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To determine changes in reported food frequency in adults between 1986 and 1999.
Four consecutive cross-sectional surveys.
Counties of Norrbotten and Västerbotten, Northern Sweden.
The Northern Sweden MONICA (Monitoring of Trends and Determinants in Cardiovascular Disease) population, four independent cross-sectional surveys in 1986, 1990, 1994 and 1999. Randomly selected age-stratified samples of the population aged 25–64 years. Analysis is based on 2982 males and 3087 females who completed an 84-item food-frequency questionnaire.
Between 1986 and 1999, average reported consumption of 3%-fat milk decreased from 42 to 7 intakes month-1 in men and from 28 to 4 intakes month-1 in women. Reported use of 1.5%-fat milk increased from 6 to 27 intakes month-1 in men and from 6 to 24 in women. Monthly intakes of potatoes and root vegetables decreased from 38 to 27 in men and from 39 to 32 in women. Consumption of pasta increased from 4 to 7 intakes month-1 in both sexes. Intakes of solid fats with 80% fat content dropped from 92 to 62 per month in men and from 78 to 52 per month in women, whereas use of 40%-fat spread increased from 12 to 22 intakes month-1 in men and from 5 to 26 in women. Monthly intakes of vegetable oil increased from 3 to 12 in men and from 3 to 15 in women. The percentage of overweight or obese individuals (body mass index >25 kg m-2) increased from 52 to 65% in men and from 41 to 52% in women (P for linear trend in all these changes, <0.001).
Our data indicate reduced consumption of foods with a high content of saturated fats. In spite of that, there is an unbroken trend towards increased obesity.
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