Long-term adherence to the New Nordic Diet and the effects on body weight, anthropometry and blood pressure: a 12-month follow-up study



The New Nordic Diet (NND) has induced weight loss in a 26-week controlled intervention. We aim to investigate whether high compliance and satisfaction can be maintained after the active intervention is discontinued thereby maintaining the health effects.


After 26 weeks of intervention with NND or Average Danish Diet (ADD), 147 participants (mean age 43 years and mean BMI 29.1 kg/m2) were followed for further 52 weeks. All participants were encouraged to follow NND but without further guidance. The study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, study id NCT01195610.


One hundred and ten participants (75 %) completed the follow-up. Among participants previously randomised to NND (NND group), dietary compliance and satisfaction decreased from 4.3 to 3.0 and from 4.8 to 4.0, respectively (both p < 0.0001) (1–5 point scale). Among those originally randomised to ADD (ADD group), satisfaction with NND was significantly higher than with ADD during follow-up (3.3 vs. 2.5, p = 0.026). Weight losses during intervention of −6.2 kg and −3.0 kg were followed by regains of 4.6 kg (SE 0.5) and 1.1 kg (SE 0.7) for the NND group and ADD group, respectively [adjusted difference; mean (95 % CI): 1.8 kg (0.1–3.4), p = 0.041]. Across diet groups, every 1 score higher in compliance with NND was associated with 0.90 kg less body weight regain (p = 0.026) and those who increased physical activity regained 3.4 kg less compared to those who did not (p < 0.0001).


NND provides higher satisfaction, and body weight regain is reduced with higher compliance with NND and increased physical activity.

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Average Danish Diet


New Nordic Diet


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We thank Bente Kiens and colleagues at Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, University of Copenhagen for developing the physical activity questionnaire and for assistances during analysis of the physical activity data. The Nordea Foundation Denmark funded the study. Local food companies provided foods for the shop. Neither the funder nor the food sponsors had any influence on the study design, data collection, data analysis, data interpretation or the content and submission of this paper.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Sanne Kellebjerg Poulsen.

Additional information

The study is a part of the OPUS project. OPUS is an acronym of the Danish title of the project ‘Optimal well-being, development and health for Danish children through a healthy New Nordic Diet’ and is supported by a grant from the Nordea Foundation, Denmark.

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Poulsen, S.K., Crone, C., Astrup, A. et al. Long-term adherence to the New Nordic Diet and the effects on body weight, anthropometry and blood pressure: a 12-month follow-up study. Eur J Nutr 54, 67–76 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00394-014-0686-z

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  • New Nordic Diet
  • Dietary intervention
  • Weight loss maintenance
  • Follow-up
  • Compliance