European journal of clinical nutrition vol:48 issue:2 pages:106-17
OBJECTIVE: This study compares the dietary intake in different geographical areas in Belgium. DESIGN: Food habits were examined by the 3-day food record with additional intervieW. SETTING: The study was performed in the head offices of one bank situated in seven Dutch-speaking cities (spread over two districts) in the north and one French-speaking city in the south of Belgium. SUBJECTS: 371 male and 192 female healthy employees participated in the survey. RESULTS: The results show a difference in fat consumption between north and south. Men in the French-speaking district consumed on average 18.8 E% (SD = 3.2) of saturated fat, compared to 16.2 (2.8) and 16.7 (2.9) E% for the two Dutch-speaking districts (P < 0.001). For women the respective data are 18.9 (3.2), 16.4 (3.0) and 17.1 (3.1) E% (P < 0.01). The E% of polyunsaturated fat in the three districts equals respectively 5.2 (1.8), 7.2 (2.4) and 6.7 (2.5) (P < 0.001) for men; 4.9 (1.8), 7.2 (2.7) and 6.6 (2.2) (P < 0.001) for women. A significantly lower P/S ratio (P < 0.001, for both sexes) and U/S ratio (P < 0.001, for both sexes) was found in the south. The intake of cholesterol (mg per 4.18 MJ) was significantly higher in the south (P = 0.01, for both sexes). The differences between the Dutch-speaking centres were relatively small. For men significant differences in P/S ratio, 0.48 (0.22) in the east versus 0.43 (0.20) in the west (P < 0.001), and in E% of monounsaturated fat, 15.2 (2.7) versus 16.3 (3.1) (P < 0.01), could be established. CONCLUSION: Differences in fat intake exist between the north and the south of Belgium. Within the north significant differences exist in P/S ratio and in intake of monounsaturated fat.