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To assess the associations between adherence to the Swedish dietary guidelines and all-cause mortality (i.e. assessing the index’ ability to predict health outcomes), as well as levels of dietary greenhouse gas emissions (GHGEs).
A longitudinal study 1990–2016 within the population-based cohort Västerbotten Intervention Programme. Dietary data were based on FFQs. Diet quality was assessed by the Swedish Healthy Eating Index for Adults 2015 (SHEIA15), based on the 2015 Swedish dietary guidelines. Dietary GHGEs were estimated from life cycle assessment data including emissions from farm to industry gate. Hazard ratios (HR) and 95 % CI of all-cause mortality were evaluated with Cox proportional hazards regression, and differences in median GHGEs were tested between quintiles of SHEIA15 score using the Kruskal–Wallis one-way ANOVA test.
In total, 49 124 women and 47 651 men, aged 35–65 years.
Median follow-up times were 16·0 years for women and 14·7 years for men, during which time 3074 women and 4212 men died. A consistent trend of lower all-cause mortality HR for both sexes with higher SHEIA15 scores was demonstrated. For women, the all-cause mortality HR was 0·81 ((95 % CI 0·71, 0·92); P = 0·001) and for men 0·90 ((95 % CI 0·81, 0·996); P = 0·041) between the quintile with the highest SHEIA15 score compared with the quintile with the lowest SHEIA15 score. A consistent trend of lower estimated dietary GHGEs among both sexes with higher SHEIA15 scores was also found.
Adherence to Swedish dietary guidelines, estimated by SHEIA15, seems to promote longevity and reduce dietary climate impact.
The study of the environmental impact of dietary patterns in relation to their nutrition quality and health impact is of recent development and great interest for both nutrition and environmental scientists. Preliminary research has been conducted on the potential application of nutrition and health indexes as reference units (i.e. functional units) in the life cycle assessment of foods. Although proposed methods to include nutrition and health aspects exist, more research is needed to increase the scientific quality and societal usefulness of such assessments.
Materials and Methods
SLF Healthy Diets is a 20-month project where 64 food items from the FFQ used in the population study “Västerbotten Intervention Programme” (VIP) will be characterized for their nutrition density and matched to the carbon footprint from life cycle assessment studies. Several nutrition density scores will be analyzed, among which the NRF9.3 score, a dietary-dependent NQI score, and a new nutrient index tailored for the Swedish population. Hazard ratios for total mortality will be estimated for 100.000 participants to the VIP study, and associations with reported intake of food products, nutrient density and environmental performance described.
Results and Discussion
Multiple results are expected from the project, among which a synthesis of the combined nutritional and environmental performance of the analyzed foods according to different methods, and hence the identification of the best nutritional index to apply in environmental studies. Additionally, the assessment in the VIP cohort of the associations between reported intake of food products and observed health outcomes will evaluate the ability of the suggested nutrition scores to predict the total mortality in the studied population.
The present project will allow for more robust quantification and communication of food products’ sustainability performance. Specifically, the project will: develop clear advice on which nutrition scores can best be used in LCA food studies; evaluate pros and cons of combined environmental, nutritional, and health metrics; validate nutrition and health metrics ability to predict health outcomes within a Swedish population-based cohort; investigate and propose how combined environmental, nutritional and health metrics can be implemented and used by food chain stakeholders.
