The draft proposal for the 5th edition of the Nordic Nutrition recommendations was presented at the 10th Nordic nutrition conference in Reykjavik, Iceland on 5 June.
The draft 5th edition of the Nordic Nutrition Recommendations (NNR 2012) sets the whole diet in focus while also setting Recommended Intakes (RI) for micronutrients.
The recommendations emphasise dietary patterns and nutrient intakes that, in combination with sufficient and varied physical activity, are optimal for the development and functioning of the body, and that at the same time contribute to a reduction of risk factors for and risk of certain diet-associated diseases like cardiovascular diseases, overweight, type-2 diabetes, cancer and osteoporosis.
It is important to be aware that the NNR are primarily valid for groups of healthy individuals and are not to be used for judging the intake at individual level.
After a thorough revision, where experts have reviewed a vast amount of scientific publications, most of the recommendations from the 4th edition (2004) remain unchanged.
However, the RI for vitamin D (i.e in children above 2, adults and elderly > 75), selenium (i.e. in adults) have been increased and increasing the iodine recommendations for pregnant and lactating women is under consideration.
More emphasis is put on quality of fat and carbohydrates and their dietary sources. Specific recommendations for the total intake ranges for carbohydrates and fats are not given in NNR 2012. Instead, recommendations include ranges for monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, saturated and trans-fatty acids, dietary fibre and added sugars.
In practice, following NNR would mean that diets with plenty of fibre-rich plant foods (e.g. dark green leafy vegetables, cabbages and onions, beans and peas, root vegetables, fruits and berries, nuts, wholegrain cereals); with frequent consumption of fish and seafood and vegetable oils, and in which low fat dairy products preferably are used and salt (NaCl) intake is limited, are associated with lower risk of most diet-related chronic diseases.
In contrast, when food products low in essential nutrients and fibre and high in energy, like sugar-sweetened beverages, sweet bakery products or confectionary, refined cereals and solid fats (e.g. butter) are frequently consumed, the risk for chronic diseases and weight-gain will increase. Also, high consumption of processed and red meats (i.e., beef, pork and lamb), may enhance the risk of adverse health and chronic disease in the population.
The work on the new edition is part of a long and fruitful Nordic co-operation hosted by the Nordic Council of Ministers.
The work has been led by a Nordic working group and more than 100 scientific experts have been involved in the revision. The work has mainly focused on a revision of areas in which new scientific knowledge has emerged. A systematic review (SR) has been applied to selected nutrients/topics where new data considered being of specific importance for setting NNR were available since the last edition. A less stringent updating of reference values was applied for other nutrients/topics.
The revision of the NNR is a transparent process, thus a draft proposal is presented even though all the SR and updates have not yet been finalised and made available.
Public consultations and hearings will be arranged September-October 2012 once all the material is available.
The Nordic Council of Ministers will formally approve the Nordic nutrition recommendations during the fall 2012.
For more information contact the chair of the NNR5 working group:
Professor Wulf Becker, National Food Agency, Uppsala, Sweden
Phone: +46 18 175731, or +46 709 245549, E-mail: email@example.com
Visit the NNR5 website for more details: www.nnr5.org
Members of the the NNR5 working group
Agnes N Pedersen, National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark
Inge Tetens, National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark
Mikael Fogelholm, University of Helsinki
Ursula Schwab, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio Campus
Ingibjörg Gunnarsdottir, University of Iceland & Landspitali-University Hospital
Inga Thorsdottir, University of Iceland & Landspitali-University Hospital
Sigmund A Anderssen, Norwegian School of Sport Sciences
Helle Margrete Meltzer, Norwegian Institute of Public Health
Elisabet Wirfält, Lund University, Department of clinical sciences in Malmö
Wulf Becker (chair), National Food Agency
Ulla-Kaisa Koivisto Hursti (scientific secretary), National Food Agency
Professor Wulf Becker
+46 18 175731, or +46 709 245549,