This study examined the relations between food patterns and five components of the metabolic syndrome in a sample of Swedish men (n = 2,040) and women (n = 2,959) aged 45-68 years who joined the Malmö Diet and Cancer study from November 1991 to February 1994. Baseline examinations included an interview-administered diet history, a self-administered questionnaire, blood pressure and anthropologic measurements, and blood samples donated after an overnight fast. Cluster analysis identified six food patterns for which 43 food group variables were used. Logistic regression analysis was used to examine the risk of each component (hyperinsulinemia, hyperglycemia, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and central obesity) and food patterns, controlling for potential confounders. The study demonstrated relations, independent of specific nutrients, between food patterns and hyperglycemia and central obesity in men and hyperinsulinemia in women. Food patterns dominated by fiber bread provided favorable effects, while food patterns high in refined bread or in cheese, cake, and alcoholic beverages contributed adverse effects. In women, food patterns dominated by milk-fat-based spread showed protective relations with hyperinsulinemia. Relations between risk factors and food patterns may partly depend on gender differences in metabolism or food consumption and on variations in confounders across food patterns.
OBJECTIVE: To describe physical activity of participants in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC). DESIGN: A cross-sectional analysis of baseline data of a European prospective cohort study. SUBJECTS: This analysis was restricted to participants in the age group 50-64 years, which was represented in all EPIC centres. It involved 236 386 participants from 25 centres in nine countries. In each EPIC centre, physical activity was assessed by standardised and validated questions. Frequency distribution of type of professional activity and participation in non-professional activities, and age-adjusted means, medians and percentiles of time dedicated to non-professional activities are presented for men and women from each centre. RESULTS: Professional activity was most frequently classified as sedentary or standing in all centres. There was a wide variation regarding participation in different types of non-professional activities and time dedicated to these activities across EPIC centres. Over 80% of all EPIC participants engaged in walking, while less than 50% of the subjects participated in sport. Total time dedicated to recreational activities was highest among the Dutch participants and lowest among men from MalmÃ¶ (Sweden) and women from Naples (Italy). In all centres, total time dedicated to recreational activity in the summer was higher than in the winter. Women from southern Europe spent the most time on housekeeping. CONCLUSIONS: There is a considerable variation of physical activity across EPIC centres. This variation was especially evident for recreational activities in both men and women.