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Diaeta  2011 

Alimentos funcionales: análisis de la recomendación en la práctica diaria

Keywords: functional foods, recommendation, knowledge, dietitians, education, advising.

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Abstract:

introduction: scientific research, technological innovation and the ongoing trend towards healthy things revolutionized the food industry with the new concept of "functional foods". they emerged in japan in the 80′s and nowadays, the international market is booming. dietitians, as the link between science, industry and consumer, are a key piece and fulfill a fundamental role in education and advising. theaimof this study was to establish the level of knowledge dietitians have on the functional food concept, sources of information and training, recommendation and suitable use. methods: a qualitative, descriptive and cross-sectional study was carried out. 57 dietitians were interviewed in buenos aires city and buenos aires suburbs. results:half of the interviewed people had previous information on functional foods; although 63% did not know their definition, they identifed them correctly. the most named were the designed ones. the bibliography and means of information most named were: "internet", "books", "congresses". 91% considered important to know them and/or use them due to health benefts and utility. the rest did not consider them important because of absence of necessity, lack of information and distrust. 72% would recommend functional dairies (with probiotics, phytosterol and omega 3) and cereals, fruits and vegetables (fax seed, chia, oat bran). among the causes of non-recommendation, dietitians emphasize price and unclear labels. there is a strong interest in training and proper use. conclusion: the knowledge of experts in nutrition on functional foods is key because they must interpret and "translate" the scientific and industrial information to the community as reliable and appropriate sources. the right information enables people to make healthy choices to improve their quality of life.

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