OPUS Supermarket intervention – University of Copenhagen

English > Research > Supermarket intervention

OPUS Supermarket intervention


To investigate the effect of New Nordic Diet on adults
The purpose of the OPUS Supermarket intervention (SHOPUS) is to study the effect of eating the New Nordic Diet and Average Danish Diet, respectively, in terms of body weight, body composition (fat) and risk factors for cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes. Moreover, drop-out rate and the subjects compliance with the principles behind the diet are studied.

Project description

The supermarket intervention comprises four substudies:


Changes in skeletal muscle and adipose tissue


Social and cultural aspects




Economics and sustainability

In a randomised study, just under 200 subjects were asked to eat either the New Nordic Diet or and Average Danish Diet for six months. Both groups were allowed to eat as much as they liked, i.e. without restrictions on food intake. The purpose of letting the subjects eat until they felt replete was to find out whether one type of diet in itself would result in a greater feeling of repleteness and thereby less food intake. Both groups were also given dietary guidance, emphasising the importance of a healthy lifestyle and taking exercise.
For the purpose of the project, a scientific shop was set up at LIFE - the Faculty of Life Sciences. Throughout the six-month period, the subjects collected all their food free from this shop. Both diets were subject to a number of overall guidelines which subjects had to comply with, but other than that participants were free to choose between a large number of food products.

Once the participants had chosen their foods, they were registered at the till, and in this way it was possible to check whether the dietary composition was in compliance with the applicable principles. Subjects were asked to report any intake of food in other situations which did not comply with the dietary principles. Moreover, various blood tests were done to check whether participants regularly deviated from their diet type.
Throughout the project period, all subjects were asked to report regularly to the Department of Human Nutrition, among other things to attend three clinical test days which involved various physiological measurements of, for example, body weight, body fat percentage, waist circumference and sagittal diameter as well as fitness testing, blood pressure measurements and the taking of various blood samples. The three days of examinations were planned at the start, halfway and towards the end of the study. Moreover, the participants held regular meetings with the departments dieticians.
Having adhered to the same type of diet for six months, the participants are then encouraged to eat the New Nordic Diet for a 12-month follow-up period. The follow-up period will show how realistic it is to follow the New Nordic Diet under uncontrolled conditions. 


The first results of the OPUS Supermarket intervention were published at the FENS European Nutrition Conference in Madrid on Friday, 28 October 2011.

The results showed that after 12 weeks the subjects who ate the New Nordic Diet had on average lost significantly more weight than the participants eating the Average Danish Diet. At the same time, all the participants had reduced their body fat percentage after 12 weeks. The largest reduction was once again seen in the group eating the New Nordic Diet.

You can see more about the results on the poster from Madrid.