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.
Cancer is one of the major causes of death in western countries. Fruit and vegetable consumption may reduce the risk of cancers of the oropharynx, oesophagus, lung, stomach and colorectum. We investigated the potential effect of interventions aimed at increasing the intake of fruits and vegetables to the recommended level (500 g/d) on future cancer incidence in Europe. Data on cancer incidence and daily intake of fruit and vegetables were compiled for France, Germany, The Netherlands, Spain and Sweden. We also performed a meta-analysis of European observational studies to arrive at a quantitative estimate on the association between fruit and vegetable intake and cancer risk. Predictions on the future cancer incidence were modelled using PREVENT 3.01. Our study predicted 212,000 fruit- and vegetable-related cancer cases in these countries in 2050, out of which 398 (0.19%) might be prevented if the 500 g/d fruit and vegetable intake were achieved in the aforementioned countries. The largest absolute impact was observed for lung cancer with 257 (out of 136,517) preventable cases if the intervention was successfully implemented. Sweden would benefit the most from intervention to increase fruit and vegetable consumption with a 2% reduction in expected cases. Increasing fruit and vegetable consumption has a small impact on reducing the burden of cancer in Europe. Health impact assessment tools such as PREVENT can provide the basis for decision making in chronic disease prevention.
The purpose of the study was to investigate the consumption of fruit and vegetables among boys and girls in a teenage cohort with respect to changes, gender differences and stability of consumption over time. In 1990, a representative sample of 13-year-olds from Hordaland county was recruited (n = 924) and surveyed regularly until the age of 19. The frequency of consumption decreased dramatically from the age of 13 to the age of 19. At the age of 13, 57% reported eating fruit daily, whereas only 21% of the boys and 37% of the girls reported eating fruit daily at the age of 19. Corresponding results for the consumption of vegetables showed that 42% reported eating vegetables daily at the age of 13, compared to 29% at the age of 19. No clear gender differences were found. The consumption frequency at group level at the age of 13 was a good indicator of the consumption frequency at a later age during adolescence. While younger adolescents until now have been at the focus of campaigns aimed at increasing fruit and vegetable consumption, our results point to the importance of focusing also on the older adolescents.
The aim of the study was to investigate how soft drink and fruit juice consumption in teenagers is associated with life-style, other food choices, eating behaviour and maternal characteristics. A cross-sectional study of 16-year-old girls (n 275) and boys (n 199) and their mothers was undertaken. Questionnaires were used to assess habitual dietary intake, eating behaviour, physical activity, smoking and educational level. Weight and height were measured. It was found that eating breakfast less than five times per week was independently associated with a high soft drink consumption in both girls and boys. A low intake of cooked meals and milk and a high intake of salty snacks were associated with soft drinks in boys only, and a low intake of fruits in girls only. A high maternal juice intake, low milk and high fruit consumption were independent correlates of fruit juice intake in both girls and boys. In girls, being a smoker, having a smoking mother, a high soft drink intake, scoring low on emotional eating and high on cognitive restraint were also associated with fruit juice intake. A low intake of soft drinks and cooked meals was associated with fruit juice intake in boys only. Neither soft drinks nor fruit juice was associated with BMI. In conclusion, a high intake of both fruit juice and soft drinks were associated with a lower intake of foods such as milk and cooked meals. It might be possible to influence fruit juice intake among teenagers by aiming at their mothers, whereas the adolescents themselves should be targeted when the aim is to reduce soft drink consumption.
This paper uses repeated cross-section data from Norway to estimate the demand for fruits and vegetables (FV) and physical activity (PA) with a particular focus on the role of socioeconomic status. Conventional econometric count data models produce results that are commonly found in empirical work; the effect of higher socioeconomic status on healthy behavior is positive and generally statistically significant, but the average partial effects are in some cases small and imprecisely estimated. For both behaviors, subsequent latent class models identify two subpopulations - or groups of people - with different sets of preferences; one group has low latent demands, but for these individuals, average partial effects of socioeconomic status are generally stronger than those predicted by the conventional models. The other smaller group consists of individuals who have high latent demands, but whose variability in behavior is poorly explained by socioeconomic status. Posterior analysis shows that individuals with higher socioeconomic status are more likely to belong to the healthier of these two groups. Proxies for time preferences, risk, self-control, and time constraints are also found to be important in characterizing high latent demand groups for PA and FV.
