Strategies to improve bone health among Hispanic adults: where do we go next?
Inadequate intakes of certain nutrients increase the risk of bone loss and subsequent risk of osteoporosis. Consumption of dairy foods has been shown to be positively related to bone mineral density and reduced bone loss over time among a narrow sample of non-Hispanic whites. Puerto Rican adults have a higher prevalence of osteoporosis and vitamin D deficiency than non-Hispanic whites, but the impact of dietary choices on bone health in this population is poorly understood. Findings from a recent study conducted by Mangano et al. published in the January 2019 issue of The Journal of Nutrition reveal a unique dietary pattern that may detrimentally affect bone health.
A total of 904 participants from the Boston Puerto Rican Osteoporosis Study provided diet information using a culturally tailored food-frequency questionnaire. The researchers found that higher intakes of modified dairy (milk, yogurt, and cheese) and milk alone were associated with higher bone mineral density, but when compared by vitamin D status, dairy intakes were related to higher bone mineral density only among those with vitamin D sufficiency. Calcium and vitamin D intakes from all foods were lower in this population than in the Dietary Guidelines, whereas protein intakes were higher compared with other adult populations. The scientists concluded that this unique dietary pattern may detrimentally affect bone health, because dietary protein intakes appear to be protective only under conditions of adequate calcium intake.

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For More Information: To contact the corresponding author, Kelsey Mangano, please send an e-mail to

Can skipping breakfast increase risk of type 2 diabetes?
Many well-known lifestyle factors are associated with increased risk of type 2 diabetes; now, a recent study published in the January 2019 issue of The Journal of Nutrition suggests that skipping breakfast should be added to the list. A research team led by Dr. Aurélie Ballon hypothesized that not only is there an association between breakfast skipping and type 2 diabetes, but this relation presents in a consistent dose-response manner. Data for this study were obtained by a systematic review and meta-analysis of 6 prospective cohort studies on breakfast skipping and risk of type 2 diabetes in adults. Nonlinear dose-response meta-analysis indicated that risk of type 2 diabetes increased with every additional day of breakfast skipping, reaching a plateau at 4‒5 days a week. The researchers concluded, “future studies should also focus on breakfast quality.” In other words, would consuming an unhealthy breakfast be better than skipping breakfast altogether? 

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Mekary RA. Breakfast skipping and type 2 diabetes: where do we stand? J Nutr 2019 149(1):1‒3.
For More Information: To contact the corresponding author, Sabrina Schlesinger, please send an e-mail to
To contact the author of the corresponding commentary, Rania Mekary, please send an email to

Personalizing intake of individual saturated fatty acid: odd or even?
Not all saturated fatty acids are created equal. Some saturated fatty acids consist of many carbon atoms bonded together, others contain just a few; most saturated fatty acids consist of an even number of carbon atoms, yet some have an odd number. Seemingly, these slight variations in chemical structures can have differential effects on health. Although dietary guidelines of many countries recommend limiting the intake of saturated fatty acids to < 10% of total energy, not all studies have observed a direct link. In a recent study published in the January 2019 issue of The Journal of Nutrition, Zhang and colleagues assessed the associations of individual saturated fatty acid intakes with total mortality in a Chinese nationwide population. This prospective analysis included 7888 women and 6495 men, aged >20 years, from the China Health and Nutrition Survey (1989‒2011). A total of 1011 deaths were documented with a median of 14 years of follow-up. Total saturated fatty acids and even-chain saturated fatty acids were associated with higher total mortality in women, whereas intake of odd-chain fatty acids was related to lower total mortality in both sexes. Associations of saturated fatty acid intake with total mortality depended on specific saturated fatty acid subtypes and sexes in the Chinese population. Overall, these findings suggest greater consumption of odd-chain saturated fatty acids for both sexes, fewer even-chain saturated fatty acids for women, and more medium-chain fatty acids for men.

Reference: Zhuang P, Cheng L, Wang J, Zhang Y, Jiao J. Saturated fatty acid intake is associated with total mortality in a nationwide cohort study. J Nutr 2019 149(1):68‒77.
For More Information: To contact the corresponding author, Yu Zhang, please send an e-mail to

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