Modelling of usual nutrient intakes: potential impact of the choices programme on nutrient intakes in young dutch adults

Annet J C Roodenburg, Adriana J van Ballegooijen, Mariska Dötsch-Klerk, Hilko van der Voet, Jacob C Seidell

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INTRODUCTION: The Choices Programme is an internationally applicable nutrient profiling system with nutrition criteria for trans fatty acids (TFA), saturated fatty acids, sodium, added sugar and for some product groups energy and fibre. These criteria determine whether foods are eligible to carry a "healthier option" stamp. In this paper a nutrient intake modelling method is described to evaluate these nutritional criteria by investigating the potential effect on nutrient intakes.

METHODS: Data were combined from the 2003 Dutch food consumption survey in young adults (aged 19-30) and the Dutch food composition table into the Monte Carlo Risk Assessment model. Three scenarios were calculated: the "actual intakes" (scenario 1) were compared to scenario 2, where all foods that did not comply were replaced by similar foods that did comply with the Choices criteria. Scenario 3 was the same as scenario 2 adjusted for the difference in energy density between the original and replacement food. Additional scenarios were calculated where snacks were not or partially replaced and stratified analyses for gender, age, Body Mass Index (BMI) and education.

RESULTS: Calculated intake distributions showed that median energy intake was reduced by 16% by replacing normally consumed foods with Choices compliant foods. Intakes of nutrients with a maximal intake limit were also reduced (ranging from -23% for sodium and -62% for TFA). Effects on intakes of beneficial nutrients varied from an unintentional reduction in fat soluble vitamin intakes (-15 to -28%) to an increase of 28% for fibre and 17% calcium. Stratified analyses in this homogeneous study population showed only small differences across gender, age, BMI and education.

CONCLUSIONS: This intake modelling method showed that with consumption of Choices compliant foods, nutrient intakes shift towards population intake goals for the nutrients for which nutrition criteria were defined, while effects on beneficial nutrients were diverse.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere72378
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Adult
  • Choice Behavior
  • Energy Intake
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Female
  • Food Labeling
  • Food Quality
  • Guidelines as Topic
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Netherlands
  • Recommended Dietary Allowances
  • Young Adult
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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