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Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2006 Sep;16(6):436-44. Epub 2006 Jan 18.

Low adherence of a clinically healthy Italian population to nutritional recommendations for primary prevention of chronic diseases.

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Department of Medical and Surgical Critical Care, Thrombosis Centre, University of Florence, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Careggi, Florence, Italy.



Several data demonstrated that dietary habits significantly affect the health state of the population. During recent years all the major scientific associations have provided nutritional recommendations for primary prevention of chronic diseases but few data are available about prevalence of adherence to these recommendations in an otherwise healthy population. The aims of this study were to evaluate dietary habits, and to assess the adherence of the general population to the recommendations for correct nutritional behaviour.


Dietary habits, anthropometric and biochemical parameters were evaluated in a population of 932 (367 M; 565 F) clinically healthy subjects living in Florence, enrolled in an epidemiologic study conducted between 2002 and 2004. By comparing the dietary pattern with the nutritional guidelines, the study population reported a hyperproteic and hyperlipidic nutritional pattern, with a considerably low contribution from polyunsaturated fats (PUFA). A low fibre intake is shown in both genders. In addition, food consumption pattern showed an increased consumption of some foods such as meat, both fresh and processed, and a low intake of some "healthy" foods like fruit and vegetables.


We found several nutritional flaws in the dietary habits of a clinically healthy Italian population. In particular, we reported a high intake of animal protein and total fats with a very low contribution from PUFA.

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