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  • 1 University of Vienna Institute of Nutritional Sciences Althanstrasse 14 1090 Vienna Austria
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Nutrition in Europe is characterised by a positive energy balance, excessive fat and sugar intakes, while consumption of complex carbohydrate sources like bread and potatoes as well as of fruit and vegetables is too low. Together with insufficient physical activity, unhealthy nutrition is considered as the major determinant for the high prevalence of overweight, obesity and related diseases. In addition, current nutrition is often deficient in certain essential micronutrients like folic acid, for instance. Food fortification may help improve the supply, although a diet rich in fruit, vegetables, whole grain cereal and with a moderate fat content is the better option. Fortunately, health awareness of consumers is increasing and this is also mirrored in the popularity of functional food, having beneficial effects on health and wellbeing. While these may contribute to a healthy nutrition, they can only be part of a broad food choice. The requirements of vulnerable population groups are another matter of concern. This is particularly true for the increasing number of elderly that are prone to malnutrition but difficult to reach by new nutrition trends. In conclusion, healthy food choices should be encouraged and special attention be paid to particular risk groups like pregnant women and elderly.

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