Foods rich in antioxidants have been associated with a reduced risk of myocardial infarction. However, findings from randomized clinical trials on the role of antioxidant supplementation remain controversial. It has been suggested that antioxidants interact with each other to promote cardiovascular health. We therefore investigated the association between dietary Non Enzymatic Antioxidant Capacity (NEAC), measuring the total antioxidant potential of the whole diet, and the risk of myocardial infarction. We followed 45,882 women aged 30-49 years and free from cardiovascular diseases through record linkages from 1991 until 2012. Dietary NEAC was assessed by a validated food frequency questionnaire collected at baseline. Total dietary NEAC was categorized into quintiles and multivariable Cox proportional hazard regression models were fitted to estimate hazard ratios (HR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI). During a mean follow-up time of 20.3 years we detected 657 incident cases of myocardial infarction. After adjusting for potential confounders, we found a significant 28% lower risk of myocardial infarction among women in the fourth (HR: 0.72; 95% CI 0.55-0.95) and a 40% lower risk among women in the fifth quintile (HR: 0.60, 95% CI 0.45-0.81) of dietary NEAC compared to women in the first quintile, with a significant trend (p-value
The health benefits of adequate fruit and vegetable (F&V) consumption are significant and widely documented. However, many individuals self-report low F&V consumption frequency per day. This paper examines the disparities in the frequency of F&V consumption by socio-demographic and lifestyle characteristics.
This study uses a representative sample of 93,719 individuals from the Canadian Community Health Survey (2007). A quantile regression model is estimated in order to capture the differential effects of F&V determinants across the conditional distribution of F&V consumption.
The conditional and unconditional analyses reveal the existence of a socioeconomic gradient in F&V consumption frequency, in which the low income-education groups consume F&V less frequently than the high income-education groups. We also find significant disparities in F&V consumption frequency by demographic and lifestyle characteristics. The frequency of F&V consumption is relatively lower among: males, those in middle age, singles, smokers, individuals with weak social interaction and households with no children. The quantile regression results show that the association between F&V consumption frequency, and socio-demographic and lifestyle factors varies significantly along the conditional F&V consumption distribution. In particular, individual educational attainment is positively and significantly associated with F&V consumption frequency across different parts of the F&V distribution, while the income level matters only over the lower half of the distribution. F&V consumption follows a U-shaped pattern across the age categories. Those aged 30-39, 40-49 and 50-59 years consume F&V less frequently than those aged 18-29 years. The smallest F&V consumption is among the middle aged adults (40-49).
Understanding the socio-demographic and lifestyle characteristics of individuals with low F&V consumption frequency could increase the effectiveness of policies aimed at promoting F&V consumption. The differential effects of individual characteristics along the F&V consumption distribution suggest the need for a multifaceted approach to address the variation in F&V consumption frequency.
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Fish consumption and intake of omega-3 fatty acids from fish are associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. However, a prospective study from northern Sweden showed that high consumption of fish is associated with an increased risk of stroke in men, but not in women. The current study aimed to determine if fish consumption is differently related to lifestyle in men compared with women in northern Sweden.
Lifestyle information on 32,782 men and 34,866 women (aged 30-60 years) was collected between 1992 and 2006 within the Västerbotten Intervention Programme (a health intervention in northern Sweden). Spearman correlations coefficients (Rs) were calculated between self-reported consumption of fish and other food items. Lifestyle variables were compared between fish consumption categories.
Fish consumption was positively associated with other foods considered healthy (e.g., root vegetables, lettuce/cabbage/spinach/broccoli, chicken, and berries; Rs = 0.21-0.30), as well as with other healthy lifestyle factors (e.g., exercise and not smoking) and a higher educational level, in both men and women. The only gender difference found, concerned the association between fish consumption and alcohol consumption. Men who were high consumers of fish had a higher intake of all types of alcohol compared with low to moderate fish consumers. For women, this was true only for wine.
Except for alcohol, the association between fish consumption and healthy lifestyle did not differ between men and women in northern Sweden. It is important to adjust for other lifestyle variables and socioeconomic variables in studies concerning the effect of fish consumption on disease outcome.
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A Mediterranean diet has a recognized beneficial effect on health and longevity, with a protective influence on several cancers. However, its association with breast cancer risk remains unclear.
We aimed to investigate whether adherence to a Mediterranean dietary pattern influences breast cancer risk.
The Swedish Women's Lifestyle and Health cohort study includes 49,258 women aged 30 to 49 years at recruitment in 1991-1992. Consumption of foods and beverages was measured at enrollment using a food frequency questionnaire. A Mediterranean diet score was constructed based on the consumption of alcohol, vegetables, fruits, legumes, cereals, fish, the ratio of unsaturated to saturated fat, and dairy and meat products. Relative risks (RR) for breast cancer and specific tumor characteristics (invasiveness, histological type, estrogen/progesterone receptor status, malignancy grade and stage) associated with this score were estimated using Cox regression controlling for potential confounders.
1,278 incident breast cancers were diagnosed. Adherence to a Mediterranean dietary pattern was not statistically significantly associated with reduced risk of breast cancer overall, or with specific breast tumor characteristics. A RR (95% confidence interval) for breast cancer associated with a two-point increment in the Mediterranean diet score was 1.08 (1.00-1.15) in all women, and 1.10 (1.01-1.21) and 1.02 (0.91-1.15) in premenopausal and postmenopausal women, respectively. When alcohol was excluded from the Mediterranean diet score, results became not statistically significant.
Adherence to a Mediterranean dietary pattern did not decrease breast cancer risk in this cohort of relatively young women.
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