Communicating the Link Between Diet and Health

April 22/Biotech Law Weekly -- In "A review of factors affecting the food choices of disadvantaged women," researchers detail new data in life sciences. According to a study from Southampton, U.K., "The diets of young women are important not just for their own health but also for the long-term health of their offspring. Unbalanced unvaried diets are more common amongst poor and disadvantaged women."

"If the diets of these women are to be improved, it is first necessary to understand why they make the food choices they do. Influences on women's food choices range from the global to the individual: environmental factors, such as difficulty in acquiring and affording good-quality healthy foods; social support and social relationships, such as those with parents, spouses and children; life transitions, such as leaving home, living with a partner or having children; individual factors, such as having low perceived control or self-efficacy in making food choices and placing a low value on health in general and on their own health in particular," wrote W. Lawrence and colleagues, University of Southampton.

The researchers concluded, "These interrelated factors all influence food choice, suggesting that if the diets of disadvantaged women are to be improved, it will be necessary to do more than simply educate about the link between diet and health."

Lawrence and colleagues published their study in Proceedings of the Nutrition Society ("A review of factors affecting the food choices of disadvantaged women." Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, 2009;68(2):189-94).

For more information, contact W. Lawrence, Southampton General Hospital, Food Choice Group, University of Southampton, Southampton, U.K.

From the April 27, 2009, Prepared Foods E-dition