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  • Publication
    An examination of seafood intake in the Irish adults
    (University College Dublin. School of Agriculture and Food Science, 2021)
    Seafood, such as fish and shellfish, contribute important macro- and micro-nutrients to the human diet and are considered an important part of a healthy diet. Seafood is a good source of protein, essential fatty acids and micronutrients such as iodine, selenium, zinc and vitamin D. Research has shown that seafood consumption can help protect against lifestyle diseases such as cardiovascular disease (CVD), diabetes and inflammatory diseases. Previously conducted National Food Consumption Surveys, in Ireland, lacked information on seafood. This thesis aimed to examine the characteristics of seafood consumers in Ireland, as well as contribution of seafood to nutrients intakes in Irish seafood consumers, determine motives underlying their daily food choices. Participants were recruited for the Seafood Consumption and Risk Exposure Study (SCaRES) and their data was collect via the web-based dietary assessment tool FoodBook24. Participants were requested to completed 3 24-hour dietary recalls in 2 weeks, in addition to a demographic and food choice questionnaire (FCQ). Analyses was conducted on the SCaRES dataset, along with an additional dataset collected prior to this study known as the DietIreland Proof of Principle (PoP) study. Analysis of the dietary intakes of self-reported seafood consumers in Ireland demonstrated that the seafood consumers in this study are meeting the current dietary recommendations for seafood consumption in Ireland, consuming on average 75.37g/day of total seafood. Respective mean daily intakes of oily fish, white fish and shellfish were 46.23g/day, 73.04g/day and 43.17g/day. These intakes of seafood were also within sustainability guidelines, set out within the new Eat Lancet report. Our analysis indicated that seafood contributed significant amounts of key nutrients to the diet of these consumers, namely vitamin D, vitamin B12 and Omega-3. Analysis of the food choice motives of this population suggested that seafood consumers placed importance on the sensory characteristics, as well as the health attributes or the foods they choose to eat. In summary, this work has characterised seafood consumers in Ireland. In addition, it has provided valuable information on the nutritional quality of this group’s diet and on their food choice motives. The information that this thesis has provided is useful for a wide range of organisations, including, but not limited to, government bodies for informing public health policy and developing public health campaigns, retailers and businesses seeking to promote sales of seafood, and research teams seeking to investigate seafood consumption in specific populations or for biotoxicity research.
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