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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - September 8, 1971, Lethbridge, Alberta Successful turnout on prairies Nutrition Canada begins tall survey W.drmdgy, Septtmbtr 1971 THt ItTHBRIDGE HERAID 21 By MARILYN ANDERSON Family Eililor TJESIDENTS of Uirec prai- rie provinces have turned out for a Nutrition Canada sur- vey to Ihe rale of 30.4 por cent, according to Dr. K. J. demen- ti, regional director of the Nu- trition Survey team. Dr. Clemenli compared Ihis figure with on 85 per cent turn- out in the marilimes and 70 per cent plus in Ontario, dur- ing a one day stop in Leth- bridgc Tuesday. Nutrition Can- ada is to resume Us fall sur- vey in this area on Sept. 23 in Spring Coulee. "We can only attribute the larger success in this area to the marvelous co operation wo have had from the news media and advance publicity-" He added that teller co-op- eration was generally the case from participants in the rural area as compared with the ur- ban area. Nutrition Canada began ils survey of the nutritional and dietary habils of Canadians in October, 1970 in Ontario. It is expected that the survey will bo a useful tool to public hsallh programs and for food legisla- tion. The survey team, made up of 21 skilled teclmicians, has travelled across the three prai- rie provinces since October as well as the other four regions in Canada. I Dr. Ciemenii said in an inter- view Tuesday that he person- ally has, between March and June of Ihis year, motored miles "plus a couple of thous- and more by air" made 57 ra- dio and television appearances as well as 30 interviews with the press. Approximately 100 Lelhbridge residents were m- lervicwed during the team's visit in the city in May. The prairie region will be the first area la he completed, said Dr. dementi, with November DR. K. J. CLEMENTI as the expected target. He- sulls of the national survey will not be completed until Febru- ary or March and then releas- ed" only lo the three provincial departments of health for this region. A study of the survey could reveal, for instance, a nutri- tional deficiency in one area of the province bill not another. Local health authorities could then take steps to correct this problem. As well as for a nation wide fact finding mission, the sur- vey has more immediate and personal results for those par- ticipating in the survey. If biochemical tests .show an abnormality, the participant's family physician is notified. In some cases, as for instance with diabetes, the participant may already be aware of his or her condition. For a nutritionist, the tour has not been entirely niitrition- ally healthful m one aspect. Dr. Clcmenti said the worst part of the survey has been the need to eat in restaurant.'! and Jive in hotels. He said accommoda- tion has not always been eas- ily accessible to the team, par- ticularly in remote areas. "Sometimes a team will not complete ite interviews until 10 p.m and the lab girls at Then they pack up and drive GO or 70 miles back (Jo where Ihey must stay." The Spring Coulee clinic on Sept. 23 will be held in Card- ston Elementary School since there is no convenient location in the smaller town. Transpor- tation is to be provided for all those taking part, if needed, as well as babysitting services. An advance party will be vis- iting Spring Coulee on Sept. 15 to make final arrangements. Some locations such as Wa- bamun, north of Edmonton and Grande Prairie are widely scat- tered. During a survey of In- dian, Metis and Eskimo parti- cipants, the team will streamlined lo about eight or 10. Due to the isolated areas in which :nany of these groups live, the team will spend a week or two to allow travellini time. The team hopes to in- clude three or four areas in each province as well as the Northwest Territories. The survey includes In- dian and Metis, pregnant women and of the gen- eral popr.lation. Areas for the survey were chosen at random by compu- ter and selection of the partici- pants for the survey is based upon age. sex, and family in- come. Half of the people chosen are above the national average income and half be- low. What is meant by nutrition data? "Ready to "in- "m i n u t "quick." "brown and serve" immedi- ately suggest (he foods of tlie ]970's and represents obsession with the most efficient use of time. Speed seems essen- tial in every aspect of life and foods have not been left behind in this race. However, we do not know if tire "con- Assessment of related to niiti One should not view any one component of a nutrition survey as more "essential" than another. The dietary, biochemical and clinical as- pects should be regarded as facets of a single entity. How- ever, since the ultimate ob- jective is to assess levels of health of individuals in rela- tion to the food they con- sume and lo determine the extent to which health may