Nutrition behavior of the middle-aged and elderly: Compliance with dietary recommendations of the food pyramid.
BACKGROUND & AIMS To assess the adherence to the national dietary recommendations and to identify factors contributing to dietary compliance in Switzerland. METHODS Population-based cross-sectional study in Lausanne, Switzerland (CoLaus study), 2009-2012. Dietary intake was assessed using a validated food frequency questionnaire. Participants were dichotomized according to whether they followed the national recommendations for fruits, vegetables, meat, fish and dairy products. RESULTS Data from 4371 participants (54% women, mean age ± SD: 57.6 ± 10.5 years) were analyzed. Compliance with the recommendations was low: only 39.4%, 7.1%, 61.3%, 66.4%, and 8.4% complied with the Swiss recommendations for fruit (≥2/day), vegetables (≥3/day), meat (≤5/week), fish (≥1/week) and dairy products (≥3/day), respectively. In multivariate analyses, gender, age, smoking status, Swiss-born status, education, being on a diet and body mass index were associated with dietary compliance, while no difference was found between women before and after menopause. Factors specifically associated with fruits, vegetables, meat, fish or dairy products recommendations were identified. CONCLUSION The low degree of compliance with dietary recommendations calls for a continued effort to increase the population awareness of the importance of a healthy and balanced diet, especially for vegetables and dairy products. This study identified determinants that should guide this effort.