Diet quality in the population of Norway and Poland: differences in the availability and consumption of food considering national nutrition guidelines and food market.


Janowska-Miasik E(#)(1), Waśkiewicz A(#)(2), Witkowska AM(#)(3), Drygas W(2)(4), Markhus MW(1), Zujko ME(3), Kjellevold M(5).
Author information:
(1)Institute of Marine Research, P.O. Box 1870, NO-5817, Bergen, Nordnes, Norway.
(2)Department of Epidemiology, Cardiovascular Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, National Institute of Cardiology, Alpejska 42, 04-628, Warsaw, Poland.
(3)Department of Food Biotechnology, Faculty of Health Sciences, Medical University of Bialystok, Szpitalna 37, 15-295, Bialystok, Poland.
(4)Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, Medical University of Lodz, Hallera 1, 90-001, Lodz, Poland.
(5)Institute of Marine Research, P.O. Box 1870, NO-5817, Bergen, Nordnes, Norway. [Email]
(#)Contributed equally


BACKGROUND: Adequate nutrition is a public health challenge due to the increase in the incidence of diet-related diseases. The aim of this study was to examine food and nutrient intakes in the light of the current dietary guidelines of Poland and Norway. This is a suitable model for studying the diet quality in countries with different degrees of government intervention in the food market, which may affect food diversity available for citizens. METHODS: The food diversity on the market was assessed using national food balance sheets. To show the actual food and nutrient intake within countries, data from 24-h recalls from the national surveys, NORKOST 3 from Norwegians and WOBASZ II from Poles, were used. In order to evaluate whether dietary patterns comply with nutritional and dietary recommendations, the Norwegian and Polish recommendations for nutrition and the national food based dietary guidelines (FBDGs) were analyzed. RESULTS: Significant differences between the national supplies for most food products were found. Only subtle differences in the national FBDGs and nutritional recommendations were found. Low compliance with the national FBDGs for milk, fish and sugar consumption in Poland was observed. The intakes of most nutrients were in line with the countries' nutrition recommendations. The intakes of folate and vitamin D by both genders and the intake of iron among women, were inadequate in both countries. Calcium and magnesium intakes were below the recommended intake among the adult population of Poland, additionally, insufficient intake of potassium and thiamine was found among Polish women. CONCLUSIONS: Despite the limited availability of certain food products on the market, the diet of Norwegians was better balanced in terms of food consumed and micronutrient intakes. The good supply of various groups of food has not, however, reduced the problem of widespread deficiency of vitamin D and folic acid in the diet, and action should be taken at national level to eliminate their inadequacy. In view of increasing risk of non-communicable diseases, low compliance with the dietary guidelines requires educational campaigns aimed at increasing dietary literacy in vulnerable groups.