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To examine timing of eating across ten European countries.
Cross-sectional analysis of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) calibration study using standardized 24 h diet recalls collected during 1995–2000. Eleven predefined food consumption occasions were assessed during the recall interview. We present time of consumption of meals and snacks as well as the later:earlier energy intake ratio, with earlier and later intakes defined as 06.00–14.00 and 15.00–24.00 hours, respectively. Type III tests were used to examine associations of sociodemographic, lifestyle and health variables with timing of energy intake.
Ten Western European countries.
In total, 22 985 women and 13 035 men aged 35–74 years (n 36 020).
A south–north gradient was observed for timing of eating, with later consumption of meals and snacks in Mediterranean countries compared with Central and Northern European countries. However, the energy load was reversed, with the later:earlier energy intake ratio ranging from 0·68 (France) to 1·39 (Norway) among women, and from 0·71 (Greece) to 1·35 (the Netherlands) among men. Among women, country, age, education, marital status, smoking, day of recall and season were all independently associated with timing of energy intake (all P<0·05). Among men, the corresponding variables were country, age, education, smoking, physical activity, BMI and day of recall (all P<0·05).
We found pronounced differences in timing of eating across Europe, with later meal timetables but greater energy load earlier during the day in Mediterranean countries compared with Central and Northern European countries.
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.
To prospectively assess the associations between lean fish, fatty fish and total fish intakes and risk of stroke in the Spanish cohort of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC-Spain).
Fish intake was estimated from a validated dietary questionnaire. Cox proportional hazards regression models were used to assess the association between the intakes of lean fish, fatty fish and total fish and stroke risk. Models were run separately for men and women.
Five Spanish regions (Asturias, San Sebastian, Navarra, Granada and Murcia).
Individuals (n 41 020; 15 490 men and 25 530 women) aged 20–69 years, recruited from 1992 to 1996 and followed-up until December 2008 (December 2006 in the case of Asturias). Only participants with definite incident stroke were considered as cases.
During a mean follow-up of 13·8 years, 674 strokes were identified and subsequently validated by record linkage with hospital discharge databases, primary-care records and regional mortality registries, comprising 531 ischaemic, seventy-nine haemorrhagic, forty-two subarachnoid and twenty-two unspecific strokes. After multiple adjustments, no significant associations were observed between lean fish, fatty fish and total fish consumption and the risk of stroke in men or women. In men, results revealed a non-significant trend towards an inverse association between lean fish (hazard ratio=0·84; 95 % CI 0·55, 1·29, Ptrend=0·06) and total fish consumption (hazard ratio=0·77; 95 % CI 0·51, 1·16, Ptrend=0·06) and risk of total stroke.
In the EPIC-Spain cohort, no association was found between lean fish, fatty fish and total fish consumption and risk of stroke.
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.
Whole-grain intake has been reported to be associated with a lower risk of several lifestyle-related diseases such as type 2 diabetes, CVD and some types of cancers. As measurement errors in self-reported whole-grain intake assessments can be substantial, dietary biomarkers are relevant to be used as complementary tools for dietary intake assessment. Alkylresorcinols (AR) are phenolic lipids found almost exclusively in whole-grain wheat and rye products among the commonly consumed foods and are considered as valid biomarkers of the intake of these products. In the present study, we analysed the plasma concentrations of five AR homologues in 2845 participants from ten European countries from a nested case–control study in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. High concentrations of plasma total AR were found in participants from Scandinavia and Central Europe and lower concentrations in those from the Mediterranean countries. The geometric mean plasma total AR concentrations were between 35 and 41 nmol/l in samples drawn from fasting participants in the Central European and Scandinavian countries and below 23 nmol/l in those of participants from the Mediterranean countries. The whole-grain source (wheat or rye) could be determined using the ratio of two of the homologues. The main source was wheat in Greece, Italy, the Netherlands and the UK, whereas rye was also consumed in considerable amounts in Germany, Denmark and Sweden. The present study demonstrates a considerable variation in the plasma concentrations of total AR and concentrations of AR homologues across ten European countries, reflecting both quantitative and qualitative differences in the intake of whole-grain wheat and rye.
