Successful nutrition policy: improvement of vitamin D intake and status in Finnish adults over the last decade
The European Journal of Public Health: 26 (5)
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurpub/ckw154 ckw154 First published online: 10 October 2016
Susanna Raulio, Iris Erlund, Satu Männistö, Sirpa Sarlio-Lähteenkorva, Jouko Sundvall, Heli Tapanainen, Erkki Vartiainen, Suvi M. Virtanen
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Note problem with Finland fortification – some people do not drink milk and/or use fat spreads
Background: Due to vitamin D intake below recommendation (10 µg/day) and low (<50 nmol/l) serum 25-hydroxycholecalciferol (25(OH)D) concentration in Finnish population, the fortification of liquid dairy products with 0.5 µg vitamin D/100 g and fat spreads with 10 µg/100 g started in Finland in December 2002. In 2010, the fortification recommendation was doubled. The aim of this study was to investigate whether the vitamin D intake and status have improved among Finnish adults as a consequence of these nutrition policy actions. A further aim was to study the impact of vitamin supplement use to the total vitamin D intake.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted every 5 years. The National FINDIET Survey was conducted in Finland as part of the National FINRISK health monitoring study. Dietary data were collected by using a computer-assisted 48-h dietary recall. In 2002, dietary data comprised 2007, in 2007, 1575 and 2012, 1295 working aged (25–64 years) Finns.
Results: The mean D-vitamin intake increased from 5 µg/day to 17 µg/day in men and from 3 µg/day to 18 µg/day in women from 2002 to 2012. The most important food sources of vitamin D were milk products, fat spreads and fish dishes. The share of milk products was 39% among younger men and 38% among younger women, and 29% among older men and 28% among older women. Fat spreads covered on average 28% of vitamin D intake, except for younger men for which it covered 23%. Fish dishes provided 28% of vitamin D intake for older men and women, and approximately 18% for younger ones. In January–April 2012, the average serum 25-hydroxycholecalciferol (25(OH)D) concentration for men was 63 nmol/l for men and for women 67 nmol/l for women.
Conclusions: The fortification of commonly used foods with vitamin D and vitamin D supplementation seems to be an efficient way to increase the vitamin D intake and the vitamin D status in the adult population.
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