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Nutr Hosp. 2011 Jul-Aug;26(4):863-73. doi: 10.1590/S0212-16112011000400029.

[Compliance with current dietary recommendations and geographical variability of diet in women participating in 7 screening programs for breast cancer in Spain].

[Article in Spanish]

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Área de Epidemiología Ambiental y Cáncer, Centro Nacional de Epidemiología, Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Madrid, España.



A healthy diet is especially important during menopause, a period which increases the risk of various health problems. We analyzed the diet of periand postmenopausal Spanish women and the degree of compliance with current recommendations.


We studied 3574 women 45-68 years old who attended breast cancer screening programmes in 7 centres (A Coruña, Barcelona, Burgos, Palma de Mallorca, Pamplona, Valencia and Zaragoza). Diet information was collected using a food frequency questionnaire validated for the Spanish population. For the assessment of compliance with current guidelines we used the recommendations by the Spanish Society of Community Nutrition for food groups intake and by the Spanish Federation of Nutrition, Food and Dietetics for energy, vitamins and minerals intake.


The 29% of women were obese and 42% overweight. The average caloric intake was 2.053 kcal (SD 480). The general energy profile was: 43% of the energy from the carbohydrates, 36% from fats, and 20% from proteins. There was a low vitamin D intake in all centres of the study, with an overall mean intake of 2.14 mg/day. A deficit of vitamin E intake in A Coruña and Burgos was also detected. Intake of dairy products and vegetables was high in all the study centers. The consumption of fruits and vegetables was very heterogeneous, with high intakes observed in Mallorca and Valencia and low for both food groups in A Coruña. The olive oil intake was high in all centers except Burgos with 74.3% of the women studied below the recommended 3 servings per day.


A diet with less fat and protein and a higher consumption of vegetables, nuts and foods rich in carbohydrate might balance the energy intake and improve the quality of the diet correcting the low intakes of vitamins D and E. These recommendations are especially important in cities far from the Mediterranean coast where more breaches have been detected over the current recommendations with a lower adherence to the Mediterranean diet.

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