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A diet following Finnish nutrition recommendations does not contribute to the current epidemic of obesity

Kanerva, Noora, Kaartinen, Niina E, Ovaskainen, Marja-Leena, Konttinen, Hanna, Kontto, Jukka, Männistö, Satu
Public health nutrition 2013 v.16 no.5 pp. 786-794
body mass index, diet, diet counseling, dietary recommendations, fat body, men, obesity, public opinion, waist circumference, women
Recently, the general public opinion is that nutritional recommendations promote obesity rather than prevent it. We created the Recommended Finnish Diet Score (RFDS) that illustrates the Finnish nutrition recommendations and assessed whether this score is associated with BMI, waist circumference (WC) and body fat percentage (BF%). Cross-sectional study included two phases of the National FINRISK 2007 Study. Diet was assessed using a validated FFQ. Height, weight, WC and BF% were measured, and BMI values were calculated. The RFDS was developed based on the national nutrition recommendations. A large representative sample of the Finnish population. Men (n 2190) and women (n 2530) aged 25–74 years. The RFDS was inversely associated with WC in men (OR = 0·48, 95 % CI 0·28, 0·81, P < 0·05) and BF% in both men (OR = 0·44, 95 % CI 0·24, 0·82, P-trend < 0·05) and women (OR = 0·63, 95 % CI 0·37, 1·08, P-trend < 0·05). The inverse association of RFDS and BF% appeared stronger among older age groups (men: OR = 0·21 CI 0·07, 0·64, P-trend < 0·01; women: OR = 0·56, 95 % CI 0·25, 1·27, P-trend < 0·05) and among women with normal BMI (OR = 0·62, 95 % CI 0·36, 1·09, P-trend < 0·05). The RFDS was not associated with BMI. A diet following nutrition recommendations is likely to help to maintain normal WC and BF%. These findings could be useful for dietary counselling and the prevention of obesity.