Around 1990, the diets of non-diabetic men differed markedly among the three countries. Dutch and Finnish elderly diabetic men consumed less added sugar than non-diabetic men. In these diabetic men meat, milk, and cheese consumption were highest in The Netherlands and vegetables, fruit and berries highest in Italy. The saturated fat intake of the diabetic and non-diabetic Finnish and Dutch men was more than twice that of Italian men. The Dutch diet had the highest dietary fiber content. In these countries, the diet of diabetic men resembled more the diet of non-diabetic men.
Dietary survey method
Individual food and beverage consumption data were collected in only the three seven countries cohorts by the cross-check dietary history method. In Finland, the interviews took place in 1989, in The Netherlands in spring 1990 and in Italy in autumn 1991. Information was obtained about the usual food consumption pattern during the month preceding the interview. Although the dietary history method was adjusted to the language and foods of the local situation, the overall methodology was comparable across the cohorts. The foods and drinks were translated into energy and nutrients by local food composition databases.