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P R Health Sci J. 2011 Mar;30(1):22-7.

Association between dietary patterns and body composition in a group or Puerto Rican obese adults: a pilot study.

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  • 1Nutrition Program, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus, San Juan, Puerto Rico.



Obesity is a public health problem in Puerto Rico. Dietary patterns that include high intakes of energy and sweetened drinks and low consumption of fruits, vegetables and fiber are associated with obesity. The aim of this study is to relate dietary patterns with body composition in obese subjects.


Dietary patterns were evaluated using 3-day food records. Body composition was assessed by body weight, hip and waist circumferences and % body fat, and then used to classify subjects by obesity stages using BMI and by low or high risk using WHR or % body fat. The resulting comparison groups were associated with energy, macronutrients, fruits, vegetables, fiber, and sweetened drinks intake and with meal energy density and meal frequency intake. Kruskal Wallis and Mann Whitney tests were used to compare groups and Spearman correlations were used for continuous variables.


Thirty subjects completed the study. By BMI, 30% were obese type I, 33% type II and 37% type III; by WHR, 43% were low risk and 57% high risk; by % body fat, all were high risk. Dietary patterns were similar between groups. WHR was positively correlated with fiber consumption (r = 0.42; p < 0.05) and CHO intake (r = 0.35; p = 0.057).


In this pilot study, dietary patterns appeared similar between groups and sound with nutritional recommendations; however, we observed a poor quality of the diet due to very low intakes of fruits, vegetables and fiber and high intakes of sweetened drinks.

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