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Sweden sceptical about the importance of fat to weight increase


At the same time as the Swedish National Food Administration encourages the Swedish people to reduce its fat intake, a declining number of Swedes believe that fat is actually that important to weight gain and obesity. This was disclosed by a new attitude survey, which also revealed that Sweden is out of sync with its Nordic neighbours on the fat issue.

Market researchers YouGov asked some 2,000 people in Sweden, Finland, Norway and Denmark to say how they thought they should change their food habits to lose weight.

89% of the Finns (significantly more than in the other countries) are convinced that fat food and weight are related, the percentages being 83% of the Danes and 73% of the Norwegians. Sweden, however, is noticeably sceptical about the relationship between fat intake and weight loss.

59% agree that fat in food has some influence, but the group believing a reduced fat intake is “very effective” in terms of losing weight is just about 20%. 16% of the Swedes are even of the opinion that a reduced fat intake is “ineffective” as a method of losing weight.

Weight loss

- Today’s consumers face a long range of conflicting messages when it comes to diet and weight loss. The fact that so large a number of Swedes are currently questioning the relationship between fat intake and weight increase can only be explained by the marketing success of the groups advocating a high-fat diet for weight loss, says Ingrid Salomonsson, scientific adviser at Nordic Sugar.

Moreover, she ascertains that, at the end of the day, a successful slimming diet is a question of burning more energy than you add.

In agreement with neighbours

In the context of carbohydrates, the Nordic people generally agree. 67% of the Swedish people find that carbohydrates are important to losing weight, the percentage being 60% in Denmark, 69% in Norway and 67% in Finland.

Twice as many calories

In her comment on the survey, Ingrid Salomonsson points out that fat contains more energy than other nutrients. – The fact is that fat contains twice as many calories per gram compared to carbohydrates in general. This means that 1 gram of fat contains nine calories, while 1 gram of carbohydrates contains four calories.

(The attitude survey was conducted in 2009 by market researchers YouGov at the request of Nordic Sugar.)

Further information about weight loss is available in the article Kolhydrater eller ej - det är frågan (in Swedish) on

Further information:
Ingrid Salomonsson, scientific adviser, Nordic Sugar, telephone 040 – 53 70 15

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