Our estimates of changes in food consumption over the past 40 years, using male Cretan and Dutch cohorts, indicate a general increase in fish and sea food consumption between 1960 and the year 2000 and a decrease in the consumption of bread, potatoes, eggs and milk & yogurt. In addition, consumption of sugar products decreased in both the elderly cohorts whereas consumption of pastries increased in comparison to the 1960 records. Meat consumption decreased in the Zutphen cohort, in contrast to both the Cretan cohorts whist fruit consumption increased in the former cohort, again in contrast to the Cretan cohort. The changes seen in the Dutch cohort with regard to meat intake appear to be different to those observed 25 years after the start of the Seven Countries Study, at which time an increase was found in meat consumption.
Changes in the consumption of other food groups after 25 years were in the same direction as those found in the present study, 40 years after the initiation of the Seven Countries study.