Background and aims Few foods contain vitamin D and many children fail to meet recommended intakes, including Danish children. This may promote low serum concentrations, particularly as cutaneous vitamin D production is negligible during winter/spring at Northern latitudes. Aims To examine if New Nordic Diet (NND) school meals with two weekly fish servings affect serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) and bone in children. Methods The OPUS (Optimal well-being, development and health for Danish children through a healthy NND) School Meal Study was a cluster-randomized controlled cross-over intervention. A total of 784 third and fourth graders received NND school meals for 3 months and habitual packed lunch for 3 months. Dietary intake and serum 25(OH)D was measured, and DXA-scans performed, at baseline and after each dietary period. Results Intake of fatty fish (? 3.6-7.2 g/d) and vitamin D (? 0.3-1.1 µg/d) was higher after intervention- than control-period. The NND effect was modified by season, i.e, in November/December and January/February NND resulted in higher 25(OH)D than the control diet, whereas in March/April NND resulted in lower (p<0.05). In January/February NND resulted in higher Total Body Less Head size-adjusted Bone Mineral Content than the control diet, but lower in May/June (p<0.05). No observed effects on Bone Area and Bone Mineral Density. Conclusions Fish-containing NND school meals affected vitamin D intake and ?status, and seemed to mitigate children?s decreases in 25(OH)D and BMC during winter months at Northern latitudes. A carry-over effect may be suspected in the March/April samplings. The OPUS study was supported by a grant from the Nordea Foundation.
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The 2nd international conference on nutrition and growth, 2014