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Adherence to a Healthy Nordic Food Index Is Associated with a Lower Risk of Type-2 Diabetes—The Danish Diet, Cancer and Health Cohort Study

Danish Cancer Society Research Center, Strandboulevarden 49, 2100 Copenhagen, Denmark
Department of Public Health, Section of Environmental Health, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Øster Farimagsgade 5, 1014 København K, Denmark
Department of Public Health, Section for Epidemiology, Aarhus University, Bartholins Allé 2, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2015, 7(10), 8633-8644;
Received: 28 August 2015 / Revised: 9 October 2015 / Accepted: 10 October 2015 / Published: 21 October 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Pattern and Health)
PDF [213 KB, uploaded 26 October 2015]


Background: Type-2 diabetes (T2D) prevalence is rapidly increasing worldwide. Lifestyle factors, in particular obesity, diet, and physical activity play a significant role in the etiology of the disease. Of dietary patterns, particularly the Mediterranean diet has been studied, and generally a protective association has been identified. However, other regional diets are less explored. Objective: The aim of the present study was to investigate the association between adherence to a healthy Nordic food index and the risk of T2D. The index consists of six food items: fish, cabbage, rye bread, oatmeal, apples and pears, and root vegetables. Methods: Data was obtained from a prospective cohort study of 57,053 Danish men and women aged 50–64 years, at baseline, of whom 7366 developed T2D (median follow-up: 15.3 years). The Cox proportional hazards model was used to assess the association between the healthy Nordic food index and risk of T2D, adjusted for potential confounders. Results: Greater adherence to the healthy Nordic food index was significantly associated with lower risk of T2D after adjusting for potential confounders. An index score of 5−6 points (high adherence) was associated with a statistically significantly 25% lower T2D risk in women (HR: 0.75, 95%CI: 0.61–0.92) and 38% in men (HR: 0.62; 95%CI: 0.53–0.71) compared to those with an index score of 0 points (poor adherence). Conclusion: Adherence to a healthy Nordic food index was found to be inversely associated with risk of T2D, suggesting that regional diets other than the Mediterranean may also be recommended for prevention of T2D. View Full-Text
Keywords: Type-2 diabetes (T2D); Nordic diet; dietary pattern; prospective cohort. Type-2 diabetes (T2D); Nordic diet; dietary pattern; prospective cohort.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Lacoppidan, S.A.; Kyrø, C.; Loft, S.; Helnæs, A.; Christensen, J.; Hansen, C.P.; Dahm, C.C.; Overvad, K.; Tjønneland, A.; Olsen, A. Adherence to a Healthy Nordic Food Index Is Associated with a Lower Risk of Type-2 Diabetes—The Danish Diet, Cancer and Health Cohort Study. Nutrients 2015, 7, 8633-8644.

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