Comparison of diets of diabetic and non-diabetic elderly men in Finland, The Netherlands and Italy

Published on Mar 1, 2000in European Journal of Clinical Nutrition3.114
· DOI :10.1038/sj.ejcn.1600916
Suvi M. Virtanen54
Estimated H-index: 54
(UTA: University of Tampere),
Edith J. M. Feskens80
Estimated H-index: 80
+ 5 AuthorsDaan Kromhout108
Estimated H-index: 108
Objective: To evaluate whether dietary recommendations for subjects with diabetes are met among Finnish, Dutch and Italian elderly men with diabetes, and whether the diets of diabetic and non-diabetic men differ in these three countries. Design: A dietary survey using cross-check dietary history method. A cross-sectional comparison. Setting: Thirty-year follow-up of survivors from the Finnish, Dutch and Italian cohorts of the Seven Countries Study. Subjects: 227 elderly men from Finland, 537 from The Netherlands, and 417 from Italy, of whom 8–9% had diabetes. Main results: The diets of non-diabetic men from the three countries differed markedly from each other. In all three countries diabetic men consumed less added sugar than non-diabetic men. In Italy, in addition, diabetic men consumed more fruits and berries and vegetables. The Dutch diabetic men ate relatively more cereal products, fruits and berries, milk and milk products, cheese, and meat and meat products and drank less alcoholic beverages than non-diabetic men. The diet of both diabetic and non-diabetic Finnish and Dutch men was characterized by high fat content (41% and 40% of energy, respectively). The fat content of the diet was even higher for diabetic than non-diabetic men in Finland and The Netherlands, but not in Italy. The fibre content of the diet was the highest among Dutch men and diabetic men received more dietary fibre than non-diabetic men in The Netherlands and Italy, but not in Finland. The diet of diabetic and non-diabetic Finnish men differed little from each other and was characterized by high nutrient density of several vitamins and minerals. The proportion of protein of energy intake was higher among diabetic than non-diabetic Dutch and Italian men. Conclusions: The diet of the diabetic men from Finland, the Netherlands, and Italy resembled more the diet of non-diabetic men from the respective countries than the diet of diabetic men from the other countries. In the diet of Italian diabetic men, the proportions of fat, saturated fatty acids and carbohydrates were nearest the recommended levels. Sponsorship: The National Institute on Aging, Bethesda, USA, the Dutch Prevention Foundation, the Hague, The Netherlands, the Academy of Finland, and the Sandoz Gerontological Foundation. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2000) 54, 181–186
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