Despite the growing evidence supporting legume consumption as part of healthy and sustainable diet, little information is known on legume intake in the Swedish population. The aim of the present study was to describe legume consumers in Sweden, their nutrient intake and study the association with biomarkers of nutritional status using food consumption and biomonitoring data from Swedish adults in the 2010–11 National Riksmaten survey. Total legume intake - including pulses, fresh legumes, soy products, peanuts, sprouts and mixed meals with legumes - was estimated using a web-based 4-d food records in adults 18–80 years (n = 1772). A range of biomarkers including non-fasted plasma ferritin and folate, as well as erythrocyte folate, were measured for a subsample of the population (n = 282). Legumes were consumed by 44% of the population, median intake was 36 g/d (Q1 = 16; Q3 = 71; n = 777). Legumes provided on average 3.3% of individual's total energy intake (%E) with no significant difference between sexes. Pulses were consumed by 33% of consumers contributing to 3.2 ± 2.8 %E intake whereas soy products were consumed by 8.6% of legume consumers but contributing to 6 ± 7.5 %E. Legume intake among self-reported vegetarians (n = 55) was significantly higher (p < 0.000) than for non-vegetarians, with mean daily intakes of 92 ± 99 g/d and 21 ± 42 g/d, respectively. Age (p 0.0066) was significantly higher in Q4 of legume intake and alcohol consumption was significantly lower (p 0.0008); BMI, gender, smoking habits, education and total energy intake did not differ. 23% of legume consumers have a fiber intake of 25–35 g/d whereas only 11% of non-consumers reach recommended intake (p 0.0001). Iron, folate and dietary fiber intakes were significantly higher (p < 0.000) in Q4 of legume intake. 32% of legume consumers meet recommended intakes of folate (RI 300 μg/d) versus 18% for non-consumers (p 0.000). Notably, 5.76% of women of reproductive age (18–44 y.o.) eating legumes reach 400 μg/d versus 0.79% for non-consumers (p 0.002). Plasma ferritin and erythrocyte folate levels did not differ between legume consumers and non-consumers. However, for women in reproductive age (n = 31), plasma folate levels were significantly higher in consumers than non-consumers (p 0.0102). Legume consumers have higher fiber intake and more frequently meet recommended folate intakes while maintaining adequate iron intake. In conclusion, legume consumers in Sweden are characterized by a defined diet pattern that generally is associated with better health.
The objective of this study was to examine climate impact from diet across background and sociodemographic characteristics in a population-based cohort in northern Sweden.
A cross-sectional study within the Västerbotten Intervention Programme. Dietary data from a 64-item food frequency questionnaire collected during 1996–2016 were used. Energy-adjusted greenhouse gas emissions (GHGE) for all participants, expressed as kg carbon dioxide equivalents/day and 4184 kJ (1000 kcal), were estimated using data from life cycle analyses. Differences in background and sociodemographic characteristics were examined between participants with low and high GHGE from diet, respectively. The variables evaluated were age, BMI, physical activity, marital status, level of education, smoking, and residence.
Västerbotten county in northern Sweden.
In total, 46 893 women and 45 766 men aged 29–65 years.
Differences in GHGE from diet were found across the majority of examined variables. The strongest associations were found between GHGE from diet and age, BMI, education, and residence (all P < 0·001), with the highest GHGE from diet found among women and men who were younger, had a higher BMI, higher educational level, and lived in urban areas.
This study is one of the first to examine climate impact from diet across background and sociodemographic characteristics. The results show that climate impact from diet is associated with age, BMI, residence and educational level amongst men and women in Västerbotten, Sweden. These results define potential target populations where public health interventions addressing a move towards more climate-friendly food choices and reduced climate impact from diet could be most effective.
Improvements in colorectal cancer (CRC) detection and treatment have led to greater numbers of CRC survivors, for whom there is limited evidence on which to provide dietary guidelines to improve survival outcomes. Higher intake of red and processed meat and lower intake of fibre are associated with greater risk of developing CRC, but there is limited evidence regarding associations with survival after CRC diagnosis. Among 3789 CRC cases in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort, pre-diagnostic consumption of red meat, processed meat, poultry and dietary fibre was examined in relation to CRC-specific mortality (n 1008) and all-cause mortality (n 1262) using multivariable Cox regression models, adjusted for CRC risk factors. Pre-diagnostic red meat, processed meat or fibre intakes (defined as quartiles and continuous grams per day) were not associated with CRC-specific or all-cause mortality among CRC survivors; however, a marginal trend across quartiles of processed meat in relation to CRC mortality was detected (P 0·053). Pre-diagnostic poultry intake was inversely associated with all-cause mortality among women (hazard ratio (HR)/20 g/d 0·92; 95 % CI 0·84, 1·00), but not among men (HR 1·00; 95 % CI 0·91, 1·09) (Pfor heterogeneity=0·10). Pre-diagnostic intake of red meat or fibre is not associated with CRC survival in the EPIC cohort. There is suggestive evidence of an association between poultry intake and all-cause mortality among female CRC survivors and between processed meat intake and CRC-specific mortality; however, further research using post-diagnostic dietary data is required to confirm this relationship.
