Public Health Nutrition

Research Article

Consumption of added fats and oils in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) centres across 10 European countries as assessed by 24-hour dietary recalls

J Linseisena1a2 c1, E Bergströma3, L Gafáa4, CA Gonzáleza5, A Thiébauta6, A Trichopouloua7, R Tuminoa4, C Navarro Sáncheza8, C Martínez Garciaa9, I Mattissona10, S Nilssona11, A Welcha12, EA Spencera13, K Overvada14, A Tjønnelanda15, F Clavel-Chapelona6, E Kessea6, AB Millera2, M Schulza16, K Botsia7, A Naskaa7, S Sieria17, C Sacerdotea18, MC Ockéa19, PHM Peetersa20, G Skeiea21, D Engeseta21, UR Charrondièrea22 and N Slimania22

a1 Unit of Human Nutrition and Cancer Prevention, Technical University of Munich, Alte Akademie 16, D-85350 Freising-Weihenstephan, Germany

a2 Division of Clinical Epidemiology, German Cancer Research Centre, Heidelberg, Germany

a3 Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology, Umeå University, Sweden

a4 Cancer Registry, ‘Civile – M.P. Arezzo’ Hospital, Ragusa, Italy

a5 Department of Epidemiology, Catalan Institute of Oncology, Barcelona, Spain

a6 INSERM, E3N–EPIC Group, Institute Gustave Roussy, Villejuif, France

a7 Department of Hygiene and Epidemiology, School of Medicine, University of Athens, Greece

a8 Department of Epidemiology, Health Council of Murcia, Spain

a9 Granada Cancer Registry, Andalusian School of Public Health, Granada, Spain

a10 Department of Medicine, Surgery and Orthopaedics, University of Lund, Malmö, Sweden

a11 Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Umeå University, Sweden

a12 Department of Public Health and Primary Care, School of Clinical Medicine, University of Cambridge, UK

a13 Cancer Research UK, Epidemiology Unit, University of Oxford, UK

a14 Department of Epidemiology and Social Medicine, University of Aarhus, Denmark

a15 Institute of Cancer Epidemiology, Danish Cancer Society, Copenhagen, Denmark

a16 Department of Epidemiology, German Institute of Human Nutrition, Potsdam-Rehbrücke, Germany

a17 Epidemiology Unit, National Cancer Institute, Milan, Italy

a18 Unit of Cancer Epidemiology, University of Turin, Italy

a19 Department of Chronic Diseases Epidemiology, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, Bilthoven, The Netherlands

a20 Julius Center for General Practice and Patient Oriented Research, University of Utrecht, The Netherlands

a21 Institute of Community Medicine, University of Tromsø, Norway

a22 International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France


Objective: To evaluate the consumption of added fats and oils across the European centres and countries participating in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC).

Design and setting: 24-Hour dietary recalls were collected by means of standardised computer-guided interviews in 27 redefined EPIC centres across 10 European countries.

Subjects: From an initial number of 36 900 subjects, single dietary recalls from 22 924 women and 13 031 men in the age range of 35–74 years were included.

Results: Mean daily intake of added fats and oils varied between 16.2 g (Varese, Italy) and 41.1 g (Malmö, Sweden) in women and between 24.7 g (Ragusa, Italy) and 66.0 g (Potsdam, Germany) in men. Total mean lipid intake by consumption of added fats and oils, including those used for sauce preparation, ranged between 18.3 (Norway) and 37.2 g day−1 (Greece) in women and 28.4 (Heidelberg, Germany) and 51.2 g day−1 (Greece) in men. The Mediterranean EPIC centres with high olive oil consumption combined with low animal fat intake contrasted with the central and northern European centres where fewer vegetable oils, more animal fats and a high proportion of margarine were consumed. The consumption of added fats and oils of animal origin was highest in the German EPIC centres, followed by the French. The contribution of added fats and oils to total energy intake ranged from 8% in Norway to 22% in Greece.

Conclusions: The results demonstrate a high variation in dietary intake of added fats and oils in EPIC, providing a good opportunity to elucidate the role of dietary fats in cancer aetiology.


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