Intake of fruits and berries may lower blood pressure (BP), most probably due to the high content of polyphenols. In the present study, we tested whether consumption of two polyphenol-rich juices could lower BP. In a randomised, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial of 12 weeks, 134 healthy individuals, aged 50-70 years, with high normal range BP (130/85-139/89 mmHg, seventy-two subjects) or stage 1-2 hypertension (140/90-179/109 mmHg, sixty-two subjects), were included. They consumed 500 ml/d of one of either (1) a commercially available polyphenol-rich juice based on red grapes, cherries, chokeberries and bilberries; (2) a juice similar to (1) but enriched with polyphenol-rich extracts from blackcurrant press-residue or (3) a placebo juice (polyphenol contents 245·5, 305·2 and 76 mg/100 g, respectively). Resting BP was measured three times, with a 1 min interval, at baseline and after 6 and 12 weeks of intervention. Systolic BP significantly reduced over time (6 and 12 weeks, respectively) in the pooled juice group compared with the placebo group in the first of the three measurements, both for the whole study group (6·9 and 3·4 mmHg; P= 0·01) and even more pronounced in the hypertensive subjects when analysed separately (7·3 and 6·8 mmHg; P= 0·04). The variation in the BP measurements was significantly reduced in the pooled juice group compared with the placebo group (1·4 and 1·7 mmHg; P= 0·03). In conclusion, the present findings suggest that polyphenol-rich berry juice may contribute to a BP- and BP variability lowering effect, being more pronounced in hypertensive than in normotensive subjects.
This study examined whether the association of household income with fresh fruit and vegetable consumption varies by the level of education. Data were derived from mail surveys carried out during 2000-2002 among 40- to 60-year-old employees of the City of Helsinki (n=8960, response rate 67%). Education was categorized into three levels, and the household income was divided into quartiles weighted by household size. The outcome was consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables at least twice a day (58% among women and 33% among men). Beta-binomial regression analysis was used. Among women, higher income resulted in equally higher consumption of fruit and vegetables at all educational levels, that is, similar among those with low, intermediate and high education. Among men, the pattern was otherwise similar; however, men with intermediate education differed from those with low education. We conclude that the absolute cost of healthy food is likely to have a role across all income groups.
Dietary patterns reflecting food habits may be associated with chronic diseases, yet little is known about the stability of these patterns. The objective of this study was to observe over time the stability of dietary patterns measured with exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis. Four random subsamples of 1000 women between 49 and 70 y old were chosen from >60,000 women included in the Swedish Mammography Cohort. Subjects in these subsamples were administered a FFQ 4, 5, 6, or 7 y after the baseline questionnaire; 3607 of the women responded (90% response rate). The stability of dietary patterns was evaluated with Spearman correlation coefficients between pattern scores at baseline and follow-ups and by a test of internal stability, which evaluated the significance of changes within patterns between baseline and follow-up. We found 3 major dietary patterns: a healthy pattern, a Western pattern, and an alcohol pattern. Correlations between explored dietary pattern scores at baseline and at follow-up decreased from 0.59 (P
Fruit and vegetable consumption has been inconsistently associated with risk of bladder cancer. We used data from a prospective population-based cohort study of 82,002 Swedish women and men to examine the association between fruit and vegetable consumption and bladder cancer incidence. Diet was assessed with a validated food frequency questionnaire. During a mean follow-up of 9.4 years, 485 incident cases of bladder cancer were identified in the Swedish cancer registries. We found no statistically significant association between intakes of total fruits and vegetables, total fruits, or total vegetables and bladder cancer risk after adjustment for age, sex, education, and cigarette smoking. The multivariate rate ratios (95% confidence intervals) comparing the highest with the lowest quartile of intake were 0.80 (0.60-1.05) for total fruits and vegetables, 0.93 (0.69-1.25) for fruits, and 0.89 (0.67-1.19) for vegetables. Likewise, no associations were observed for citrus fruits, cruciferous vegetables, or green leafy vegetables. The associations did not differ by sex or smoking status. In conclusion, findings from this prospective study suggest that fruit and vegetable intakes are not likely to be appreciably associated with the risk of bladder cancer.
Diets rich in fruits and vegetables have been of interest because of their potential health benefits against chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease (CVD) and cancer. The aim of this work was to assess the association of the dietary intake of a food group that includes fruits, berries and vegetables with all-cause, CVD-related and non-CVD-related mortality. The subjects were Finnish men aged 42-60 y examined in 1984-1989 in the prospective Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor (KIHD) Study. Dietary intakes were assessed by 4-d food intake record during the baseline phase of the KIHD Study. The risk of all-cause and non-CVD-related deaths was studied in 2641 men and the risk of CVD-related death in 1950 men who had no history of CVD at baseline. During a mean follow-up time of 12.8 y, cardiovascular as well as noncardiovascular and all-cause mortality were lower among men with the highest consumption of fruits, berries and vegetables. After adjustment for the major CVD risk factors, the relative risk for men in the highest fifth of fruit, berry and vegetable intake for all-cause death, CVD-related and non-CVD-related death was 0.66 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.50-0.88], 0.59 (0.33-1.06), and 0.68 (0.46-1.00), respectively, compared with men in the lowest fifth. These data show that a high fruit, berry and vegetable intake is associated with reduced risk of mortality in middle-aged Finnish men. Consequently, the findings of this work indicate that diets that are rich in plant-derived foods can promote longevity.
