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J Am Diet Assoc. 2005 Nov;105(11):1723-34.

Unique dietary patterns and chronic disease risk profiles of adult men: the Framingham nutrition studies.

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Graduate Programs in Medical Nutrition Sciences, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA, USA.



To identify the dietary patterns of adult men and examine their relationships with nutrient intake and chronic disease risk over long-term follow-up.


Baseline 145-item food frequency questionnaires from 1,666 Framingham Offspring-Spouse cohort men were used to identify comprehensive dietary patterns. Independent 3-day dietary records at baseline and 8 years later provided estimates of subjects' nutrient intake by dietary pattern. Chronic disease risk factor status was compared at baseline and 16-year follow-up across all male dietary patterns.


Cluster analysis was applied to food frequency data to identify non-overlapping male dietary patterns. Analysis of covariance and logistic regression were used to compare nutrient intake, summary nutritional risk scores, and chronic disease risk status at baseline and follow-up by male dietary pattern.


Five distinct and comprehensive dietary patterns of Framingham Offspring-Spouse men were identified and ordered according to overall nutritional risk: Transition to Heart Healthy, Higher Starch, Average Male, Lower Variety, and Empty Calories. Nutritional risk was high and varied by dietary pattern; key nutrient contrasts were stable over 8-year follow-up. Chronic disease risk also varied by dietary pattern and specific subgroup differences persisted over 16 years, notably rates of overweight/obesity and smoking.


Quantitative cluster analysis applied to food frequency questionnaire data identified five distinct, comprehensive, and stable dietary patterns of adult Framingham Offspring-Spouse cohort men. The close associations between the dietary patterns, nutritional risk, and chronic disease profiles of men emphasize the importance of targeted preventive nutrition interventions to promote health in the male population.

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