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Dietary patterns, which represent a broader picture of food and nutrient consumption, have gained increasing interest over the last decades. In a cohort design, we followed 27 544 women aged 29–49 years from baseline in 1991–1992. We collected data from an FFQ at baseline and body weight (BW) and waist circumference (WC) data both at baseline and at follow-up in 2003. We calculated the Mediterranean diet score (MDS, ranging from 0 to 9) and the Nordic diet score (NDS, ranging from 0 to 6). We used linear regression to examine the association between MDS and NDS (exposures) with subsequent BW change (ΔBW) and WC change (ΔWC) (outcomes) both continuously and categorically. Higher adherence to the MDS or NDS was not associated with ΔBW. The multivariable population average increment in BW was 0·03 kg (95 % CI −0·03, 0·09) per 1-point increase in MDS and 0·04 kg (95 % CI −0·02, 0·10) per 1-point increase in NDS. In addition, higher adherence to the MDS was not associated with ΔWC, with the multivariable population average increment per 1-point increase in MDS being 0·05 cm (95 % CI −0·03, 0·13). Higher adherence to the NDS was not significantly associated with gain in WC when adjusted for concurrent ΔBW. In conclusion, a higher adherence to the MDS or NDS was not associated with changes in average BW or WC in the present cohort followed for 12 years.
The prevalence of dietary supplement use varies largely among populations, and previous studies have indicated that it is high in the Danish population compared with other European countries. The diversity in supplement use across countries indicates that cultural and environmental factors could influence the use of dietary supplements. Only few studies investigating the use of dietary supplements have been conducted in the Danish population. The present cross-sectional study is based on 54 948 Danes, aged 50–64 years, who completed self-administrated questionnaires on diet, dietary supplements and lifestyle between 1993 and 1997. A health index including smoking, physical activity, alcohol and diet, and a metabolic risk index including waist circumference, urinary glucose and measured hypertension were constructed. Logistic regression was used to investigate these determinants in relation to the intake of dietary supplements. We found that 71 % of the participants were dietary supplement users; female sex, older age groups and higher educated participants were more likely to be users of any dietary supplements. One additional point in the health index was associated with 19, 16 and 9 % higher likelihood of being user of any, more common and less common supplements, respectively. In the metabolic risk index, one additional point was associated with 17 and 16 % lower likelihood of being user of any supplement and more common supplements, respectively. No significant association was found for less common supplement use. In conclusion, those with the healthiest lifestyle were more likely to use dietary supplements. Thus, lifestyle and dietary composition should be considered as confounders on supplement use and health outcomes.
Health-beneficial effects of adhering to a healthy Nordic diet index have been suggested. However, it has not been examined to what extent the included dietary components are exclusively related to the Nordic countries or if they are part of other European diets as well, suggesting a broader preventive potential. The present study describes the intake of seven a priori defined healthy food items (apples/pears, berries, cabbages, dark bread, shellfish, fish and root vegetables) across ten countries participating in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) and examines their consumption across Europe.
Cross-sectional study. A 24 h dietary recall was administered through a software program containing country-specific recipes. Sex-specific mean food intake was calculated for each centre/country, as well as percentage of overall food groups consumed as healthy Nordic food items. All analyses were weighted by day and season of data collection.
Multi-centre, European study.
Persons (n 36 970) aged 35–74 years, constituting a random sample of 519 978 EPIC participants.
The highest intakes of the included diet components were: cabbages and berries in Central Europe; apples/pears in Southern Europe; dark bread in Norway, Denmark and Greece; fish in Southern and Northern countries; shellfish in Spain; and root vegetables in Northern and Central Europe. Large inter-centre variation, however, existed in some countries.
Dark bread, root vegetables and fish are strongly related to a Nordic dietary tradition. Apples/pears, berries, cabbages, fish, shellfish and root vegetables are broadly consumed in Europe, and may thus be included in regional public health campaigns.
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