The paper describes dietary changes and related nutrition policies and interventions in Finland since the 1960s. Dietary changes are interpreted from the lifestyle perspective, in which food consumption patterns are assumed to be formed by the interplay of individual choices and structural chances, such as socioeconomic and cultural conditions. Finland can demonstrate a success story when it comes to decreased use of dairy fats and increased use of vegetables and fruit. However, the prevalence of overweight has increased. Nutrition policies and interventions together with sociocultural factors have supported the shift towards healthy nutrition. The same factors have promoted overweight, as well.
Food-based dietary guidelines in Denmark have usually been expressed in simple terms only and need to be elaborated. Quantitative recommendations on fruit and vegetable intake were issued in 1998, recommending 600 g/d (potatoes not included). This paper is based on a national dietary survey in 1995 (n = 3098, age range 1-80 years) supplemented with data from a simple frequency survey in 1995 (n = 1007, age range 15-80 years) and from the first national survey in 1985 (n = 2242, age range 15-80 years). Only data on adults are included in this paper. Fat intake, saturated fat in particular, is too high (median intake 37 %energy and 16 %energy, respectively). Main fat sources are separated fats (butter, margarine, oil, etc.: 40%), meat (18%), and dairy products (21%). Total fat intake decreased from 1985 to 1995 but fatty acid composition did not improve. Dietary fibre intake is from 18 to 22 g/d (women and men, respectively) with 62% from cereals, 24% from vegetables and 12% from fruit. Mean intake of vegetables and potatoes was from 200 to 250 g/d (women and men, respectively). Mean intake of fruit and vegetables (potatoes not included) was 277 g/d, or less than half of the new recommendation (600 g/d). Only 15% of participants in the frequency survey reported consuming both fruit and vegetables every day, and only 28% reported to do so almost every day. In conclusion, dietary intake in Denmark is characterized by a high intake of saturated fat and total fat, and by a relatively low intake of fruit and vegetables.
BACKGROUND: Simple screening tools to identify intake of fruit, vegetables and fat are necessary to design effective public health intervention strategies in order to increase intake of fruit and vegetable and to reduce fat intake. METHODS: 108 men recorded their food intake for 14 days and filled in a 27-item food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) 1.5-2 months later. Estimates of fruit, vegetables and fat intake from the FFQ were compared with those from the weighed records. RESULTS: Mean intake of vegetables and fruit estimated from the diet records increased with increasing categories for frequency of intake assessed by the FFQ. Spearman correlation coefficient between frequency of intake of vegetables and fruit from the FFQ and amount of these food items estimated from the weighed records was 0.46 and 0.66, respectively. The ability of the FFQ to predict those having inadequate intake of fruits and vegetables based on weighed record data, was more than 90%. Almost 95% who reported use of fat spreads by the FFQ also reported this by the records. The correlation coefficient between the amount of fat used on bread from the two methods was 0.79. The correlation between fat intake estimated from both methods was 0.36 and for saturated fat intake the correlation was 0.38. CONCLUSION: The FFQ could be used to screen for low consumers of fruit, vegetable and fat spread in intervention programmes. However, the ability of the FFQ to identify persons with high (or low) intake of fat and saturated fat was not good.
Over 25 years have elapsed since national food and nutrient intake data became available in Canada. Our goal was to describe present dietary intakes based on sociodemographic and 24-hour recall dietary interviews with adults and adolescents from households across the country. Within a multistage, stratified random sample of 80 enumeration areas, 1,543 randomly selected adults (aged 18-65) were enrolled in the study; 178 adolescents within the sampled households also participated. A comparison of food intake with Canada's Food Guide to Healthy Eating indicated that only males aged 13-34 met the minimum recommended intake levels for all four food groups. Mean milk products intake was below the minimum recommended level for all age groups of females and for men aged 35-65 years. Adolescent girls had low intakes of meat and alternatives. Daily grain product intakes were below five servings for women aged 50-65, as were vegetable and fruit intakes for women aged 18-40. Food choices from the "other foods" group contributed over 25% of energy and fat intake for all age and gender groups. These up-to-date data will be useful to dietitians, nutrition researchers, industry, and government in their efforts to promote Canadians' continued progress toward meeting food intake recommendations.
INTRODUCTION: The aim of the present study was to quantify the impact of different dietary factors on the mortality from ischaemic heart disease in Denmark. METHODS: Relative risks and knowledge on the distribution of different dietary factors were used to estimate etiological fractions. RESULTS: It is estimated that an intake of fruit and vegetables and saturated fat as recommended would prevent 12 and 22%, respectively, of deaths from ischaemic heart disease in Denmark. An intake of fish among those at high risk for ischaemic heart disease, would lead to a 26% lower mortality, while alcohol intake among abstainers would have no significant quantitative effect. DISCUSSION: These results suggest that changes in dietary habits according to current recommendations would have an impact on public health in Denmark.
The aim was to study how Finnish consumers perceive the role of fibre in the diet, which foods are regarded as good sources of fibre and the relationship between the respondents' self-estimated fibre intake and their measured intake.
A semistructured interview was conducted with 125 volunteers, including a background information questionnaire and an easy-to-use self-administered paper-and-pencil form estimating fibre intake.