No study has yet investigated the intake of different types of whole grain (WG) in relation to all-cause and cause-specific mortality in a healthy population. The aim of the present study was to investigate the intake of WG products and WG types in relation to all-cause and cause-specific mortality in a large Scandinavian HELGA cohort that, in 1992–8, included 120 010 cohort members aged 30–64 years from the Norwegian Women and Cancer Study, the Northern Sweden Health and Disease Study, and the Danish Diet Cancer and Health Study. Participants filled in a FFQ from which data on the intake of WG products were extracted. The estimation of daily intake of WG cereal types was based on country-specific products and recipes. Mortality rate ratios (MRR) and 95 % CI were estimated using the Cox proportional hazards model. A total of 3658 women and 4181 men died during the follow-up (end of follow-up was 15 April 2008 in the Danish sub-cohort, 15 December 2009 in the Norwegian sub-cohort and 15 February 2009 in the Swedish sub-cohort). In the analyses of continuous WG variables, we found lower all-cause mortality with higher intake of total WG products (women: MRR 0·89 (95 % CI 0·86, 0·91); men: MRR 0·89 (95 % CI 0·86, 0·91) for a doubling of intake). In particular, intake of breakfast cereals and non-white bread was associated with lower mortality. We also found lower all-cause mortality with total intake of different WG types (women: MRR 0·88 (95 % CI 0·86, 0·92); men: MRR 0·88 (95 % CI 0·86, 0·91) for a doubling of intake). In particular, WG oat, rye and wheat were associated with lower mortality. The associations were found in both women and men and for different causes of deaths. In the analyses of quartiles of WG intake in relation to all-cause mortality, we found lower mortality in the highest quartile compared with the lowest for breakfast cereals, non-white bread, total WG products, oat, rye (only men), wheat and total WG types. The MRR for highest v. lowest quartile of intake of total WG products was 0·68 (95 % CI 0·62, 0·75, Ptrend over quartiles< 0·0001) for women and 0·75 (95 % CI 0·68, 0·81, Ptrend over quartiles< 0·0001) for men. The MRR for highest v. lowest quartile of intake of total WG types was 0·74 (95 % CI 0·67, 0·81, Ptrend over quartiles< 0·0001) for women and 0·75 (95 % CI 0·68, 0·82, Ptrend over quartiles< 0·0001) for men. Despite lower statistical power, the analyses of cause-specific mortality according to quartiles of WG intake supported these results. In conclusion, higher intake of WG products and WG types was associated with lower mortality among participants in the HELGA cohort. The study indicates that intake of WG is an important aspect of diet in preventing early death in Scandinavia.
Pattern analysis has emerged as a tool to depict the role of multiple nutrients/foods in relation to health outcomes. The present study aimed at extracting nutrient patterns with respect to breast cancer (BC) aetiology.
Nutrient patterns were derived with treelet transform (TT) and related to BC risk. TT was applied to twenty-three log-transformed nutrient densities from dietary questionnaires. Hazard ratios (HR) and 95 % confidence intervals computed using Cox proportional hazards models quantified the association between quintiles of nutrient pattern scores and risk of overall BC, and by hormonal receptor and menopausal status. Principal component analysis was applied for comparison.
The European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC).
Women (n 334 850) from the EPIC study.
The first TT component (TC1) highlighted a pattern rich in nutrients found in animal foods loading on cholesterol, protein, retinol, vitamins B12 and D, while the second TT component (TC2) reflected a diet rich in β-carotene, riboflavin, thiamin, vitamins C and B6, fibre, Fe, Ca, K, Mg, P and folate. While TC1 was not associated with BC risk, TC2 was inversely associated with BC risk overall (HRQ5 v. Q1=0·89, 95 % CI 0·83, 0·95, Ptrend<0·01) and showed a significantly lower risk in oestrogen receptor-positive (HRQ5 v. Q1=0·89, 95 % CI 0·81, 0·98, Ptrend=0·02) and progesterone receptor-positive tumours (HRQ5 v. Q1=0·87, 95 % CI 0·77, 0·98, Ptrend<0·01).
TT produces readily interpretable sparse components explaining similar amounts of variation as principal component analysis. Our results suggest that participants with a nutrient pattern high in micronutrients found in vegetables, fruits and cereals had a lower risk of BC.
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.
