Nordic Nutrition Recommendations 2012. Part 1

Summary, principles and use

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The Nordic countries have collaborated in setting guidelines for dietary composition and recommended intakes of nutrients for several decades through the joint publication of the Nordic Nutrition Recommendations (NNR). The 5th edition, the NNR 2012, gives Dietary Reference Values (DRVs) for nutrient intakes, but more emphasis than in earlier editions has been put on evaluating scientific evidence for the role played by dietary patterns and food groups that could contribute to the prevention of the major dietrelated chronic diseases. A Nordic perspective has been accounted for in setting the recommendations. The NNR 2012 has used an evidencebased and transparent approach in assessing associations between dietary patterns, foods and nutrients and specific health outcomes. Systematic reviews (SRs) form the basis for the recommendations of several nutrients and topics, while a less stringent update has been done for others. SRs and individual chapters have been peer reviewed. The draft chapters were also subject to an open public consultation. The present publication contains three parts: a summary of the recommendations, background and principles for the derivation of DRVs and use of the NNR. The documentation of the scientific basis for individual nutrients and topics will be included in a subsequent publication.




For several decades, the Nordic countries have collaborated in setting guidelines for dietary composition and recommended intakes of nutrients. Similarities in dietary habits and in the prevalence of diet-related diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases, osteoporosis, obesity and diabetes, has warranted a focus on the overall composition of the diet, i.e. the intake of fat, carbohydrate, and protein as contributors to the total energy intake. In 1968, medical societies in Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden published a joint official statement on “Medical aspects of the diet in the Nordic countries” (Medicinska synpunkter på folkkosten i de nordiska länderna). The statement dealt with the development of dietary habits and the consequences of an unbalanced diet for the development of chronic diseases. Recommendations were given both for the proportion of fat in the diet and the fat quality, i.e. a reduced intake of total fat and saturated fatty acids and an increase in unsaturated fatty acids.


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