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Methodology

The Nordic countries have collaborated in setting guidelines for dietary composition and recommended intakes of nutrients for several decades. The Nordic Nutrition Recommendations (NNR) is based on current scientific knowledge taking into consideration the current nutritional situation in the Nordic countries

Background

The NNR give dietary reference values (DRVs) for the intake of and balance between individual nutrients which, based on current scientific knowledge, are adequate for development and optimal function and reduce the risk of development of certain diet-related diseases. The NNR constitute the scientific basis for planning and assessing diets for population groups, and form the basis for the development of national guidelines for food-based dietary guidelines and physical activity in the Nordic countries.

Methodology

In the 5th edition of NNR, an evidence-based approach was applied using systematic reviews (SR) for selected nutrients/topics for which new data of specific importance for setting recommendations has become available since the 4th edition. The SRs include a quality assessment of all pertinent studies and grading of the overall evidence. 16 SRs and 2 overviews have been produced, all published on-line in Food & Nutrition Research. Less stringent updates of the DRVs were conducted for other nutrients/topics.

More than 100 scientific experts have been involved. The experts have assessed the associations between dietary patterns, foods, and nutrients and specific health outcomes. The work has mainly focused on revising areas in which new scientific knowledge has emerged. Peer reviewers for each nutrient/topic have also been engaged in the process. The SRs and the updates have formed the basis for deriving the DRVs. This evaluation was done by the NNR5 working group and was not a part of the SRs or updates conducted by the expert groups. The revised DRVs and scientific background chapters were subject to an open public consultation. The responses and actions to the comments by the NNR5 working group are published in a separate report.

Previous editions of NNR mainly focused on setting DRVs for the intake of, and balance between, individual nutrients. The current 5th edition puts the whole diet in focus and more emphasis is given to the role of dietary patterns and food groups contributing to the prevention of diet-related chronic diseases. Also, the NNR emphasize the importance of adequate physical activity that in combination with a healthy food pattern supports maintenance of a healthy body weight in the long-term.