Phenolic acids are secondary plant metabolites that may have protective effects against oxidative stress, inflammation and cancer in experimental studies. To date, limited data exist on the quantitative intake of phenolic acids. We estimated the intake of phenolic acids and their food sources and associated lifestyle factors in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study. Phenolic acid intakes were estimated for 36 037 subjects aged 35–74 years and recruited between 1992 and 2000 in ten European countries using a standardised 24 h recall software (EPIC-Soft), and their food sources were identified. Dietary data were linked to the Phenol-Explorer database, which contains data on forty-five aglycones of phenolic acids in 452 foods. The total phenolic acid intake was highest in Aarhus, Denmark (1265·5 and 980·7 mg/d in men and women, respectively), while the intake was lowest in Greece (213·2 and 158·6 mg/d in men and women, respectively). The hydroxycinnamic acid subclass was the main contributor to the total phenolic acid intake, accounting for 84·6–95·3 % of intake depending on the region. Hydroxybenzoic acids accounted for 4·6–14·4 %, hydroxyphenylacetic acids 0·1–0·8 % and hydroxyphenylpropanoic acids ≤ 0·1 % for all regions. An increasing south–north gradient of consumption was also found. Coffee was the main food source of phenolic acids and accounted for 55·3–80·7 % of the total phenolic acid intake, followed by fruits, vegetables and nuts. A high heterogeneity in phenolic acid intake was observed across the European countries in the EPIC cohort, which will allow further exploration of the associations with the risk of diseases.
A greater adherence to the traditional Mediterranean (MED) diet is associated with a reduced risk of developing chronic diseases. This dietary pattern is based on higher consumption of plant products that are rich in flavonoids. We compared the total flavonoid dietary intakes, their food sources and various lifestyle factors between MED and non-MED countries participating in the EPIC study. Flavonoid intakes and their food sources for 35 628 subjects, aged 35–74 years and recruited between 1992 and 2000, in twenty-six study centres were estimated using standardised 24 h dietary recall software (EPIC-Soft®). An ad hoc food composition database on flavonoids was compiled using analytical data from the United States Department of Agriculture and Phenol-Explorer databases. Moreover, it was expanded to include using recipes, estimations of missing values and flavonoid retention factors. No significant differences in total flavonoid mean intake between non-MED countries (373·7 mg/d) and MED countries (370·2 mg/d) were observed. In the non-MED region, the main contributors were proanthocyanidins (48·2 %) and flavan-3-ol monomers (24·9 %) and the principal food sources were tea (25·7 %) and fruits (32·8 %). In the MED region, proanthocyanidins (59·0 %) were by far the most abundant contributor and fruits (55·1 %), wines (16·7 %) and tea (6·8 %) were the main food sources. The present study shows similar results for total dietary flavonoid intakes, but significant differences in flavonoid class intakes, food sources and some characteristics between MED and non-MED countries. These differences should be considered in studies about the relationships between flavonoid intake and chronic diseases.
Dietary patterns capture the overall diet and thereby provide information on how nutrients are consumed in combinations, and have been suggested to be a better method than studying single nutrients. The present study explored the relationship between dietary patterns at baseline and incidence of obesity at 10-year follow-up in women.
A longitudinal study using baseline measurements from 1992–1996, including food intake, medication, heredity, socio-economic status, lifestyle and measured body composition, and follow-up data collected in 2002–2006 including measured body composition.
Data from the Västerbotten Intervention Programme (VIP) in Sweden.
A total of 6545 initially non-obese women aged 30–50 years.
Among women reporting plausible energy intakes, the ‘Fruit and vegetables cluster’ predicted the highest incidence of obesity (OR = 1·76, 95 % CI 1·11, 2·76; P = 0·015) compared with women in the other food pattern groups combined. When adjusting for metabolic factors and BMI at baseline, the risk for obesity in the ‘Fruit and vegetables cluster’ was attenuated to non-significance. In contrast, high intake of fruit per se was associated with a decreased risk of developing obesity (OR = 0·69, 95 % CI 0·51, 0·91; P = 0·010).
Dietary pattern groups identified by cluster analysis are likely to reflect characteristics in addition to diet, including lifestyle, previous and current health status and risk factors for future disease, whereas intake of fruit per se was a stable indicator and less affected by baseline characteristics. These results underscore the need for complementary methods in understanding diet–disease relationships.
