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PhD student Jaike Praagman wins Foppe ten Hoor award

On October 6th Jaike Praagman received the Foppe ten Hoor award for young nutrition scientist at the Dutch Nutritional Science Days. During the Dutch Nutritional Science Days young researchers present their nutrition related work to Dutch nutrition scientists. Three PhD students, who are at an advanced stage of their PhD project, and who were nominated by a jury based on submitted abstract and CV, compete for the award by presenting and defending their research during the evening program.

Jaike presented her research on the substitution of saturated fats in the diet with other energy providing macronutrients (carbohydrates, protein, unsaturated fats), and its relationship with changes in serum cholesterol concentrations. The relationship between dietary saturated fat and coronary heart disease has been a popular topic for debate for years now, since recent observational cohort studies did not find an association.

During the presentation Jaike showed that it is of importance to measure the actual substitution of saturated fats with other macronutrients within subjects over time and take this substitution into account in observational cohort studies. Up to now, this has not been done before, because most cohort studies only have dietary information gathered at baseline. With only baseline dietary data it is possible to estimate the effects of macronutrient substitution within a person based on a statistical model that uses between person comparisons. Jaike showed that the relationship with serum cholesterol concentrations was opposite for macronutrient replacement which was statistically modelled versus macronutrient replacement which was actually observed over time. She convinced the audience that this may explain why recent cohort studies on saturated fat and coronary heart disease did not find an association.

At the moment Jaike is working on a study in which she investigates whether observed replacement of dietary saturated fat over time alters the association between modelled substitution in baseline data and coronary heart disease risk in a large cohort.

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