Few studies exist on the validity of food frequency questionnaires (FFQs) administered to elderly people. The aim of this study was to assess the validity of a short FFQ on present dietary intake, developed specially for the AGES-Reykjavik Study, which includes 5,764 elderly individuals. Assessing the validity of FFQs is essential before they are used in studies on diet-related disease risk and health outcomes.
128 healthy elderly participants (74 y ± 5.7; 58.6% female) answered the AGES-FFQ, and subsequently filled out a 3-day weighed food record. Validity of the AGES-FFQ was assessed by comparing its answers to the dietary data obtained from the weighed food records, using Spearman's rank correlation, Chi-Square/Kendall's tau, and a Jonckheere-Terpstra test for trend.
For men a correlation = 0.4 was found for potatoes, fresh fruits, oatmeal/muesli, cakes/cookies, candy, dairy products, milk, pure fruit juice, cod liver oil, coffee, tea and sugar in coffee/tea (r = 0.40-0.71). A lower, but acceptable, correlation was also found for raw vegetables (r = 0.33). The highest correlation for women was found for consumption of rye bread, oatmeal/muesli, raw vegetables, candy, dairy products, milk, pure fruit juice, cod liver oil, coffee and tea (r = 0.40-0.61). An acceptable correlation was also found for fish topping/salad, fresh fruit, blood/liver sausage, whole-wheat bread, and sugar in coffee/tea (r = 0.28-0.37). Questions on meat/fish meals, cooked vegetables and soft drinks did not show a significant correlation to the reference method. Pearson Chi-Square and Kendall's tau showed similar results, as did the Jonckheere-Terpstra trend test.
A majority of the questions in the AGES-FFQ had an acceptable correlation and may be used to rank individuals according to their level of intake of several important foods/food groups. The AGES-FFQ on present diet may therefore be used to study the relationship between consumption of several specific foods/food groups and various health-related endpoints gathered in the AGES-Reykjavik Study.
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It has been suggested that antioxidants attenuate oxidative stress and prevent oxidative stress-related diseases. Paradoxically, randomised controlled trials (RCT) using pharmacological doses of antioxidant supplements have demonstrated harmful effects in smokers. The aim of the present study was to test the compliance, tolerability and safety of two food-based antioxidant-rich diets in smokers. One of the diets provided antioxidants at levels similar to that used in RCT using supplements which previously have generated harmful effects. The present study followed a randomised, parallel-arm dietary intervention for 8 weeks (n 102) in male smokers (age = 45 years). Participants were randomised to either antioxidant-rich diet, kiwi fruit or control groups. The antioxidant-rich foods provided about 300 mmol antioxidants/week from a wide range of plant-based food items. The kiwi fruit group consumed three kiwi fruits/d. Compliance to both diets was good. Only mild, undesirable events were reported by a minority of the participants. The safety of both diets was demonstrated as no potentially harmful or pro-oxidative effects were observed. In the antioxidant-rich diet group, the mean intake of antioxidants increased from 30 mmol/d at baseline to 62 mmol/d during the intervention. In conclusion, we have demonstrated that male smokers can comply with two food-based antioxidant-rich diets. Furthermore, the present study is the first to demonstrate the tolerability and safety of dietary antioxidants at levels similar to dosages provided in RCT using supplements. Such diets may be useful in future studies investigating whether dietary antioxidants may reduce oxidative stress and related diseases.
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.
We examined whether there are sex differences in children's fruit and vegetable (FV) intake and in descriptive norms (i.e. perceived FV intake) related to parents and friends. We also studied whether friends' impact is as important as that of parents on children's FV intake. Data from the PRO GREENS project in Finland were obtained from 424 children at the age 11 years at baseline. At baseline, 2009 children filled in a questionnaire about descriptive norms conceptualised as perceived FV intake of their parents and friends. They also filled in a validated FFQ that assessed their FV intake both at baseline and in the follow-up in 2010. The associations were examined with multi-level regression analyses with multi-group comparisons. Girls reported higher perceived FV intake of friends and higher own fruit intake at baseline, compared with boys, and higher vegetable intake both at baseline and in the follow-up. Perceived FV intake of parents and friends was positively associated with both girls' and boys' FV intake in both study years. The impact of perceived fruit intake of the mother was stronger among boys. The change in children's FV intake was affected only by perceived FV intake of father and friends. No large sex differences in descriptive norms were found, but the impact of friends on children's FV intake can generally be considered as important as that of parents. Future interventions could benefit from taking into account friends' impact as role models on children's FV intake.
