Nutritional evaluation of lowering consumption of meat and meat products in the Nordic context

image of Nutritional evaluation of lowering consumption of meat and meat products in the Nordic context

The World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) recommended in 2007 that consumer intake of red meat is minimized and processed meat eliminated. The recommendation was based on a systematic review of the available literature on the association between meat consumption and cancer. The recommendation to individuals was to ingest less than 500 grams of red meat per weeks, and very little - if anything - processed meats. In a new study, National Food Institute has assessed the nutritional consequences from living the recommendations of the WCRF, in Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark. The current consumption of meat in the Nordic countries is not far from the level WCRF has proposed on an individual level. The study also shows that it will have no significant nutritional consequences to reduce the intake of meat to the recommended, neither when it comes to red meat nor processed meat.



Materials and Methods

The nutritional consequences of the WCRF recommendations was evaluated in the light of the diet in selected Nordic countries. Representative data on dietary intake and dietary patterns in the four participating Nordic countries, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden, were used to estimate nutrient intakes in different age and sex groups at varying meat intakes and especially the categorization of meat was evaluated. Actual and recent meat intakes from the four participating countries were modulated to various predetermined levels, including the recommended level suggested by the WCRF and the nutritional consequences for adults, children and adolescents were assessed using the present nutritional recommendations (Nordic Council of Ministers, 2004) as the recommended level of nutrient intake.


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