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Public Health Nutr. 2011 Jan;14(1):62-9. doi: 10.1017/S1368980010000522. Epub 2010 Mar 31.

Dietary diversity score is related to obesity and abdominal adiposity among Iranian female youth.

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Department of Nutrition, School of Public Health, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Islamic Republic of Iran.



To assess the relationship between diet and disease, consideration of whole-diet indices may be more informative than single-nutrient intake. The present study was conducted to report the relationship among dietary diversity score (DDS), obesity and abdominal adiposity among female university students.


Cross-sectional study.


Isfahan, Iran.


A representative sample of 289 healthy female students aged 18-28 years was selected randomly from Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Iran. Usual dietary intake was assessed using a validated semi-quantitative FFQ. DDS was calculated according to the scoring of the five food groups based on the US Department of Agriculture Food Guide Pyramid. This is a score of diet variety, and shows the diversity of the consumed diet. Participants were categorised on the basis of quartile cut-off points of DDS. Potential confounders such as age, total energy intake and physical activity were considered in all the analyses.


The means (sd) of BMI and waist circumference were 25.9 (sd 5.1) kg/m2 and 85ยท5 (sd 14) cm, respectively. The probability of obesity decreased with quartiles of DDS (OR among quartiles: 1.00, 0.41, 0.31 and 0.21, P = 0.03; this was the same for abdominal adiposity: 1.00, 0.55, 0.36 and 0.21, P = 0.02). Those in the lowest quartile of the DDS had the highest risk for being overweight.


There were inverse associations among DDS, obesity and abdominal adiposity among the female students of Isfahan University. Further prospective investigations are needed to confirm this finding.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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