News Releases

Dietitians release surprising findings of 2017

Dec 13, 2017

TORONTO, ON — Each day, the Global PEN: Practice Based Evidence in Nutrition team reviews the scientific literature for evolving research and monitors for nutrition trends.  Earlier this month, the team reflected on what surprised them about nutrition science in 2017.

Dietitians work in across all areas of food and nutrition, and the list really reflects that diversity,” explains Jayne Thirsk, dietitian and Senior Director of PEN: Practice Based Evidence in Nutrition. “Dietitians look beyond fads and gimmicks to deliver reliable advice, but they are also constantly scanning for the implications of what is new in the scientific literature and being discussed in the media – from the nutritional implications of cannabis legalization, new research in areas like mental health, to the impact of artificial intelligence on dietetic practice.”
“Services like PEN® help dietitians stay on top of emerging research, skills and techniques,” says Thirsk. “We’re a profession who are curious about the science behind food and its connection to health, so it’s rewarding to be able to support dietitians and the patients, clients and communities that they serve.”
Here are some of the surprising findings:
#1: Nutritional Implication of legalizing cannabis
Cannabis has been legal for medicinal use in Canada since 2001. With legalization for recreational use slated for July 2018, Canadian dietitian Beth Armour, discusses the nutritional implications that dietitians should be aware of.
#4: Nudge Theory
British dietitian, Judy Lawrence was surprised by a systematic review of intentional nudges or choice architecture that led to a 15 per cent increase in healthier choices. The surprise is perhaps not the findings, as nudge strategies like having fruit on the counter, have been recommended by dietitians for years, but rather, that supermarkets and restaurants are slowly being persuaded to use nudge theory to encourage healthier choices.
#9: Who is king- casein or whey powder?
Canadian dietitian Heather Petrie reveals new research and protocols for casein supplementation for muscle synthesis. She questions whether whey still wears the crown over other supplemental protein sources.
#12: Healthy diets cost households 15 per cent less than current (unhealthy) diets
Australian dietitian Maree Hall cites recent Australian research that contrary to public perception, healthy diets are more affordable than current unhealthy diets. She notes that Australian households spend nearly two-thirds of their budget on ‘discretionary foods’ or junk food and drinks.
#16: It just makes you smile - evidence to support improved diet to treat major depressive disorders
Canadian dietitian Dawna Royall discusses a new study and further evidence to support the benefit of adding a dietitian to mental health care teams and advocating for diet and nutrition as central determinants of mental health
Curious what surprised dietitians and research analysts this year about nutritional science? Read the full list here.
About PEN: Practice Based Evidence in Nutrition
PEN® is a dynamic knowledge translation subscription service available internationally as individual or group licenses. PEN provides evidence-based answers for food, nutrition and dietetic practice.
The PEN System was developed by Dietitians of Canada, with input from thought leaders in dietetic practice, knowledge translation and technology. 

It is managed by a collaborative partnership comprised of the British Dietetic Association, the Dietitians Association of Australia and Dietitians of Canada. 

Additional Information:

To arrange a media interview, please contact:
Kate Comeau
Manager, PR and Media
Dietitians of Canada
Press Officer
British Dietetic Association Press Office
0800 048 1714
Pattie King
Media and Marketing Dietitian 
Dietitians Association of Australia
0409 661 920