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Veronique Gingras, MSc, PhD

In August and September 2017, three nutrition studies derived from the PURE study were published in the Lancet and an old, endless – and somewhat tiresome – debate resurfaced: is a low-carbohydrate or a low-fat diet better for your health? These publications received tremendous attention with headlines such as: Study challenges conventional wisdom on fats, fruits and vegetables or PURE shakes up nutritional field: finds high fat intake beneficial. However, many of the headlines either exaggerated or misrepresented the findings. The media coverage that followed highlights how important it is to be cautious when we interpret and present results.

 
 
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Izzuddin Aris, PhD


Childhood overweight/obesity remains a substantial problem globally. Rising trends in children's and adolescents' body mass index have plateaued in many high-income countries, childhood obesity rates have dramatically increased in parts of Asia over the past few decades. Mounting evidence suggests that the period between conception and age 2, otherwise known as the “first 1000 days of life”, is important in shaping a child’s future risk of obesity. While previous studies have identified numerous maternal factors that can boost subsequent childhood obesity risk  (e.g., maternal obesity, diabetes, excessive weight gain during pregnancy, etc.), researchers have only considered them in isolation. Recent findings from the Project Viva and Southampton Women’s Survey cohorts have highlighted that these interlinked risk factors, both independently and cumulatively, contribute to a child's future risk of obesity.