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04.03.2019 | Original article | Ausgabe 6/2019

International Journal of Public Health 6/2019

Fueling an epidemic of non-communicable disease in the Balkans: a nutritional survey of Bosnian adults

International Journal of Public Health > Ausgabe 6/2019
Selma Gicevic, Audrey J. Gaskins, Teresa T. Fung, Bernard Rosner, Edin Sabanovic, Mirjana Gurinovic, Agnes Kadvan, Emir Kremic, Walter Willett
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The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s00038-019-01222-3) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Dietary surveys are essential for guiding national efforts to reduce the burden of non-communicable disease, but individual-level dietary data are lacking in many low- and middle-income countries. We aimed to estimate the prevalence of inadequate and excessive intakes of specific nutrients in Bosnia and Herzegovina.


A dietary survey among 853 adults using two 24-h recalls.


The majority of men (73%) and women (66%) were overweight/obese, and > 50% of participants had elevated blood pressure. Low intakes of N-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, specifically α-linolenic acid (men: 94.4 mg/day among, women: 96.6 mg/day) and DHA + EPA (men: 18.2 mg/day, women: 16.0 mg/day), low fiber intake (women: 21.5 g/day), and high sodium (men: 3244 mg/day, women: 2291 mg/) and saturated fatty acids intakes (men: 29.2 g/day) were reported. There was also a suggestion of low intakes of vitamins A, B6, C and D (in both sexes), and of riboflavin, folate, B12 and calcium (in women).


Our findings provide initial evidence on the Bosnian population’s dietary habits and identify aspects that need attention. As the survey evolves into a continuing surveillance system, it will allow evaluation of dietary changes over time.

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