 429-444; doi:10.3390/healthcare2040429
Received: 17 May 2014; in revised form: 18 September 2014 / Accepted: 13 October 2014 / Published: 23 October 2014
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(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Close Relationship: Health and Nutrition)
p. 282-298
by , , , , , , , ,  and
Healthcare 2014, 2(3), 282-298; doi:10.3390/healthcare2030282
Received: 5 February 2014; in revised form: 21 June 2014 / Accepted: 3 July 2014 / Published: 23 July 2014
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(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Close Relationship: Health and Nutrition)
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p. 207-219
by , , ,  and
Healthcare 2014, 2(2), 207-219; doi:10.3390/healthcare2020207
Received: 12 February 2014; in revised form: 1 April 2014 / Accepted: 2 April 2014 / Published: 28 April 2014
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Type of Paper: Article
Telehealth Coaching to Promote Bone Health and Nutrition in Deployed Soldiers
Mary S. McCarthy
Center for Nursing Science & Clinical Inquiry, Madigan Army Medical Center, Tacoma, WA 98388, USA; E-Mail: mary.s.mccarthy1.civ@mail.mil
The purpose of this study was to determine if telehealth coaching is superior to one-time nutrition and fitness education regarding: a) dietary contributions to bone health, and b) exercise contributions to bone health, assessed before and after deployment. Young service men and women are returning from war with significant physical injuries, as well as “wear and tear” from long work hours, heavy body armor, and alterations in diet and exercise behaviors. This is the second in a series of studies examining the impact of deployment specifically on bone health and nutrition. Previous findings have demonstrated that inadequate consumption of calcium and vitamin D and a decrease in exercise while deployed can be detrimental to bone health. This prospective, longitudinal, cluster-randomized, controlled trial enrolled 234 Soldiers at baseline; 155 returned from deployment with 85 in the telehealth group and 70 in the control group, yielding a 34% attrition rate. All Soldiers received a nutrition and bone health class prior to deployment; Soldiers randomized to the telehealth intervention group received on-demand health-related messages via electronic mail platforms. Baseline 25(OH) vitamin D revealed a high rate of insufficiency (61%, level < 30 ng/mL) and moderate level of deficiency (17%, level < 20 ng/mL) in both groups. Soldier participants significantly improved their vitamin D levels post-deployment with the control group achieving a “sufficient” level; M=34.9 ng/mL. Post-deployment bone turnover measured by osteocalcin was significantly higher in the telehealth group (22.0 + 0.99 vs 28.3 + 1.1 ng/mL; p = 0.01) and change in sport index was positive for this group but negative for the control group (-0.17 + .09 vs 0.29 + 0.11; p = .01). Improving vitamin D status and remaining active while deployed appears to sustain healthy bone density in young Soldiers. Bone density remained stable with no significant difference between groups. Early and aggressive educational outreach efforts can prevent chronic musculoskeletal conditions and disabling osteoporosis.

Type of Paper: Article
Fat Intake and Mental Health in Mid Aged Australian Women
Lesley MacDonald-Wicks, Lee Ting, Amanda Patterson; David Sibritt
Nutrition and Dietetics, School Health Sciences, Faculty Health and Medicine, The University of Newcastle (UoN), University Drive, Callaghan NSW 2308, Australia; E-Mail: lesley.wicks@newcastle.edu.au
Emerging evidence relates dietary intake of unsaturated fats to mental well-being. However, the relationship between dietary intake of unsaturated fats and depression or anxiety remains poorly understood. The aim of this paper was to undertake a cross-sectional analysis of the dietary intake of unsaturated fats in a mid-aged cohort of Australian women from the Australian Longitudinal Study of Women’s Health (n= 9530; 50 – 55yo in 2001) and their relationship with markers of mental well-being (CESD-10 and SF36 Mental Health subscale). The study found that for every one unit increase in oleic acid (OA), the odds of diagnosed depression declines by 1% (Odd Ratio (OR)=0.99; p=0.03). Moreover, positive associations between total omega-9 monounsaturated fatty acids (n-9 MUFAs) and OA and Short Form-36 (SF-36) Mental Health subscale scores were found. Therefore, in a nationally representative sample of Australian mid-aged women, higher OA intake was inversely associated with the risk of depression, and both higher OA and total n-9 MUFAs intakes were associated with better mental health outcomes. Further prospective observational studies and trials with regular follow-up are required to confirm the association.

