Nordic Nutrition Recommendations

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The Nordic Nutrition Recommendations (NNR) set the guidelines for dietary composition and recommended intakes of nutrients that form the basis of the national dietary recommendations in the Nordic countries. NNR 2012 also includes reference intakes for energy and recommendations on physical activity.

What is the NNR?

The Nordic Nutrition Recommendations give reference values for the intake of  nutrients which, based on current scientific knowledge, are adequate for the development and optimal function of the human body and reduce the risk of certain diet-related diseases. 

The NNR 2012 can be downloaded from the Nordic Council of Minister's web site.

How is the NNR made?

The Nordic Nutrition Recommendations are the result of a thorough evaluation of all relevant research within the field of nutrition. The work is led by a working group under a steering committee referring directly to the Nordic Council of Ministers, the official publisher of the NNR 2012.

Systematic reviews (SR), covering the years 2000—2012, have been applied for selected nutrients/topics, including a quality assessment of studies and a grading of the overall evidence. A less stringent update has been done for some nutrients/topics. Peer reviewers have also been engaged in the process to read and comment on the SRs and the updates conducted by the expert groups.

The systematic reviews and the updates have formed the basis for deriving the dietary reference values (DRVs). The DRVs aim to guarantee optimal nutrition and to prevent lifestyle related diseases such as cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and certain types of cancer, type 2 diabetes, obesity and related risk factors.

What is a healthy diet according to NNR 2012?

Nutrition research has traditionally strived to identify the specific mechanisms and health impact of single nutrients. However, most food items contain many nutrients as well as bioactive substances that interact with each other.

The Nordic Nutrition Recommendations 2012 give Dietary Reference Values (DRVs) for nutrient intakes. In addition, scientific evidence of the role played by dietary patterns and food groups that could contribute to the prevention of the major diet-related chronic diseases was also evaluated.

Typical features of a healthy dietary pattern as described in NNR 2012 include plenty of vegetables, fruit and berries, pulses, regular intake of fish, vegetable oils, wholegrain, low-fat alternatives of dairy and meat, and limited intake of red and processed meat, sugar, salt and alcohol.

Reviewed 2018-10-09