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Dietary fat intake in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition: results from the 24-h dietary recalls

Abstract

Objectives:

This paper describes the dietary intake of total fat, saturated (SFA), monounsaturated (MUFA) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and cholesterol of participants in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) in 27 centres across 10 countries.

Methods:

Between 1995 and 2000, a stratified random sample of 36 034 participants (age range 35–74 years) completed a standardized 24-h dietary recall, assessed by means of the computer software EPIC-SOFT. Lipid intake data were calculated using a standardized nutrient database.

Results:

On average, the contribution of fat to total energy intake was 34% of energy intake (%en) in women and 36%en in men for most EPIC centres, except for the British, Dutch and most Italian cohorts. Total fat (>40%en) and MUFA intakes (21%en, mainly from olive oil) were highest in Greece. Except for the Greek, Spanish and Italian centres, the average MUFA intake ranged between 10 and 13%en, with a high proportion derived from animal sources. SFA intake in women and men was lowest in the Greek, Spanish, Italian and UK cohorts with an average of 13%en (down to 9%en), and highest in the Swedish centres (16%en). The mean PUFA intake was in the range of 4–8%en, being highest in the UK health-conscious cohort. The average cholesterol intake across EPIC varied from 140 to 384 mg/d in women and 215–583 mg/d in men.

Conclusions:

The presented data show differences and similarities in lipid intake across the European EPIC cohorts and also show differences in food sources of dietary lipids.

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Acknowledgements

The work described in the paper was carried out with the financial support of the European Commission: Public Health and Consumer Protection Directorate 1993–2004; Research Directorate-General 2005; Ligue contre le Cancer (France); Société 3M (France); Mutuelle Générale de l’Education Nationale; Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM); Institut Gustave Roussy; German Cancer Aid; German Cancer Research Center; German Federal Ministry of Education and Research; Danish Cancer Society; Health Research Fund (FIS) of the Spanish Ministry of Health; Spanish Regional Governments of Andalucía, Asturias, Basque Country, Murcia and Navarra and the Catalan Institute of Oncology; and ISCIII RETIC (RD06/0020), Spain; Cancer Research UK; Medical Research Council, UK; the Stroke Association, UK; British Heart Foundation; Department of Health, UK; Food Standards Agency, UK; the Wellcome Trust, UK; Greek Ministry of Health; Hellenic Health Foundation; Italian Association for Research on Cancer; Italian National Research Council, Regione Sicilia (Sicilian government); Associazione Iblea per la Ricerca Epidemiologica—ONLUS (Hyblean association for epidemiological research, NPO); Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport; Dutch Prevention Funds; LK Research Funds; Dutch ZON (Zorg Onderzoek Nederland); World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF); Swedish Cancer Society; Swedish Research Council; Regional Government of Skane and the County Council of Vasterbotten, Sweden; Norwegian Cancer Society; the Norwegian Research Council and the Norwegian Foundation for Health and Rehabilitation. We thank Sarah Somerville, Nicole Suty and Karima Abdedayem for assistance with editing and Kimberley Bouckaert and Heinz Freisling for technical assistance.

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Correspondence to J Linseisen.

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Guarantor: J Linseisen.

Contributors: JL carried out the statistical analyses, prepared the tables and figures, and wrote the paper, taking into account comments from all co-authors. NS was the overall coordinator of this project and the EPIC nutritional databases (ENDB) project. AW, MO, PA, CA, PF, ES, VC, and HB B-d-M were members of the ‘working group on fat intake’ and gave inputs on the statistical analysis, drafting of the paper and interpretation of the results. RK, CW, MD, LR, IE, AM, YTvdS, JM, SN, MJ, EL, MB, JH, MUJ, KTK, FC, CG, GM, MN, MT, SB were local EPIC collaborators involved in the collection of data and in documenting, compiling and evaluating the subset of their national nutrient databases used in the ENDB. ER is the overall coordinator of the EPIC study. All co-authors provided comments and suggestions on the paper and approved the final version.

Appendix

Appendix

Tables A1, A2, A3, A4 and A5

Table a1 Minimally adjusteda mean daily intake of total fat (g/d) by centre ordered from south to north, gender and age group
Table a2 Minimally adjusteda mean daily intake of saturated fatty acids (g/d) by centre ordered from south to north, gender and age group
Table a3 Minimally adjusteda mean daily intake of monounsaturated fatty acids (g/d) by centre ordered from south to north, gender and age group
Table a4 Minimally adjusteda mean daily intake of polyunsaturated fatty acids (g/d) by centre ordered from south to north, gender and age group
Table a5 Minimally adjusteda mean daily intake of cholesterol (mg/d) by centre ordered from south to north, gender and age group

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Linseisen, J., Welch, A., Ocké, M. et al. Dietary fat intake in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition: results from the 24-h dietary recalls. Eur J Clin Nutr 63, S61–S80 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1038/ejcn.2009.75

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Keywords

  • EPIC
  • 24-h diet recalls
  • dietary intake
  • lipids
  • EPIC-Soft
  • ENDB

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