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Nutrition and Health (including climate and ecological aspects)

Advancing European nutrition – are pharmacists eligible partners in the process?

Abstract

Background/Objectives

Pharmacists may play an important role in disease prevention through the public education about dietary and lifestyle behaviors, however their expertise is constantly ignored. The study primarily aimed to identify nutrition knowledge and dietary habits among Polish pharmacists.

Subjects

A total sample screened consisted of 1412 respondents, yet 667 (573 females and 94 males) pharmacists finally participated in the study. A validated questionnaire for Polish population, the Dietary Habits and Nutrition Beliefs Questionnaire, was used for the evaluation.

Results

The majority of pharmacists (94%) were current non-smokers with BMI levels below 25 kg/m2 (66.5%). Female pharmacists had higher the Pro-Healthy (pHDI-10) score (p < 0.001) and lower the Non-Healthy (nHDI-14) score (p = 0.004) compared to the males. In the self-assessment of nutritional habits, the pHDI-10 was significantly higher in the “very good” group compared to the “poor” (p < 0.001) and the “very poor” (p = 0.015) group, and the “poor group” had higher nHDI-14 when compared to “very good” (p < 0.001) and “good” (p < 0.001) groups. The nutrition knowledge test score was above average in over 72% of respondents, was correlated with the pHDI-10 (r = 0.16), yet the score decreased with age (r = −0.19).

Conclusions

We believe that our analysis justifies the inevitability to benefit from pharmacists’ expertise. Pharmacists with around-the-clock accessibility should be eligible partners, as members of an interdisciplinary team, in the process of advancing population-based nutrition.

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Acknowledgements

Authors wish to thank all the respondents who participated in this study. In addition, authors would like to acknowledge Professor Lidia Wądołowska from the University of Warmia and Mazury in Poland, for her contribution regarding the analysis of the Dietary Habits and Nutrition Beliefs Questionnaire.

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Contributions

MKŁ, KG were responsible for the conception and study design; MKŁ, ERD, KG were responsible for data collection; MKŁ, PP, PŁ were responsible for the data cleaning and statistical analysis; MKŁ, PP, PŁ were responsible for drafting the manuscript; MKŁ, PP, PŁ, ERD, KG were responsible for revising the manuscript critically for important intellectual content. All authors approved the final version of the manuscript has been revised by all co-authors.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Magdalena Kurnik-Łucka.

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Kurnik-Łucka, M., Pasieka, P., Łączak, P. et al. Advancing European nutrition – are pharmacists eligible partners in the process?. Eur J Clin Nutr 75, 1349–1358 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41430-020-00846-6

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