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Adherence to the healthy Nordic diet is associated with weight change during 7 years of follow-up

  • Noora Kanerva (a1) (a2), Kennet Harald (a1), Satu Männistö (a1), Niina E. Kaartinen (a1), Mirkka Maukonen (a1), Ari Haukkala (a3) and Pekka Jousilahti (a1)...

Studies indicate that the healthy Nordic diet may improve heart health, but its relation to weight change is less clear. We studied the association between the adherence to the healthy Nordic diet and long-term changes in weight, BMI and waist circumference. Furthermore, the agreement between self-reported and measured body anthropometrics was examined. The population-based DIetary, Lifestyle and Genetic Determinants of Obesity and Metabolic syndrome Study in 2007 included 5024 Finns aged 25–75 years. The follow-up was conducted in 2014 (n 3735). One-third of the participants were invited to a health examination. The rest were sent measuring tape and written instructions along with questionnaires. The Baltic Sea Diet Score (BSDS) was used to measure adherence to the healthy Nordic diet. Association of the baseline BSDS and changes in BSDS during the follow-up with changes in body anthropometrics were examined using linear regression analysis. The agreement between self-reported and nurse-measured anthropometrics was determined with Bland–Altman analysis. Intra-class correlation coefficients between self-reported and nurse-measured anthropometrics exceeded 0·95. The baseline BSDS associated with lower weight (β=−0·056, P=0·043) and BMI (β=−0·021, P=0·031) over the follow-up. This association was especially evident among those who had increased their BSDS. In conclusion, both high initial and improved adherence to the healthy Nordic diet may promote long-term weight maintenance. The self-reported/measured anthropometrics were shown to have high agreement with nurse-measured values which adds the credibility of our results.

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* Corresponding author: N. Kanerva, email
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