According to the self-administered form about half of the respondents had adequate fibre intake. Among those who estimated their fibre intake as adequate/maybe adequate, only 61% belonged to the highest fibre intake group. Most of the respondents defined their diet as being healthy. The key elements for a healthy diet were 'vegetables', 'low in fat', 'fruit and berries' and 'variety'. Only 5% of the respondents mentioned fibre spontaneously here. However, fibre was considered important for health because of its effect on bowel function and general well-being. The recommended intake of fibre could not be described in nutritional terms, but respondents could identify relevant sources of fibre in the diet.
Finnish consumers considered fibre important for health and could recognize the sources of fibre correctly although they did not mention it spontaneously as a part of a healthy diet.
OBJECTIVE: The influence of dietary changes on serum cholesterol and CHD during the last century in Norway has been evaluated. DESIGN: Data on food consumption are based on national food supply and household consumption surveys. To be able to calculate comparable series of the dietary content of energy, fat, saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids and dietary cholesterol, we compiled food composition data covering this century. The dietary effect on serum cholesterol was estimated by Keys equation. RESULTS: Changes in dietary lipids precede the increase and the decrease in mortality of CHD. The estimated serum cholesterol level in the population increased by approximately 1 mmol/l during 1900-1960, and decreased by approximately 0.6 mmol/l during 1960-1992. These changes correspond to a 60% increase and a 30% decrease in risk for CHD. However, the observed change in mortality of CHD was greater. During 1951-1955 and 1971-1975 it increased by 120% in men and 80% in women aged 50-59 years and during 1971-1975 and 1991-1993 it decreased by 43% and 29%, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Change in dietary lipids have the potential to explain a great deal of the changes in mortality of CHD in Norway during this century. A reduced consumption of boiled coffee and an increase in the consumption of antioxidants may also have contributed to the reduced mortality of CHD the last 20 years.
The Nordic and Swedish Nutrition Recommendations emphasize the balance between macronutrients in the diet. The amount of saturated and total fat should be limited to c. 10 %energy and 30 %energy, respectively, and the amount of total carbohydrates should be 55-60 %energy. Data from the first Swedish national dietary survey in 1989 show that the average diet is too high in fat, especially saturated fat (36-37 %energy and 16 %energy, respectively) while the content of total carbohydrates and dietary fibre is too low. However, parts of the population consume a diet that meets the recommendation for a particular macronutrient. A comparison of subjects with a low or high intake of total fat and saturated fat, dietary fibre or fruit and vegetables show some common trends with respect to the characteristics of a dietary pattern equal or close to the recommendations, e.g. more frequent consumption of fruit and vegetables and a lower consumption of some fat-rich foods, such as spreads, cheese and sausages.
To investigate whether diet has a role in the development and progression of colorectal cancer (CRC).
MEDLINE was searched from January 1966 to December 2006 for articles on the relationship between diet and CRC using the key words colorectal cancer and folic acid, calcium, vitamin D, red meat, or fibre. Evidence that these factors are associated with CRC came from case-control and prospective cohort studies and some clinical trials.
Whether red meat is a culprit in causing CRC remains unanswered, although any effect it might have is likely moderate and related to processing or cooking. The effect of dietary fibre on risk of CRC has also been difficult to determine because fibre intake is generally low. Evidence that folic acid, calcium, and vitamin D reduce risk of CRC is stronger. In particular, recent research indicates that calcium and vitamin D might act together, rather than separately, to reduce the risk of colorectal adenomas. There might also be an interaction between low folate levels and high alcohol consumption and CRC.
Before dispensing dietary advice, physicians should understand the potential benefits and harm of specific components of various foods. People might be able to reduce their risk of CRC by increasing their vitamin and mineral levels through eating more vegetables and fruit. Multivitamin and mineral supplements can complement a healthy diet.
OBJECTIVE: To examine associations between food consumption patterns, measured by a short food frequency questionnaire (FFQ), and the intakes of fat, carbohydrates and fibre over time, and in relation to recommended guidelines. DESIGN: The same 329 individuals had their diet intake measured by a short FFQ and a thorough diet history interview, first in 1987/88, and again six years later in 1993/94. SETTING: The County of Copenhagen, Denmark. SUBJECTS: Three hundred and twenty-nine men and women, aged 35-65 y selected randomly from a large population sample. RESULTS: At both examinations fat energy displayed the strongest positive associations with the intake of animal fats and negative correlations with the vegetables. These food items explained most of the total explained variation in fat intake. In general the associations between food items and intakes of carbohydrates and fibre were similar but inverse, to those found for fat. During the study period median fat energy decreased from 41-38%. A less frequent intake of animal fats over time predicted an increase in fat energy both among men and women, while a more frequent intake of fruit and pasta, and a less frequent intake of cakes was associated with an increase in dietary fibre. CONCLUSIONS: Food items like animal fats, vegetables and certain high starch foods can predict compliance to dietary guidelines for fat and carbohydrates. The study also shows that the food pattern of this Danish cohort has changed in the direction of a more healthy diet during the six years of follow-up. SPONSORSHIP: This study was granted by the Danish Agricultural and Veterinary and Danish Medical Councils and the Danish Health Insurance foundation.