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Br J Nutr. 1999 Apr;81 Suppl 2:S31-5.

Food-based dietary guidelines--the Austrian perspective.

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  • 1Institute of Nutritional Sciences, University of Vienna, Austria.


Presently, no national dietary guidelines--neither food- nor nutrient-based--exist for Austria. Usually, the recommendations of the German Society of Nutrition are used instead. The determination of national characteristics of nutritional behaviour and food consumption can reveal starting-points for the improvement of nutritional status in Austria. Seven-day weighed records (children and adolescents, n = 2.173) and 24-h-recalls (adults, n = 2.488) were used for the evaluation of nutrient intake and food consumption. For a sub-sample of children and adolescents, results from laboratory assessment of biomarkers were also available (n = 1.400). Based on fat intake, the age groups were divided into low fat intake (less than 25th percentile = 28-34% fat energy) and high-fat eaters (greater than 75th percentile = 38-45% fat energy). Approximately 75% of the Austrian population have fat intakes above 30% of energy intake, older age groups having a higher prevalence of high fat intakes. Intakes of saturated fatty acids reach 40-46% of total fat. The usual intake of dietary fibre in the Austrian population is between 17-21 g/d; some individuals are able to achieve the recommended intakes for dietary fibre, but do not represent a significant majority of the population. The mean intakes of fruits are clearly higher in children and adolescents (10% of total food intake) than in adults (2-6%). Differences in the intake of selected nutrients in foods between low and high fat consumers, unexpectedly, did not result in different plasma concentrations of cholesterol, nor did it result in differences in fat soluble vitamins. Therefore, one of the primary dietary guidelines for Austria should be the reduction of fat consumption, which is also associated with increasing intakes of fruits and vegetables, increasing intakes of dietary fibre and decreasing intakes of cholesterol.

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