Towards health-promoting and environmentally friendly regional diets - a Nordic example

Public Health Nutr. 2009 Jan;12(1):91-6. doi: 10.1017/S1368980008001985. Epub 2008 Mar 14.


Background: Because most of the top determinants of the worldwide burden of disease are diet-related, the promotion of healthful diets is important for population health across the world. Furthermore, changes in eating habits may contribute to preservation of the environment.

Objective: In the present paper it is argued that the translation of health-promoting dietary recommendations into practical recommendations for healthful eating should be more tailored to regional circumstances. This will promote population health as well as help preserve cultural diversity in eating habits and contribute to more environmentally friendly eating. A regional Nordic diet, mimicking the Mediterranean diet to some extent, is presented as an example.

Conclusion: A theoretically health-enhancing Nordic diet is possible including six evidence-based ingredients: (i) native berries; (ii) cabbage; (iii) native fish and other seafood; (iv) wild (and pasture-fed) land-based animals; (v) rapeseed oil; and (vi) oat/barley/rye.

MeSH terms

  • Conservation of Natural Resources
  • Cultural Diversity
  • Diet / ethnology*
  • Diet / standards
  • Feeding Behavior / ethnology
  • Food / economics
  • Food / standards
  • Health Promotion*
  • Humans
  • Norway
  • Nutrition Policy
  • Regional Health Planning