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.
The role of dietary fiber on the risk of colon and rectal cancer has been investigated in numerous studies, but findings have been inconsistent. The purpose of this study was to examine associations between intake of dietary fiber and risk of incident colon (including distal and proximal colon) and rectal cancer in the prospective Scandinavian HELGA cohort and to determine if fiber source (vegetables, fruits, potatoes, cereals) impacted the association. We included 1,168 incident cases (691 colon, 477 rectal cancer), diagnosed during a median of 11.3 years, among 108,081 cohort members. Sex-specific incidence rate ratios (IRRs) of colon and rectal cancer were related to intake of total or specific fiber source using Cox proportional hazards models. For men, an inverse association was observed between intake of total fiber and the risk of colon cancer per an incremental increase of 10 g day(-1) , IRR (95% CI): 0.74 (0.64-0.86). Intake of cereal fiber per 2 g day(-1) was associated with an IRR of 0.94 (0.91-0.98), which was also seen for intake of cereal fiber from foods with high fiber content (= 5 g per 100 g product), where the IRR per 2 g day(-1) was 0.94 (0.90-0.98). In women, intake of cereal fiber per 2 g day(-1) was also associated with lower risk of colon cancer, 0.97 (0.93-1.00). No clear associations were seen for rectal cancer. Our data indicate a protective role of total and cereal fiber intake, particularly from cereal foods with high fiber content, in the prevention of colon cancer.
A previous study has shown effects of the New Nordic Diet (NND) to stimulate weight loss and lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure in obese Danish women and men in a randomized, controlled dietary intervention study. This work demonstrates long-term metabolic effects of the NND as compared with an Average Danish Diet (ADD) in blood plasma and reveals associations between metabolic changes and health beneficial effects of the NND including weight loss. A total of 145 individuals completed the intervention and blood samples were taken along with clinical examinations before the intervention started (week 0) and after 12 and 26 weeks. The plasma metabolome was measured using GC-MS, and the final metabolite table contained 144 variables. Significant and novel metabolic effects of the diet, resulting weight loss, gender, and intervention study season were revealed using PLS-DA and ASCA. Several metabolites reflecting specific differences in the diets, especially intake of plant foods and seafood, and in energy metabolism related to ketone bodies and gluconeogenesis formed the predominant metabolite pattern discriminating the intervention groups. Among NND subjects, higher levels of vaccenic acid and 3-hydroxybutanoic acid were related to a higher weight loss, while higher concentrations of salicylic, lactic, and N-aspartic acids and 1,5-anhydro-d-sorbitol were related to a lower weight loss. Specific gender and seasonal differences were also observed. The study strongly indicates that healthy diets high in fish, vegetables, fruit, and whole grain facilitated weight loss and improved insulin sensitivity by increasing ketosis and gluconeogenesis in the fasting state.
Little is known about the mediating effects of the determinants of fruit and vegetable (FV) intake in school-based interventions that promote FV intake, and few studies have examined the impact of the degree of implementation on the effects of an intervention. The present study examined whether the degree of implementation of an intervention had an effect on children's fruit or vegetable intake and determined possible mediators of this effect. The study is part of the European PRO GREENS intervention study which aimed to develop effective strategies to promote consumption of fruit and vegetables in schoolchildren across Europe. Data from 727 Finnish children aged 11 years were used. The baseline study was conducted in spring 2009 and the follow-up study 12 months later. The intervention was conducted during the school year 2009-2010. The effects were examined using multilevel mediation analyses. A high degree of implementation of the intervention had an effect on children's fruit intake. Knowledge of recommendations for FV intake and liking mediated the association between a high degree of implementation of the intervention and an increase in the frequency of fruit intake. Knowledge of recommendations for FV intake and bringing fruits to school as a snack mediated the association between a low degree of implementation of the intervention and an increase in the frequency of fruit intake. Overall, the model accounted for 34 % of the variance in the change in fruit intake frequency. Knowledge of recommendations acted as a mediator between the degree of implementation of the intervention and the change in vegetable intake frequency. In conclusion, the degree of implementation had an effect on fruit intake, and thus in future intervention studies the actual degree of implementation of interventions should be assessed when considering the effects of interventions.