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Nutrition Transition in Europe: East-West Dimensions in the Last 30 Years-A Narrative Review

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posted on 2022-10-07, 04:01 authored by Klara G Dokova, Rouzha Z Pancheva, Natalya V Usheva, Galina A Haralanova, Silviya P Nikolova, Todorka I Kostadinova, Caue Egea Rodrigues, Jessica RadcliffeJessica Radcliffe, Anne-Kathrin Illner, Krasimira Aleksandrova
The current review aims to summarize published research on nutrition transition patterns (depicting changes in dietary consumption) in European populations over the last three decades (1990-2020), with a focus on East-West regional comparisons. Pubmed and Google-Scholar databases were searched for articles providing information on repeated dietary intakes in populations living in countries across Europe, published between January 1990 and July 2021. From the identified 18,031 articles, 62 were found eligible for review (17 from Eastern and 45 from Western European populations). Overall, both in Eastern and Western Europe, there have been pronounced changes in dietary consumption patterns over the last three decades characterized by reductions in average reported intakes of sugar, carbohydrates and saturated fats and increases in reported fruit and vegetable consumption. There has also been a tendency toward a reduction in traditional foods, such as fish, observed in some Mediterranean countries. Overall, these data suggests that European countries have undergone a nutrition transition toward adopting healthier dietary behaviors. These processes occurred already in the period 1990-2000 in many Western European, and in the last decades have been also spreading throughout Eastern European countries. Firm conclusions are hampered by the lack of standardized methodologies depicting changes in dietary intakes over time and the limited coverage of the full variety of European populations. Future studies based on standardized dietary assessment methods and representative for the whole range of populations across Europe are warranted to allow monitoring trends in nutrition transition within and among European countries.


This work was partly supported by The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) (Grant No. 01DS19002).


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Frontiers in Nutrition



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Frontiers Media S.A.



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© 2022 Dokova, Pancheva, Usheva, Haralanova, Nikolova, Kostadinova, Egea Rodrigues, Singh, Illner and Aleksandrova. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

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