Article open access publication

Consumption of predefined ‘Nordic’ dietary items in ten European countries – an investigation in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort

Public Health Nutrition, Cambridge University Press (CUP), ISSN 1368-9800

Volume 17, 12, 2014

DOI:10.1017/s1368980014000159, Dimensions: pub.1030444238, PMID: 24589249,



  1. (1) Danish Cancer Society, grid.417390.8
  2. (2) Copenhagen University Hospital, grid.4973.9, Capital Region
  3. (3) University of Copenhagen, grid.5254.6, KU
  4. (4) Aalborg Hospital, grid.27530.33, North Denmark Region
  5. (5) Aarhus University, grid.7048.b, AU
  6. (6) Institut Gustave Roussy, grid.14925.3b
  7. (7) Paris South University, UMRS 1018, Villejuif, France
  8. (8) German Cancer Research Center, grid.7497.d
  9. (9) German Institute of Human Nutrition, grid.418213.d
  10. (10) Hellenic Health Foundation, grid.424637.0
  11. (11) National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, grid.5216.0
  12. (12) Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, grid.417893.0
  13. (13) Piedmont Reference Center for Epidemiology and Cancer Prevention, grid.420240.0
  14. (14) University of Naples Federico II, grid.4691.a
  15. (15) Istituto per lo Studio e la Prevenzione Oncologica, grid.417623.5
  16. (16) University Medical Center Utrecht, grid.7692.a
  17. (17) Imperial College London, grid.7445.2
  18. (18) National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, grid.31147.30
  19. (19) The Arctic University of Norway, grid.10919.30
  20. (20) Institute of Health Carlos III, grid.413448.e
  21. (21) Public Health Division of Gipuzkoa, BioDonostia Research Institute, Health Department of Basque Region, San Sebastian, Spain
  22. (22) Catalan Institute of Oncology, grid.418701.b
  23. (23) Instituto de Salud Pública de Navarra, grid.419126.9
  24. (24) Department of Epidemiology, Murcia Regional Health Authority, Murcia, Spain
  25. (25) Public Health Directorate, Asturias, Spain
  26. (26) Andalusian School of Public Health, University of Granada, Granada, Spain
  27. (27) Umeå University, grid.12650.30
  28. (28) Lund University, grid.4514.4
  29. (29) University of Cambridge, grid.5335.0
  30. (30) University of Oxford, grid.4991.5


OBJECTIVE: 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. DESIGN: 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. SETTING: Multi-centre, European study. SUBJECTS: Persons (n 36 970) aged 35-74 years, constituting a random sample of 519 978 EPIC participants. RESULTS: 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. CONCLUSIONS: 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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Times Cited: 16

Field Citation Ratio (FCR): 3.93

Relative Citation ratio (RCR): 1.09

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