Browsing by Subject "EAT-Lancet"

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  • Bäck, Sari (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Background: The EAT-Lancet Commission proposed a healthy dietary pattern from environmentally sustainable food production systems to guide food system transformation. The EAT-Lancet reference diet comprises mass-based food consumption targets (both point estimates and ranges) for different food groups. Baseline assessments are required to inform the planning of the national food system transformation. Therefore, it is important to identify gaps between the targets and local food consumption. Objectives: The present study aimed to assess the current state of Finnish pre-schoolers’ diet by comparison with the reference diet’s food group level targets. Specifically, the Finnish pre-schoolers’ food consumption was estimated in the food groups of the reference diet. Methods: Data from 807 children (3- to 6-year-olds, 48% girls), were collected in the Increased Health and Wellbeing in Preschools (DAGIS) cross-sectional survey in 2015–2016. Food records, covering from one up to five complete days, were kept by parents and pre-school personnel. Detailed information on foods, such as ingredients of composite dishes and product names for packed foods were recorded. Food record data were decomposed into ingredients by AivoDiet dietary software. Industrial products, such as sausages and biscuits, were manually decomposed into ingredients by estimating the shares of ingredients using product information available on a retailer’s online database and food manufacturers’ webpages. Formulas were developed to calculate the consumption of added sugars. The consumption of dairy products was converted into milk equivalents using factors from the literature. Finally, the ingredients were manually classified into the reference diet’s food groups. The target amounts were set (separately for two age groups) in grams by proportioning the published target amounts (that assume a 2500 kcal diet) to the children’s average reported energy intake. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) method was used to calculate the daily average food consumption and the proportion of children who met targets in each food group. Results: Compared to the point estimate targets, on average, the daily food consumption for 3- to 4-year-olds (n 462) and 5- to 6-year-olds (n 345) differed for vegetables (60% of the target in both age groups); legumes and nuts (below a tenth of the target); whole grains (less than a third of the target); red meat (approximately 5.5 times the target); dairy foods (approximately 5 times the target); tubers (over 2.5 times the target) and added sugar (close to double of the target). Discussion: To enable comparison with the EAT-Lancet reference diet’s food group level targets, an approach for disaggregating children’s food record data was developed. To achieve a more sustainable diet and comply with the EAT-Lancet targets, the Finnish pre-schoolers would need to consume more plant-based foods i.e. vegetables, legumes and nuts, and whole grains, which should replace the refined grains. The consumption of animal proteins, especially red meat and dairy products, would need to be decreased, as well as the consumption of tubers (mainly potato) and added sugar.