With direct reference to New Nordic Cuisine and Nordic dietary recommendations, the OPUS Research Centre in Denmark is developing and testing a healthy, regional New Nordic Diet (NND) that promises to have outstanding gastronomic properties. The NND is disseminated to Danish consumers with a view to improving public health. To explore the acceptability of the NND to consumers, a qualitative study comprising focus groups, home-testing of NND prototype meals and personal interviews was conducted in urban and rural areas (N=38). Most participants, particularly women and residents in urban areas, are positive towards the ideas underlying the development of this new diet and enjoy the taste and appearance of NND meals. Barriers to acceptance include the untraditional formats of NND meals, the time needed to prepare them, the unfamiliarity of ingredients, perceived problems regarding product availability, reservations about the elitist character of this project and unwillingness to exclude non-Nordic dishes on an everyday basis. The study concludes that several social and cultural barriers must be overcome if the NND shall constitute a source of improved public health. The pursuit of this objective could more fruitfully take its point of departure in in-depth consideration of existing food practices among Danish consumers.
Food habits and their socio-economic differences in Russia have rarely been compared to those in western countries. Our aim was to determine socio-economic differences and their changes in the consumption of vegetables, fruit and berries in two neighbouring areas: the district of Pitkäranta in the Republic of Karelia, Russia, and North Karelia, Finland.
Cross-sectional risk factor surveys in Pitkäranta, in 1992, 1997, 2002 and 2007 (1144 men, 1528 women) and in North Karelia, in 1992, 1997 and 2002 (2049 men, 2316 women), were carried out. Data collected with a self-administered questionnaire were analysed with logistic regression.
The consumption of fruit and vegetables was more common in North Karelia than in Pitkäranta, but increased markedly in Pitkäranta from 1992 to 2007. In Pitkäranta, women, and in North Karelia both men and women with higher education ate fresh vegetables more often than those with a lower education. In both areas, daily consumption of fruit tended to be more common among subjects with a higher education. In Pitkäranta, there were virtually no differences by employment status. In North Karelia, vegetable consumption was less common among the unemployed than the employed subjects. Only minor socio-economic differences in berry consumption were observed. The educational differences in vegetable consumption seemed to widen in Pitkäranta and narrow in North Karelia.
A converging trend was observed, with the Russian consumption levels and socio-economic differences starting to approach those observed in Finland. This may be partly explained by the improvements in availability and affordability of fruit and vegetables in Pitkäranta.
Canada's multicultural population poses challenges for culturally competent nutrition research and practice. In this qualitative study, the cultural relevance of a widely used semi-quantitative fruit and vegetable food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) was examined among convenience samples of adults from Toronto's Cantonese-, Mandarin-, Portuguese-, and Vietnamese-speaking communities.
Eighty-nine participants were recruited through community-based organizations, programs, and advertisements to participate in semi-structured interviews moderated in their native language. Data from the interviews were translated into English and transcribed for analysis using the constant comparative approach.
Four main themes emerged from the analysis: the cultural relevance of the foods listed on the FFQ, words with multiple meanings, the need for culturally appropriate portion-size prompts, and the telephone survey as a Western concept.
This research highlights the importance of investing resources to develop culturally relevant dietary assessment tools that ensure dietary assessment accuracy and, more important, reduce ethnocentric biases in food and nutrition research and practice. The transferability of findings must be established through further research.
Prospective epidemiological studies have reported that a higher fruit and vegetable intake is associated with a lower risk of CHD. The aim of the present study was to examine associations between fruit and vegetable consumption, in particular the subgroupings citrus fruits, apples and cruciferous vegetables, and the risk of acute coronary syndrome (ACS). During a median follow-up of 7.7 years, 1075 incident ACS cases were identified among 53 383 men and women, aged 50-64 years at recruitment into the Diet, Cancer and Health cohort study in 1993-7. Fruit and vegetable intake was estimated from a validated FFQ, and ACS incidence rate ratios (IRR) were estimated using Cox proportional hazards models. Overall, a tendency towards a lower risk of ACS was observed for both men and women with higher fruit and vegetable consumption. For men, we found an inverse association for apple intake (IRR per 25 g/d: 0.97; 95 % CI 0.94, 0.99). This association was also seen among women, albeit borderline significant. However, a higher risk was seen among women with higher fruit juice intake (IRR per 25 g/d: 1.04; 95 % CI 1.00, 1.08). The present results provide some support for previously observed inverse associations between fresh fruit intake, particularly apples, and ACS risk.