To evaluate plant sterol intake estimated with the eighty-four-item Northern Sweden FFQ against repeated 24 h dietary recalls (24-HDR) as the reference method.
Randomly recruited participants from the Västerbotten Intervention Programme (VIP) responded to an FFQ (FFQ1). Over the subsequent 12 months, ten repeated 24-HDR were carried out. After this, a second FFQ (FFQ2) was completed.
Västerbotten county, northern Sweden.
Ninety-six men and ninety-nine women.
The Pearson correlation coefficient for absolute total plant sterol intake estimated with FFQ1 and 24-HDR was 0·58 and 0·55 for the men and women, respectively. Cross-classification of participants into quartiles of absolute plant sterol intake estimated with FFQ1 and 24-HDR showed that 90 % of the men and 83 % of the women were classified into the same or an adjacent quartile. For energy-adjusted plant sterol intake, 71 % of the men and 74 % of the women were classified into the same or an adjacent quartile. The agreement for cross-classification of participants into quartiles between FFQ1 and FFQ2 was good for both absolute and energy-adjusted plant sterol intake.
The FFQ is able to capture absolute plant sterol intake to the same extent as other nutrients, and to rank individuals according to both their absolute and energy-adjusted plant sterol intake. The reproducibility of the FFQ was good, suggesting that the method is reliable. This makes it possible to use plant sterol data from the FFQ in large-scale studies of the association between plant sterol intake and disease.
Fish consumption is the major dietary source of EPA and DHA, which according to rodent experiments may reduce body fat mass and prevent obesity. Only a few human studies have investigated the association between fish consumption and body-weight gain. We investigated the association between fish consumption and subsequent change in body weight. Women and men (n 344 757) participating in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition were followed for a median of 5·0 years. Linear and logistic regression were used to investigate the associations between fish consumption and subsequent change in body weight. Among women, the annual weight change was 5·70 (95 % CI 4·35, 7·06), 2·23 (95 % CI 0·16, 4·31) and 11·12 (95 % CI 8·17, 14·08) g/10 g higher total, lean and fatty fish consumption per d, respectively. The OR of becoming overweight in 5 years among women who were normal weight at enrolment was 1·02 (95 % CI 1·01, 1·02), 1·01 (95 % CI 1·00, 1·02) and 1·02 (95 % CI 1·01, 1·04) g/10 g higher total, lean and fatty consumption per d, respectively. Among men, fish consumption was not statistically significantly associated with weight change. Adjustment for potential over- or underestimation of fish consumption did not systematically change the observed associations, but the 95 % CI became wider. The results in subgroups from analyses stratified by age or BMI at enrolment were not systematically different. In conclusion, the present study suggests that fish consumption has no appreciable association with body-weight gain.
Epidemiological studies suggest health-protective effects of flavan-3-ols and their derived compounds on chronic diseases. The present study aimed to estimate dietary flavan-3-ol, proanthocyanidin (PA) and theaflavin intakes, their food sources and potential determinants in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) calibration cohort. Dietary data were collected using a standardised 24 h dietary recall software administered to 36 037 subjects aged 35–74 years. Dietary data were linked with a flavanoid food composition database compiled from the latest US Department of Agriculture and Phenol-Explorer databases and expanded to include recipes, estimations and retention factors. Total flavan-3-ol intake was the highest in UK Health-conscious men (453·6 mg/d) and women of UK General population (377·6 mg/d), while the intake was the lowest in Greece (men: 160·5 mg/d; women: 124·8 mg/d). Monomer intake was the highest in UK General population (men: 213·5 mg/d; women: 178·6 mg/d) and the lowest in Greece (men: 26·6 mg/d in men; women: 20·7 mg/d). Theaflavin intake was the highest in UK General population (men: 29·3 mg/d; women: 25·3 mg/d) and close to zero in Greece and Spain. PA intake was the highest in Asturias (men: 455·2 mg/d) and San Sebastian (women: 253 mg/d), while being the lowest in Greece (men: 134·6 mg/d; women: 101·0 mg/d). Except for the UK, non-citrus fruits (apples/pears) were the highest contributors to the total flavan-3-ol intake. Tea was the main contributor of total flavan-3-ols in the UK. Flavan-3-ol, PA and theaflavin intakes were significantly different among all assessed groups. This study showed heterogeneity in flavan-3-ol, PA and theaflavin intake throughout the EPIC countries.