be adversely affected by im- proper diet, interpretation of the total of all observations must in the final analysis hinge upon physical status. Potential risk of deficiency diseases may be postulated on the basis of inadequate intake of nutrients or on changes in body chemistry commonly found in associa- tion with nutritional defici- ency, but no individual can be defined as being nutri- tionally deficient without sup- porting clinical evidence on physical examination. the health review inter- view therefore places empha- sis upon disorders considered to be valid indicators of the probable existence ot nulri- lional problems: e.g. frequ- ency of infection, complica- tions of pregnancy, cardio- vascular renal disease and absenteeism due fo illness A medical history of dis- eases or disabilities which may affect nulrilioiial re- quirements or may influence food intake or utilization is recorded. Inform a t i o n is gathered about the use of medical ions and smoking habits for (heir influence on bio chemical observations food intake and health. The physical assessment exam i n e s for evidence of vcnience" of our present day eating has become more im- portant than its nutritional value. The Food and Drug Direc- torate, recognizing the in- adequacies of the knowledge of Canadian nutrition prac- tices has embarked on the project of surveying the food intake of the Canadian pop- individual itional status some 30 physical signs, inter- nationally accorded as being of nutritional signific a n c e, plus a general examination of health status. One of the most sensitive indicators of long term nu- t r i t i o n a 1 status is bone growth, particularly height for age and stature attained at maturity. Interpretation of such data must take into ac- count heredity and environ- mental factors. For popula- tion groups with comparable genetic background compari- son may be made in relation to socio economic status and regional variations (urban vs. Data obtained may be compared with dala obtained from the same population at an earlier date. Of immedi- ate nutritional significance, is the degree of underweight or overweight as reflected by height, weight and subcu- taneous deposition of fat. De- tailed anthropometry is part of the clinical assessment, en- compassing height, weight, skinlold determinations, md ten measurements of skele- tal stricture and muscular development. "What is done when signs of nutritional deficiency are you might ask. All significant observations are passed to Ihe medical offi- cer of health He will con- tact the person directly or pass the information on to their personal physician. It must bo emphasized that the examining physician cannot attempt to diagnose. How- ever, in the course of the survey if indications o.' a dis- oi'der that is not nutritional arc discovered, these will be- brought lo the attention of the personal physician for further investigation. ulation. The- National Nutri- tion Survey will provide the Directorate with information on the nutritional status of Canadians and on their in- take of various non nutri- tive substances added to many "space-age-foods." Obviously the essence of Nutrition Canada is the food interview by the nutritionists in the survey team. Each Ca- nadian who participates will spend about an hour with these food experts. The nu- tritionists' special knowledge and training will allow her to record the eating pattern of each person in rather spe- cific terms. Data concerning the amount and kind of food eaten on a typical day and of certain foods consumed frequently, will be recorded on forms designed for more detailed interpretation by computer. Special details re- lating to baby formulae, eat- ing habits during pregnancy, special diets and the use of minerals and vitamins will form part of the information obtained. Each member of the family speaks for himself excepl for children too young to details of their eating habits. Their food intake pat- tcrms will be determined through interviews with their mothers. Data from the inter- views will be used in plan- ning food information pro- grams; updating food, health and welfare regulations and most valuably, in establish- ing a baseline ot nutritional intake and nutritional health in Canada. Dental health important The dental section consists of an examiner who is a den- tal hygienist, and a record- ing clerk who is a dental as- sistant. Partly by questioning but mainly by examining, they assess and record data on some forty aspects of dental health. Although superficial simil- arities do exist between a clinical examination given by a dentist and the examina- tion given by this dental sec- tion, they are actually quite different both in their pur- pose and in the detail record- ed. A dental examination which a private patient receives en- compasses the whole oral cavity and is concentrated on those details