Resveratrol has been shown to have beneficial effects on diseases related to oxidant and/or inflammatory processes and extends the lifespan of simple organisms including rodents. The objective of the present study was to estimate the dietary intake of resveratrol and piceid (R&P) present in foods, and to identify the principal dietary sources of these compounds in the Spanish adult population. For this purpose, a food composition database (FCDB) of R&P in Spanish foods was compiled. The study included 40 685 subjects aged 35–64 years from northern and southern regions of Spain who were included in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC)-Spain cohort. Usual food intake was assessed by personal interviews using a computerised version of a validated diet history method. An FCDB with 160 items was compiled. The estimated median and mean of R&P intake were 100 and 933 μg/d respectively. Approximately, 32 % of the population did not consume R&P. The most abundant of the four stilbenes studied was trans-piceid (53·6 %), followed by trans-resveratrol (20·9 %), cis-piceid (19·3 %) and cis-resveratrol (6·2 %). The most important source of R&P was wines (98·4 %) and grape and grape juices (1·6 %), whereas peanuts, pistachios and berries contributed to less than 0·01 %. For this reason the pattern of intake of R&P was similar to the wine pattern. This is the first time that R&P intake has been estimated in a Mediterranean country.
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 conduct a comprehensive assessment of dietary intakes of nitrites and N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA).
Subjects and setting
A study was conducted within the Spanish cohort of the European Prospective Investigation in Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) to assess the intake and food sources of these compounds in Spanish adults. The study included 41 446 health volunteers, aged 29–69 years, from Northern and Southern regions. Usual food intake was estimated by in-person interviews using a computerised dietary questionnaire.
The estimated geometric mean was 0.994 mg day−1 for nitrites and 0.114 μg day−1 for NDMA. For both compounds a positive trend in consumption with increasing energy intake was observed. Dietary NDMA was related to age and sex after energy adjustment, while nitrite consumption increased with higher intakes of vitamin C (P < 0.001). The food groups that contributed most to intakes were meat products, cereals, vegetables and fruits for nitrites, and processed meat, beer, cheese and broiled fish for NDMA. Current and past smokers, who had high levels of NDMA from tobacco exposure, were also identified as the highest consumers of dietary NDMA. Furthermore, smokers had low intakes of vitamin C (an inhibitor of endogenous nitrosation).
Intake levels of NDMA and nitrites in a Mediterranean cohort are currently relatively lower than those previously reported, although processed meat, beer and cured cheese still are the most important contributors to NDMA intake.
Tree nuts, peanuts and seeds are nutrient dense foods whose intake has been shown to be associated with reduced risk of some chronic diseases. They are regularly consumed in European diets either as whole, in spreads or from hidden sources (e.g. commercial products). However, little is known about their intake profiles or differences in consumption between European countries or geographic regions. The objective of this study was to analyse the population mean intake and average portion sizes in subjects reporting intake of nuts and seeds consumed as whole, derived from hidden sources or from spreads. Data was obtained from standardised 24-hour dietary recalls collected from 36 994 subjects in 10 different countries that are part of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC). Overall, for nuts and seeds consumed as whole, the percentage of subjects reporting intake on the day of the recall was: tree nuts = 4·4%, peanuts = 2·3% and seeds = 1·3%. The data show a clear northern (Sweden: mean intake = 0·15 g/d, average portion size = 15·1 g/d) to southern (Spain: mean intake = 2·99 g/d, average portion size = 34·7 g/d) European gradient of whole tree nut intake. The three most popular tree nuts were walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts, respectively. In general, tree nuts were more widely consumed than peanuts or seeds. In subjects reporting intake, men consumed a significantly higher average portion size of tree nuts (28·5 v. 23·1 g/d, P<0·01) and peanuts (46·1 v. 35·1 g/d, P<0·01) per day than women. These data may be useful in devising research initiatives and health policy strategies based on the intake of this food group.
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