Flavonols, flavanones and flavones (FLAV) are sub-classes of flavonoids that exert cardioprotective and anti-carcinogenic properties in vitro and in vivo. We aimed to estimate the FLAV dietary intake, their food sources and associated lifestyle factors in ten European countries participating in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study. FLAV intake and their food sources for 36 037 subjects, aged between 35 and 74 years, in twenty-seven study centres were obtained using standardised 24 h dietary recall software (EPIC-SOFT). An ad hoc food composition database on FLAV was compiled using data from US Department of Agriculture and Phenol-Explorer databases and was expanded using recipes, estimations and flavonoid retention factors in order to increase its correspondence with the 24 h dietary recall. Our results showed that the highest FLAV-consuming centre was the UK health-conscious group, with 130·9 and 97·0 mg/d for men and women, respectively. The lowest FLAV intakes were 36·8 mg/d in men from Umeå and 37·2 mg/d in women from Malmö (Sweden). The flavanone sub-class was the main contributor to the total FLAV intake ranging from 46·6 to 52·9 % depending on the region. Flavonols ranged from 38·5 to 47·3 % and flavones from 5·8 to 8·6 %. FLAV intake was higher in women, non-smokers, increased with level of education and physical activity. The major food sources were citrus fruits and citrus-based juices (especially for flavanones), tea, wine, other fruits and some vegetables. We concluded that the present study shows heterogeneity in intake of these three sub-classes of flavonoids across European regions and highlights differences by sex and other sociodemographic and lifestyle factors.
Anthocyanidins are bioactive flavonoids with potential health-promoting effects. These may vary among single anthocyanidins considering differences in their bioavailability and some of the mechanisms involved. The aim of the present study was to estimate the dietary intake of anthocyanidins, their food sources and the lifestyle factors (sex, age, BMI, smoking status, educational level and physisical activity) involved among twenty-seven centres in ten European countries participating in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study. Anthocyanidin intake and their food sources for 36 037 subjects, aged between 35 and 74 years, in twenty-seven redefined centres were obtained using standardised 24 h dietary recall software (EPIC-SOFT). An ad hoc food composition database on anthocyanidins (cyanidin, delphinidin, malvidin, pelargonidin, peonidin, petunidin) was compiled using data from the US Department of Agriculture and Phenol-Explorer databases and was expanded by adding recipes, estimated values and cooking factors. For men, the total anthocyanidin mean intake ranged from 19·83 (se 1·53) mg/d (Bilthoven, The Netherlands) to 64·88 (se 1·86) mg/d (Turin, Italy), whereas for women the range was 18·73 (se 2·80) mg/d (Granada, Spain) to 44·08 (se 2·45) mg/d (Turin, Italy). A clear south to north gradient intake was observed. Cyanidins and malvidins were the main anthocynidin contributors depending on the region and sex. Anthocyanidin intake was higher in non-obese older females, non-smokers, and increased with educational level and physical activity. The major food sources were fruits, wine, non-alcoholic beverages and some vegetables. The present study shows differences in both total and individual anthocyanidin intakes and various lifestyle factors throughout Europe, with some geographical variability in their food sources.
To identify the dietary, lifestyle and socio-economic factors associated with the intake of whole grains (WG) in Norway, Sweden and Denmark.
A cross-sectional study.
Subsample of the Scandinavian cohort ‘HELGA’ consisting of three prospective cohorts: The Norwegian Women and Cancer Study; The Northern Sweden Health and Disease Study; and the Danish Diet, Cancer and Health Study.
A total of 8702 men and women aged 30–65 years. Dietary data are from one 24 h dietary recall and data on socio-economic status and lifestyle factors including anthropometric values are from the baseline collection of data.
Vegetables, fruits, dairy products, fish and shellfish, coffee, tea and margarine were directly associated with the intake of WG, whereas red meat, white bread, alcohol and cakes and biscuits were inversely associated. Smoking and BMI were consistently inversely associated with the intake of WG. Furthermore, length of education was directly associated with the intake of WG among women.
The intake of WG was found to be directly associated with healthy diet, lifestyle and socio-economic factors and inversely associated with less healthy factors, suggesting that these factors are important for consideration as potential confounders when studying WG intake and disease associations.
