Evaluation of dietary intake in Danish adults by means of an index based on food-based dietary guidelines

  • Vibeke K. Knudsen Division of Nutrition National Food Institute Technical University of Denmark
  • Sisse Fagt
  • Ellen Trolle
  • Jeppe Matthiessen
  • Margit V. Groth
  • Anja Biltoft-Jensen
  • Mette R. Sørensen
  • Agnes N. Pedersen
Keywords: diet habits, index, cross-sectional, 7-days pre-coded food diary, food-based dietary guidelines


Background: Data on dietary intake and physical activity has been collected from a representative sample of the Danish population from 2003-2008. Objectives: The aim of the present study was to describe the habitual diet in Denmark and to evaluate the overall diet quality using a diet quality index based on the National Food-Based Dietary Guidelines (FBDG), which consists of seven guidelines regarding diet and one regarding physical activity. Design: Data from the Danish National Survey of Diet and Physical Activity 2003-2008 (n=3354) were included. The diet quality index was constructed based on five of the seven dietary guidelines. Individuals were categorised according to quartiles of the diet quality index, and food and nutrient intakes were estimated in each of the groups. Results: Macronutrient distribution did not meet recommendations in any of the groups, as energy from total fat and especially saturated fat was too high. A high intake of high-fat milk products, fat on bread and processed meat contributed to a high intake of total fat and saturated fat, and sugar-sweetened soft drinks contributed to a high intake of added sugars in the group below the lowest quartile of the diet quality index. Individuals above in the highest quartile had higher intakes of ‘healthy foods’ such as fish, fruit and vegetables, rye bread, and also a higher consumption of water and wine. Overall, intakes of micronutrients were sufficient in all groups. Conclusions: The diet quality index is a useful tool in assessing food and nutrient intake in individuals with high vs. low degree of compliance towards the dietary guidelines, and provides a valuable tool in future studies investigating variations in dietary intakes with respect to lifestyle, demographic and regional differences in Denmark.

Keywords: diet habits; index; cross-sectional; 7-days pre-coded food diary; food-based dietary guidelines

(Published: 20 April 2012)

Citation: Food & Nutrition Research 2012. 56 17129 - http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/fnr.v56i0.17129


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How to Cite
Knudsen V. K., Fagt S., Trolle E., Matthiessen J., Groth M. V., Biltoft-Jensen A., Sørensen M. R., & Pedersen A. N. (2012). Evaluation of dietary intake in Danish adults by means of an index based on food-based dietary guidelines. Food & Nutrition Research. https://doi.org/10.3402/fnr.v56i0.17129
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