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Am J Clin Nutr. 1999 Mar;69(3):440-7.

Dietary variety within food groups: association with energy intake and body fatness in men and women.

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  • 1Energy Metabolism Laboratory, The Jean Mayer US Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, Boston, MA 02111-1524, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Short-term experimental studies suggest that dietary variety may influence body fatness but no long-term human studies have been reported.

OBJECTIVE:

The purpose of this study was to determine whether dietary variety within food groups influences energy intake and body fatness.

DESIGN:

Seventy-one healthy men and women (aged 20-80 y), who provided accurate reports of dietary intake and completed a body-composition assessment, were studied.

RESULTS:

Dietary variety was positively associated with energy intake within each of 10 food groups (r = 0.27-0.56, P < 0.05). In multiple regression analysis with age and sex controlled for, dietary variety of sweets, snacks, condiments, entrées, and carbohydrates (as a group) was positively associated with body fatness (partial r = 0.38, P = 0.001) whereas variety from vegetables was negatively associated (partial r = -0.31, P = 0.01) (R2 = 0.46, P < 0.0001). In separate models, both a variety ratio (variety of vegetables/variety of sweets, snacks, condiments, entrées, and carbohydrates) and percentage dietary fat were significant predictors of body fatness (controlled for age and sex, partial r = -0.39 and 0.31, respectively, P < 0.01). However, dietary fat was no longer significantly associated with body fatness when the variety ratio and dietary fat were included in the same model.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our data, coupled with those of previous short-term studies, suggest that a high variety of sweets, snacks, condiments, entrées, and carbohydrates coupled with a low variety of vegetables promotes long-term increases in energy intake and body fatness. These findings may help explain the rising prevalence of obesity.

PMID:
10075328
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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