Research Current Research| Volume 109, ISSUE 8, P1356-1366, August 2009

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Dietary Predictors of 5-Year Changes in Waist Circumference



      Previous studies on the association between macronutrient intake and the development of abdominal obesity, which carries an increased health risk, have not shown a consistent pattern, possibly due to mixed effects of other aspects of the food intake.


      This study investigated the association between intake from 21 food and beverage groups and the subsequent 5-year difference in waist circumference.


      The study population consisted of 22,570 women and 20,126 men, aged 50 to 64 years at baseline, with complete data on baseline and follow-up waist circumference, baseline diet (192 items food frequency questionnaire), body mass index, and selected potential confounders (eg, smoking status, sport activities, and intake of alcoholic beverages). Multiple linear regression analyses were performed.


      For women, 5-year difference in waist circumference was inversely related to intake from red meat, vegetables, fruit, butter, and high-fat dairy products, whereas intake from potatoes, processed meat, poultry, and snack foods was positively associated. For men, red meat and fruit intakes were inversely associated with 5-year difference in waist circumference, whereas snack foods intake was positively associated. Sex differences occurred for vegetables, high-fat dairy products, and processed meat.


      The results suggest that a diet low in fruits and red meat and high in snack foods was associated with larger waist circumference gains in both sexes. Furthermore, in women a diet low in vegetables, butter, and high-fat dairy products, and high in poultry, potatoes, and processed meat were likely determinants of subsequent gain at the waist.
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      J. Halkjær is a postdoctoral researcher, Danish Cancer Society Institute of Cancer Epidemiology, Copenhagen, Denmark, and the Institute of Preventive Medicine, Copenhagen University Hospital, Centre for Health and Society, Copenhagen, Denmark.


      A. Tjønneland is consultant and head of department, Danish Cancer Society Institute of Cancer Epidemiology, Copenhagen, Denmark.


      K. Overvad is consultant, Department of Cardiology and Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Aalborg Hospital, Aarhus University Hospital, Aalborg, Denmark.


      T. I. A. Sørensen is professor of clinical epidemiology at the Faculty of Health Sciences of the University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark, and director, Institute of Preventive Medicine, Copenhagen University Hospital, Centre for Health and Society, Copenhagen, Denmark.