Research at the Section Nutrition and Health focuses on the role of diet and nutritional status in depression, cardiovascular health and healthy aging and on the sustainability of the diet. Our research includes intervention projects in the general population or specific patient samples and projects based on data from prospective cohort studies.
Our research focusses on the following themes:
- Diet, obesity and development of depression
- Nutritional status in older persons
- Diet, low social-economic position and sustainability
- Diet, diabetes and cardiovascular disease
Diet, obesity and development of depression
We investigate the role of obesity, diet (including nutrients and dietary patterns) and dietary behaviors on the development of depression in different age groups. This involves observational research in large, prospective cohort studies, conducting web-based experiments, and a large preventive intervention study targeting diet and dietary behavior in those at high risk of depression.
Nutritional status in older persons
This theme includes research on the screening, assessment and treatment of undernutrition in older persons , and in particular community-dwelling older persons. It also includes nutritional interventions for the prevention of malnutrition and subsequent functional decline. Finally, we investigate the determinants of undernutrition in older persons, e.g. dietary quality, protein intake, oral health, oral and gut microbiota, physical activity, and sedentary behavior. This theme also includes studies on determinants and consequences of age-related changes in body composition in old age, such as sarcopenia and obesity, and the role of specific nutrients, such as vitamin D, in healthy aging.
Diet, low social-economic position and sustainability
This theme focusses on effects of nutrition on vulnerable groups in society, such as persons with a low socio economic status. For them is harder to choose a healthy diet and they may also have specific needs. Food bank recipients, for example, have a limited food choice and very limited resources to consume a healthy diet. We are looking into the barriers and opportunities for dietary improvement for these groups. We also realize that dietary choices here and now have environmental consequences, and thus may influence dietary choices for future generations, in particular those with a low socio-economic position. Therefore, we also focus on the environmental consequences of dietary choices.
Diet, diabetes and cardiovascular disease
We investigate effects and associations of diet with diabetes and cardiovascular risk factors and disease outcomes. The main focus is on the role of fatty acids.