To evaluate the validity of the Northern Sweden eighty-four-item FFQ to estimate intake of fatty acids relative to 24 h diet recalls (24-HDR) and fatty acids in erythrocyte membranes.
Participants, randomly recruited from the population-based Västerbotten Intervention Project, answered the eighty-four-item FFQ. During the following year each participant carried out ten 24-HDR. Intake of fatty acids measured by the FFQ was compared with intake by the 24-HDR and fatty acid levels in erythrocytes.
The county of Västerbotten in northern Sweden.
Ninety-six men and ninety-nine women.
Spearman correlation coefficients (rs) between intakes of the fatty acids 14 : 0, 15 : 0, 16 : 0, 17 : 0, 18 : 2n-6, 18 : 3n-3, 20 : 5n-3 and 22 : 6n-3 estimated by the FFQ and the 24-HDR were all significant and ranged from 0·29 (22 : 6n-3 in men and women) to 0·60 (16 : 0 in men), whereas significant correlations between FFQ-estimated intake and erythrocyte membrane content were only seen for milk fatty acids 14 : 0, 15 : 0 and 17 : 0 (rs = 0·23–0·34) and fish fatty acids 20 : 5n-3 and 22 : 6n-3 (rs = 0·42–0·51).
The Northern Sweden eighty-four-item FFQ gives a satisfactory estimate of the intake of fish fatty acids (20 : 5n-3 and 22 : 6n-3) and milk fatty acids (15 : 0 and 17 : 0), whereas its validity for fatty acids 18 : 2n-6 and 18 : 3n-3, derived mainly from vegetable oils, cannot be shown.
To compare the average out-of-home (OH) consumption of foods and beverages, as well as energy intake, among populations from 10 European countries and to describe the characteristics of substantial OH eaters, as defined for the purpose of the present study, in comparison to other individuals.
Cross-sectional study. Dietary data were collected through single 24-hour dietary recalls, in which the place of consumption was recorded. For the present study, substantial OH eaters were defined as those who consumed more than 25% of total daily energy intake at locations other than the household premises. Mean dietary intakes and the proportion of substantial OH eaters are presented by food group and country. Logistic regression analyses were used to estimate the odds of being a substantial OH eater in comparison to not being one, using mutually adjusted possible non-dietary determinants.
Ten European countries participating in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC).
The subjects were 34 270 individuals, 12 537 men and 21 733 women, aged 35–74 years.
The fraction of energy intake during OH eating was generally higher in northern European countries than in the southern ones. Among the food and beverage groups, those selectively consumed outside the home were coffee/tea/waters and sweets and, to a lesser extent, cereals, meats, added lipids and vegetables. Substantial OH eating was positively associated with energy intake and inversely associated with age and physical activity. Substantial OH eating was less common among the less educated compared with the more educated, and more common during weekdays in central and north Europe and during the weekend in south Europe.
Eating outside the home was associated with sedentary lifestyle and increased energy intake; it was more common among the young and concerned in particular coffee/tea/waters and sweets.
To investigate the association of a posteriori dietary patterns with overall survival of older Europeans.
Design and setting
This is a multi-centre cohort study. Cox regression analysis was used to investigate the association of the prevailing, a posteriori-derived, plant-based dietary pattern with all-cause mortality in a population of subjects who were 60 years or older at recruitment to the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC-Elderly cohort). Analyses controlled for all known potential risk factors.
In total, 74 607 men and women, 60 years or older at enrolment and without previous coronary heart disease, stroke or cancer, with complete information about dietary intakes and potentially confounding variables, and with known survival status as of December 2003, were included in the analysis.
An increase in the score which measures the adherence to the plant-based diet was associated with a lower overall mortality, a one standard deviation increment corresponding to a statistically significant reduction of 14% (95% confidence interval 5–23%). In country-specific analyses the apparent association was stronger in Greece, Spain, Denmark and The Netherlands, and absent in the UK and Germany.
Greater adherence to the plant-based diet that was defined a posteriori in this population of European elders is associated with lower all-cause mortality. This dietary score is moderately positively correlated with the Modified Mediterranean Diet Score that has been constructed a priori and was also shown to be beneficial for the survival of the same EPIC-Elderly cohort.