The food we eat in the Nordic countries: stability and change

Together with Nordic colleagues, Mari Niva and Nina Kahma from the CSCR contributed to an article called The Food We Eat in the Nordic Countries. The authors show that from 1997 to 2012, Nordic food culture is characterized by stability but also some change. Core elements in traditional Nordic national food cultures persist, such as the existence of two different lunch cultures based on hot and cold meals respectively, the dominant position of meat in dinner dishes, and the rather simple meal formats of both hot lunches and dinners, as ‘platefuls’. But many changes can be identified too, such as the marked tendency that water is becoming the most popular everyday drink for all meal types, the radical decline in cake served as an in-between, the apparent increase in vegetarian hot lunches and dinners, the introduction of fruit and vegetables at breakfast and lunch, and the rise in cereals and yoghurts for breakfast.

Full article:  Holm, L., Skov Lauridsen, D., Gronow, J., Kahma, N., Kjærnes, U.,Bøker Lund, T., Mäkelä, J. & Niva, M. (2015). The food we eat in Nordic countries – some changes between 1997 and 2012. In Bergström, K., Jonsson, I.M., Prell, H., Wernersson, I, Åberg, H. (Eds.)  MAT ÄR MER ÄN MAT. Samhällsvetenskapliga perspektiv på mat och måltider. Vänbok till Marianne Pipping Ekström. Göteborgs Universitet, Institut for Idrotts- och kostvetenskap. Online:

Nordic study shows everyday contexts facilitate or hamper healthy eating practices

Together with Nordic colleagues, Mari Niva analysed the relationship between diet quality and the following practices: social company while eating, the regularity and duration of eating and the activity of watching TV while eating, using a survey addressed to representative samples of the population in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden (N = 7531). The questionnaire elicited detailed accounts of one day of eating focusing on social and practical aspects of eating events. The authors conclude that daily practices related to eating are correlated with diet quality. Practices that are important are in part universal but also country-specific. Efforts to promote healthy eating should address not only cognitive factors but also everyday contexts of eating that facilitate or hamper healthy practices.

Full article: Holm, L., Lund, T. B., & Niva, M. (2015). Eating practices and diet quality: a population study of four Nordic countries. European journal of clinical nutrition. Online: