In order to survey trends in food habits the Danish Nutrition Council initiated two food frequency surveys, comprising ten nutritionally important foods, in 1995 and in 1998. Participants were men and women, 15-90 yrs, from similar population samples (n = 1007 in 1995, 1024 in 1998). Participation rate was 62% in 1995 and 63% in 1998. Data were collected by telephone interview. For six of the ten foods significant changes in consumption frequencies were observed: salad/raw vegetables, rice/pasta and fish were consumed more frequently in 1998, whereas consumption of meat, potatoes and fresh fruit had become less frequent. Average frequencies differed by 4-13%. In 1998 low-fat milk had become more common, whereas whole milk was now less common. More subjects now skipped fat spreads on their bread, but more chose spreads containing butterfat. Some, but not all, of the observed changes point in the right direction compared to recommendations. The results demonstrate that food habits are currently in a dynamic process.
The increasing prevalence of obesity has created a need for alternative counselling sites. This retrospective study evaluates the results of a 12 week slimming course for obese subjects held at Danish pharmacies at one year follow-up. Two hundred and sixty-nine obese (BMI > 25 kg/m2, 32 +/- 4.5 [mean +/- SD]) paid 550 Dkr each for a 12 weeks slimming course held at 19 Danish pharmacies with groups of 8-20 subjects each. The age was between 18 to 81 years, 259 were females. The course included eight sessions of 1 1/2 hour education in nutrition and physiology aiming for a dietary change toward a low-fat, high carbohydrate diet. Self-reported body weight was assessed on at the pharmacy scale before and after the course and again after three, six and 12 months follow-up. One hundred and ninety-one or 71% of subjects completed the 12 week slimming programme. The average weight loss was 5.3 and 6.2 kg among females and males, respectively. The weight loss maintenance was assessed at one year follow-up in 122 (45%) of the subjects who entered the course and was 4.0 and 6.7 kg in 118 females and four males, respectively. At one year follow-up 40 subjects (20%) of the subjects who completed the course had maintained a weight loss > 5 kg. In conclusion, the initial weight loss, and maintenance and drop-out rate are comparable with results from general practitioners and hospital out-patient clinics, but the costs are substantially lower.
OBJECTIVES: To monitor trends in Danish food habits with respect to selected key elements, from 1995 to 1998, and to evaluate the appropriateness of the method developed for that purpose. DESIGN AND METHOD: Two cross-sectional population surveys, in 1995 and 1998. Data collection by computer-assisted telephone interviews including 10 food-frequency questions, questions on type of fat used on sandwiches and drinking milk, and check questions on the previous day. Reproducibility was tested in a subgroup (n = 222) in the 1998 survey. SETTING: The Danish Nutrition Council initiated the survey. SUBJECTS: Men and women aged 15-90 years, 1007 in 1995 and 1024 in 1998. Samples of private telephone numbers were drawn from regional telephone registers, geographically stratified. Participation rates were 62%. RESULTS: Significant differences were observed between 1995 and 1998, some of these in accordance with dietary guidelines (decreased use of whole milk and fat spread on bread, increased use of skimmed milk, salad vegetables, rice/pasta and fish). Other changes were opposite to dietary guidelines (increased use of soft butter, decreased use of soft margarine and low-fat spreads, potatoes, and fresh fruit). Differences in average consumption frequency amounted to 4-13%. Several results were confirmed by comparison with other data, and the reproducibility of the method was acceptable. Data were suitable for analysis of food use patterns, a relevant approach when assessing food habits in a lifestyle context. CONCLUSIONS: The changes observed illustrate the dynamics of food habits and the need for frequent monitoring. This simple telephone method may be a valuable tool for that purpose, as a supplement to national dietary surveys, also in a public health context.
This study examines the nutritional standards of recipes in six pamphlets distributed to all households in Denmark. The publications all purport to contain recipes for a healthy diet. The nutritional values given in the publications are compared to calculated values and found to be almost identical. The fat content of most of the recipes is too high: recipes in the first three pamphlets had a median fat energy content of 50%. The later publications are better: 40% in two pamphlet and 33% in the last pamphlet. It is likely that the high fat content of the household distributed pamphlets contributes to the continued high fat content in the Danish diet. We suggest that the fat energy percent should be less than 30 in half the recipes and be only 30-35 on average. The energy content should not be greater than 2.5-3.5 MJ per portion. Nutritional value estimates and the nutrition information should be standardized so as to make them more accessible for the consumer who wishes to make healthy diet choices, and more instructive generally concerning general principles of an appetizing and healthy diet.
The Committee on Proper Conduct in Public Advice on Nutrition, set up by the Danish Nutrition Council, has produced recommendations to persons involved in communicating results of nutrition research. The guidelines are targeted on scientists, industry, journalists and publishers as well as consumers to facilitate proper conduct in communication of own or other scientists' research results, which might influence consumers' choice and intake of food. The results are presented as recommendations and checklists providing the necessary requirements to bring people in a position to make the best possible evaluation of the new scientific results and to put the results into their proper perspective. The aim of this report is to improve the process so that the communicator focuses on the background information necessary for the reader/listener/viewer in the current situation to achieve a balanced view and benefit from the new scientific result.
INTRODUCTION: With the increasing prevalence of overweight and obesity, it is assumed that slimming is on the increase. The aim of the present study was to elucidate the prevalence of slimming attempts, the methods used, and whether the weight loss was maintained. METHODS: Two independent telephone interviews were conducted in 1992 and in 1998. About 1200 adults selected at random were entered in each survey in a balanced design, which ensured an equal distribution of age, gender, and geographical regions in Denmark. RESULTS: The prevalence of obesity increased from 10% to 13% between 1992 and 1998. The proportion of subjects who had been slimming at least once in their lives increased from 45% to 47%, with a distribution of 25% in the underweight, 38% in those of normal weight, 54% of the overweight, and 76% of the obese (p