Type of Paper: Review
Exploiting Food Resources: Risks and Benefits, Challenges and Opportunities of Sorghum
: Proietti I., Frazzoli C. and Mantovani A.
: Food and Veterinary Toxicology Unit, Dept. Veterinary Public Health and Food Safety, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Viale Regina Elena 299, 00161 Rome, Italy
: Food security challenges, including climate changes and population growth, call for attention towards currently neglected food resources, like sorghum. Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench) is a drought-resistant crop important in terms of nutritional, economic and social value, especially in semi-arid environments; it is a gluten-free staple food also valuable for people with celiac disease and gluten intolerance. Sorghum weaknesses include susceptibility to mycotoxins contamination, amino acid imbalance and endogenous anti- nutrients that partly impair its nutritional potential. This paper reviews and discusses pros and cons of sorghum as food source and investigate approaches for improving its risk-benefit balance, such as landraces selection and characterization of local food processing methods.

Title: Dietary Restriction of Sodium and Fluid in Patients with Pulmonary Hypertension: An Often Underutilized Intervention
Zeiger T, Cueva Cobo G, Dillingham C, Lee A, Burger C.
Mayo Clinic, 4500 San Pablo Road S, Jacksonville, FL 32224, USA
zeiger.tonya@mayo.edu; Cueva.giovanna@mayo.edu; Dillingham.christine@mayo.edu; lee.augustine@mayo.edu; burger.charles@mayo.edu
Abstract: Introduction. Right heart failure and fluid retention are common manifestations of pulmonary hypertension (PH). A straightforward intervention for improved control is dietary restriction of sodium and fluid; however, such a strategy may be underutilized in clinical practice.
Experimental Section. The study was approved by the Mayo Clinic Institutional Review Board. The design was retrospective review of prospectively collected data. A specific data information sheet was completed by consecutive patients seen in the PH Clinic. In addition to visit type, demographics, diagnosis, PH severity measures such as functional class, information was collected on prior and currently provided counseling for dietary restriction of sodium and fluid, as well as specific daily amounts advised. The data was reviewed for prevalence and specificity of such advice.
Results and Discussion. To be determined as data on approximately 100 patients is under review.
Sodium Restriction, Fluid Restriction, Pulmonary Hypertension

Title: Designing and developing a smartphone application for women with gestational diabetes mellitus followed-up at diabetes outpatient clinics in Norway
Lisa Garnweidner-Holme, Iñaki Garitano, Iren Borgen, Mirjam Lukasse
Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences, University Graduate Center Unik, Kjeller, Oslo. E-Mails: lisa.garnweidner-holme@hioa.no
The prevalence of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is increasing worldwide. Controlling blood sugar levels, accompanied by a healthy diet and physical activity, is fundamental to the treatment of GDM. Currently, patients register their blood sugar levels in a leaflet and receive verbal or written health information at the clinics. A mobile smartphone application may provide patients tailored and easily available advice to register and control their blood sugar levels. The aim of this paper is to document the process of designing and developing a smartphone application (the Gravid+ app) to easily register blood sugar levels and to provide tailored information about healthy eating and physical activity. This formative research included expert group discussions among health professionals, software development professionals and researchers in nutrition, physical activity, obstetrics and midwifery. Individual interviews with patients were conducted to discuss different prototypes of the app. Results indicate that involving both expert groups and patients is important when designing a mobile health care device. Behaviour change techniques such as self-monitoring, perceived severity and benefits, as well as cues of action will be included before testing the app in a randomized controlled trial at the outpatient clinics.
Keywords: Gestational diabetes mellitus; mHealth; user-centered design