which determine the current treatment needs. However, the survey dental examination records details which reflect the history of mitrilioi'al, genetic ,ind dis- ease factors as well as signs of current conditions. A sec- ond major difference is that the survey dental examina- tion is concentrated mainly on the teeth and Ibcir im- mediately associated lissucs. The rest of the mouth, the tongue, cheeks and so forth are Ihe responsibility of the medical examiners. Generally, the nutritional requirements of the teeth for normal growth and develop- ment are the same as for other body tissues. For this reason, it is sometimes said that there are no unique den- tal nutritional requirements. However, two nutritionally- related factors have a very direct effect upon the health o[ the teeth. Specific quantities of fluor- ide in drinking water is al- ways correlated with a re- duction in dental caries (tooth Although the reasons are not dear, this effect is greater upon lire permanent teeth than upon the primary or milk teeth. Jl will be possible to use existing tallies giving the fluoride content of municipal water supplies, and compare this information with the den- tal data obtained from spe- cific areas. The second factor is Ihe frequency with which certain carbohydrates, pi-mcip ally sucrose (common sugar) are consumed. The frequency of intake rather than the quan- tity seems to be the deter- mining factor in dental ca- ries. In the Nutrition Canada Survey the nutritionists re- cord the frequency of food and beverage intake. This dala will he correlated with records of clinical conditions, ditions. Biochemical tests on samples An important part of the survey is t h c biochemical testing, an essential feature of any assessment of nutri- tional status. Twenty one thousand blood and urine samples will be oblaincd in the field by two technicians during the two year survey. Hemoglo- bin and hcmaiocrll measure- ments are done immediately on each blood sample. After clotting, .scrum samples arc ccntrifugrd and divided inlo two portions, one acidified lo preserve Vitnmin C, Ihe oth- er left untreated. The urine specimens are tested with ClinLstix for .sugar and albu- min and then acidified for preservation, liuih urine and s e r u m samples are frozen and shipjwd lo the lab in Ot- tawa where all Hie biochemi- cal Icsls are performed. In the Ni'lrilion Canada laboratory 111 .separate deter- minations arc performed on the blood and urine samples totalling .178.000 indiv i d u a I measurements. The number of determinations and I lie need for biochemistry lo keep pace with the rest of the sur- vey makes automation a ncc- cs.sjiy. Two basic systems arc be- ing used. A Bockman instru- ment performs tests for alka- line phosphatasc, phosphate, total protein, albumin, bilirn- bin, iron, iron binding ca- pacity and calcium, at a rale of 60 per hour on two chan- nels. Various Tcchnicon sys- Icms analyse for creatinine, chocsllcrol, Iriglyceride.s, thi- aminc, ascorbic acid and ri- boflavin. Vitnmin A and K are measured fhioromptricnl- ly; folic acid and Vitamin M am inea.suml microbiologi- cally. Kach of these lesls will shed light on some as- pect of nutrition. The excretion of Ihe D-vila- mins, Uiiaminc, riboflavin and pyridoxinc is expressed in re- lation lo urinary creatinine. Thiamine and riboflavin ex- cretion have been measured in other surveys and accept- able standards exist. No such large body of dala exisls for pyridoxinc excretion and the svrvoy will go far tow ards establishing n o r in a 1 values for a large population. Two other waler soluble vitamins, ascorbic acid and folic acid, are measured in serum. Judging by published, reports and previous surveys, it might lie expected that those will be among the most common of vitamin deficien- cies. Iron deficiency anemia, es- pecially in tin- young and wo- men of child age, is often cited as one of ihe great nutritional problems of modern times. Hemoglobin, hemalocrit, serum iron and transferrin saturation will all used to assess this a.-.pccl of nutrition. Vilamin D status cannot IK? measured directly hut rickets would be indicated by abnor- mal serum levels of calcium, phosphorus and alkaline phos- phatase. Two other fat soluble vita- mins, A and K, are measured in scrum. Vilamin A levels found can lie compared lo established "norms" while the viiiimin K results will help to establish a normal range. S e r u m cholesterol deter- minations on specimens should provide valuable in- formation on the ranges ex- isting in various age groups of Canadians. D.irely, if ever, has tile bio- chemistry of srrli a large .survey bcnl carried out in one laboratory, by a single sol of methods and with es- sentially Ihe same staff. In- ter laboratory, Inter meth- od variation is Ihns elimin- ated with results that should benefit all future surveys. 1 Volue'Village IDCATD AT TH1 C0INH