Population-wide nutritional recommendations give guidance on food groups’ consumption, though a wide variability in nutritional quality within groups may subsist. Nutrient profiling systems may help capturing such variability. We aimed to apply and validate a dietary index based on the British Food Standards Agency nutrient profiling system (FSA-NPS DI) in French middle-aged adults.
Dietary data were collected through repeated 24-h dietary records in participants of the Supplémentation en Vitamines et Minéraux Antioxydants study (N = 5882). An aggregated dietary index at the individual level was computed using the FSA-NPS for each food consumed as well as compliance to the French nutritional guidelines using the Programme National Nutrition Santé-Guideline Score (PNNS-GS). Cross-sectional associations between FSA-NPS DI and nutrient intake, PNNS-GS, socio-demographic factors, lifestyle and nutritional biomarkers were computed using ANOVAs.
The FSA-NPS DI was able to characterize the quality of the diets at the individual level in terms of nutrient intake and of adherence to nutritional recommendations: +37.6 % in beta-carotene intakes between subjects with a healthier diet versus subjects with a poorer diet, +42.8 % in vitamin C intakes; +17 % in PNNS-GS, all P < 0.001. FSA-NPS-DI was also associated with nutritional status at the biological level: +21.4 % in beta-carotene levels between subjects with a healthier diet versus subjects with a poorer diet, +12.8 % in vitamin C levels, all P < 0.001.
The FSA-NPS DI is a useful and validated tool to discriminate individuals according to the quality of the diet, accounting for nutritional quality within food groups. Taking into account nutritional quality of individual foods allows monitoring change in dietary patterns beyond food groups.
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C.J. and E.K.-G. carried out data checking and analyses and were responsible for drafting the manuscript. C.M., M.T., S.P., C.L., P.D., S.H. and P.G. were involved in interpreting results and editing the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final version of the manuscript.
Conflict of interest
None of the authors has any competing interests and all are independent of the funding bodies.
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Julia, C., Méjean, C., Touvier, M. et al. Validation of the FSA nutrient profiling system dietary index in French adults—findings from SUVIMAX study. Eur J Nutr 55, 1901–1910 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00394-015-1006-y