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Carin Andrén Aronsson

Head of unit

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Development of a harmonized food grouping system for between-country comparisons in the TEDDY Study


  • Gesa Joslowski
  • Jimin Yang
  • Carin Andrén Aronsson
  • Suvi Ahonen
  • Martha Butterworth
  • Jenna Rautanen
  • Jill M Norris
  • Suvi M Virtanen
  • Ulla Uusitalo

Summary, in English

The Environmental Determinants of Diabetes in the Young (TEDDY) is an international study aiming to investigate associations between dietary and other environmental factors and the risk of developing islet autoimmunity and type 1 diabetes. Dietary intake was assessed using a 24-h recall and repeated 3-day food records and analyzed using country-specific food composition databases (FCDBs) in Finland, Germany, Sweden, and the U.S. with respective in-house calculation programs. A food grouping harmonization process between four country-specific FCDBs was conducted to evaluate and achieve comparability on food group definitions and quantification of food consumption across the countries. Systematic review revealed that the majority of existing food groups of the TEDDY FCDBs were not comparable. Therefore, a completely new classification system of 15 mutually exclusive main food groups (e.g. vegetables) and 89 subgroups (e.g. root vegetables, leafy vegetables) was developed. Foods and beverages were categorized into basic foods (single ingredient) and composite dishes (multiple ingredients). Composite dishes were broken down to ingredients using food composition data available in the FCDBs or generic recipes created for the harmonization effort. The daily consumption of every food group across FCDBs was quantified consistently as either raw or prepared weight depending on the food group to achieve maximal comparability.


  • Diabetes and Celiac Unit

Publishing year







Journal of Food Composition and Analysis



Document type

Journal article




  • Endocrinology and Diabetes


  • Diet
  • Food analysis
  • Food composition
  • Food composition database
  • Food consumption
  • Food exposure
  • Food grouping
  • Food grouping harmonization
  • TEDDY study
  • Type 1 diabetes



Research group

  • Diabetes and Celiac Unit


  • ISSN: 0889-1575