Title: Clinical Potential of Hyperbaric Pressure Treated Whey Protein
Larry C. Lands
McGill University
Whey protein in cow’s milk is comprised of a mixture of several globular proteins, which provide a rich source of essential and branched chain amino acids. Bovine whey protein has been demonstrated to support muscle accretion, antioxidant activity, and immune modulation; however, certain whey proteins are not readily digestible due to their tight conformational structure. Treatment of whey with hyperbaric pressure results in protein unfolding. This enhances protein digestion, and results in an altered spectrum of released peptides, and greater release of essential and branched chain amino acids. Pressurized whey, through a series of animal model and clinical studies, has been demonstrated to enhance muscle accretion, reduce inflammation, improve immunity, and decrease fatigue.

Title: Dietary Advice and Collaborative Working: Do Pharmacists and Allied Health Professionals Other Than Dietitians Have a Role?
Jane McClinchy1, Julia Williams2, Lynne Gordon2, Mindy Cairns2 and Gail Fairey3.
1 School of Life and Medical Sciences University of Hertfordshire, College Lane, Hatfield, Herts, United Kingdom AL10 9AB
2 School of Health and Social Work, University of Hertfordshire, College Lane, Hatfield, Herts, United Kingdom AL10 9AB
3 Stoke Mandeville Hospital, Mandeville Road, Aylesbury, Herts United Kingdom HP21 8AL E-Mails: j.1.mcclinchy@herts.ac.uk
Abstract: Long term health conditions either wholly or partly diet-related continue to increase. Although health care professionals (HCPs) have a role in the management of patients with long term conditions, there is limited research exploring whether those other than dietitians have a role in the delivery of dietary advice. This research aimed to explore Pharmacists and Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) other than dietitians views regarding the provision of dietary advice to patients. The research involved a qualitative methodology utilising five uniprofessional focus groups with 23 participants. All groups considered the provision of dietary advice in the context of their own professional roles, discussed issues regarding referral to the dietitian for specialist advice and most discussed the need for written information. General conclusions are made about the value of collaborative working, the importance of communication between health professionals and access to written evidence based information to ensure patients receive timely dietary advice.
Keywords: Communication; education, patient; focus groups; health care professionals; health care, interprofessional; nutrition / malnutrition

Title: Of What Value is a 1:1 Multidisciplinary Weight Management Clinic?
Desley Turner and Nadim Haboubi
Aneurin Bevan Health Board Multi-disciplinary Weight Management Centre E-Mails: nadim.haboubi@wales.nhs.uk
Abstract: Background. Obesity management in Wales includes provision of a 1:1 Multidisciplinary Weight Management Clinic (MDWMC). Strategic management of obesity in Wales is guided by The All Wales Obesity Pathway and recommends MDWMCs for people with obesity who have one or more co-morbidities and who have tried several interventions without success, or who have complex emotional relationships with food.1 No known previous studies have included a qualitative evaluation of a MDWMC. Objectives. To conduct a service evaluation of a 1:1 Multi-disciplinary Weight Management Clinic to evaluate associated physiological benefits and qualitative data about the service. Methods. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 180 patients attending the MDWMC at Aneurin Bevan Hospital, Ebbw Vale, Wales. Results. The MDWMC supports weight loss with 95% of patients reporting loss. For those whom baseline data was available 73% lost at least 5% of initial body weight. 88% of patients prefer individual appointments and over 90% of patients who see each team member find consultations useful. 69% of patients report improved health mainly due to a decrease in obesity-related symptoms, and of patients taking obesity-related medication 48% report a reduction in dose of medication for asthma, 42% report a reduction in dose of antidepressants and 36% report a reduction in dose for medication for diabetes. Of employed patients 30% report a reduction of days taken off work due to sickness. 96% of patients would recommend the clinic to others. Conclusions. A 1:1 Multi-disciplinary Weight Management Clinic provides value in reducing obesity and symptoms of obesity-related diseases. It also is a treatment choice favoured by patients.
Keywords: obesity; weight management; BMI

Last update: 15 December 2014

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