Knowledge of dietary habits makes the basis for public nutrition policy. The aim of this study was to assess dietary intake of Icelandic six-year-olds.
Subjects were randomly selected six-year-old children (n=162). Dietary intake was assessed by three-day-weighed food records. Food and nutrient intake was compared with the Icelandic food based dietary guidelines (FBDG) and recommended intake of vitamins and minerals.
Fruit and vegetable intake was on average 275Â±164 g/d, and less than 20% of the subjects consumed =400 g/day. Fish and cod liver oil intake was in line with the FBDG among approximately 25% of subjects. Most subjects (87%) consumed at least two portions of dairy products daily. Food with relatively low nutrient density (cakes, cookies, sugar sweetened drinks, sweets and ice-cream) provided up to 25% of total energy intake. The contribution of saturated fatty acids to total energy intake was 14.1%. Less than 20% of the children consumed dietary fibers in line with recommendations, and for saturated fat and salt only 5% consumed less than the recommended upper limits. Average intake of most vitamins and minerals, apart from vitamin-D, was higher than the recommended intake.
Although the vitamin and mineral density of the diet seems adequate, with the exception of vitamin-D, the contribution of low energy density food to total energy intake is high. Intake of vegetables, fruits, fish and cod liver oil is not in line with public recommendations. Strategies aiming at improving diet of young children are needed.
To examine (i) whether the consumption of fresh vegetables, fruit and berries is associated with plasma vitamin C concentration and (ii) educational differences in plasma vitamin C concentration in two neighbouring areas in Russia and Finland.
Cross-sectional risk factor surveys in 1992, 1997 and 2002. Logistic regression analysis was applied to examine the associations of consumption of selected foods and education with plasma vitamin C concentration.
District of Pitkäranta in the Republic of Karelia, Russia and North Karelia, Finland.
Adults aged 25-64 years: 579 men and 612 women in Pitkäranta; 974 men and 642 women in North Karelia.
The plasma vitamin C concentration was strikingly low in Pitkäranta, Russia across the study years. During the 10 years of monitoring, the mean plasma vitamin C concentration among men ranged from 2·5 to 8·0 µmol/l in Pitkäranta, Russia and from 27·1 to 53·9 µmol/l in North Karelia, Finland. In both areas, daily consumption of fruit was most strongly associated with plasma vitamin C, while the association of fresh vegetable consumption with plasma vitamin C was less consistent. Consumption of berries was less important in explaining plasma vitamin C. In Pitkäranta, the plasma vitamin C concentration was lower among respondents in the lowest education group.
Differences in the consumption of fresh vegetables and fruit resulted in notable differences in vitamin C status between Pitkäranta and North Karelia in spring. In comparative settings, knowledge of local food culture and validation pilots are important before conducting large population surveys.