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Am J Clin Nutr. 2006 Feb;83(2):362-70; quiz 394-5.

Predictors of weight gain in a Mediterranean cohort: the Seguimiento Universidad de Navarra Study 1.

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Departments of Preventive Medicine and Public Health and Physiology and Nutrition, University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain.



High consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks has been associated with weight gain and obesity in the United States. This trend may also be affecting populations with different eating patterns who increasingly are adopting typical US dietary patterns.


We assessed whether the consumption of sweetened drinks and other food items increased the likelihood of weight gain in a Mediterranean population.


This was a prospective cohort analysis of 7194 men and women with a mean age of 41 y who were followed-up for a median of 28.5 mo with mailed questionnaires. Dietary exposure was assessed with a previously validated semiquantitative food-frequency questionnaire.


During follow-up, we observed that 49.5% of the participants increased their weight (x weight gain: 0.64 kg; 95% CI: 0.55, 0.73 kg). In the participants who had gained > or =3 kg in the 5 y before baseline, the adjusted odds ratio of subsequent weight gain for the fifth quintile compared with the first quintile of sugar-sweetened soft drink consumption was 1.6 (95% CI: 1.2, 2.1; P for trend = 0.02). This association was absent in the participants who had not gained weight in the 5-y period before baseline. The consumption of hamburgers, pizza, and sausages (as a proxy for fast-food consumption) was also independently associated with weight gain (adjusted odds ratio for the fifth compared with the first quintile = 1.2; 95% CI: 1.0, 1.4; P for trend = 0.05). We also found a significant, but weaker, association between weight gain and both red meat and sweetened fruit juice consumption.


In a Mediterranean cohort, particularly in the participants who had already gained weight, an increased consumption of sugar-sweetened soft drinks and of hamburgers, pizza, and sausages was associated with a higher risk of additional subsequent weight gain.

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