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14 EVA ROOS AND RITVA PRÄTTÄLÄ 1200 1000 800 Kjoule/hour 600 400 200 0 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 Time FIGURE 1. Distribution of energy intake during the day. Ε, men; Φ, women. record. Ten o’clock was chosen as the cut off point because it lay between the two energy peaks in the morning (Fig. 1). If the subject did not record breakfast against the meal pattern question, breakfast was not considered as a meal even if his/her food record indicated something eaten before 10 o’clock. Contrary to the definition of the conventional meal pattern, meals and snacks were defined according to the respondents subjective criteria. When keeping the food record the subjects were instructed to classify every eating occasion as either a meal or a snack. The respondents, however, were not able to classify all eating occasions, and the uncoded ones were called ‘‘other eating occasions’’ for the analyses. Dietary Analyses Daily intakes of nutrients and foods were computed from the 3 day food records using software developed at the National Public Health Institute and its food and nutrient data base (Ovaskainen, Lauronen & Haapakoski, 1994). The daily intakes of nutrients and food items were computed separately for meals, snacks and other eating occasions. Energy intake from different nutrients on an hourly basis through the day were also derived from the food records. Macronutrients, cholesterol, fibre, vitamin C, and carotenoids were analyzed as separate dietary items in order to form a general view of the quality of the diet. Cholesterol indicates the extent of animal sources, while fibre, vitamin C and carotenoids are good indicators of the consumption of vegetables, fruits and foods with high densities of other micronutrients. The macronutrient density of each type of eating occasion and the overall diet was measured as percentage of energy (E%); micronutrient and food item densities were measured as intake per 10 MJ. The food item classification used in this study was developed at the National Public Health Institute (Ovaskainen, 1992). The recorded items and dishes were

MEAL PATTERN AND NUTRIENT INTAKE AMONG ADULT FINNS 15 TABLE 1 Percentage of men and women following different types of meal pattern according to age and region Three meals Two meals One meal per Total (N) per day per day day or less Men Age 25–34 47 41 12 100 (167) 35–44 49 44 7 100 (175) 45–54 44 48 8 100 (208) 55–64 46 50 4 100 (251) Region Helsinki-Vantaa (urban) 37 55 8 100 (186) Turku-Loimaa (urban+rural) 39 50 11 100 (213) Kuopio (urban+rural) 57 40 3 100 (212) North Karelia (rural) 52 42 6 100 (190) Men all 47 (371) 46 (372) 7 (58) 100 (801) Women Age 25–34 41 51 8 100 (204) 35–44 44 48 8 100 (213) 45–54 39 56 5 100 (215) 55–64 46 49 5 100 (256) Region Helsinki-Vantaa (urban) 29 59 12 100 (199) Turku-Loimaa (urban+rural) 35 55 10 100 (214) Kuopio (urban+rural) 51 47 2 100 (243) North Karelia (rural) 52 45 3 100 (232) Women all 42 (377) 51 (452) 7 (59) 100 (888) Total 44 (748) 49 (824) 7 (117) 100 (1689) grouped by their food use, processing and nutrient content into the food item groups presented in Table 5. Statistical Analyses The SAS statistical package (Release 6.08) was used for all analyses, which were carried out separately for men and women. All differences between eating occasions or meal pattern groups were tested by analysis of variance. The analyses of eating patterns were carried out in two different ways: firstly, intake and density of nutrients and food items were compared between meals and snacks; secondly, the daily intakes of nutrients and food items were compared between the groups following the conventional meal pattern or the other meal pattern. Because meal patterns were not equally distributed across the regions (Table 1) and because of the study design (sample stratified for age and region), all analyses where statistical significance was tested were adjusted for age and region.

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