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Br J Nutr. 2015 Dec 14;114(11):1929-40. doi: 10.1017/S0007114515003682. Epub 2015 Oct 6.

Association of food consumption with total volumes of visceral and subcutaneous abdominal adipose tissue in a Northern German population.

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1Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences,University of Bonn,53115 Bonn,Germany.
2Institute of Epidemiology,Christian-Albrechts University Kiel,24105 Kiel,Germany.
4Department of Neurology,University of Ulm,89081 Ulm,Germany.
3PopGen Biobank,University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein,24105 Kiel,Germany.


Excess accumulation of visceral adipose tissue (VAT) is a known risk factor for cardiometabolic diseases; further, subcutaneous abdominal adipose tissue (SAAT) and the ratio of both (VAT:SAAT ratio) have been discussed as potentially detrimental. Information about the association between diet and adipose tissue is scarce. This study aimed to identify food group intake associated with VAT and SAAT and the VAT:SAAT ratio in a Northern German population. A cross-sectional analysis was conducted in 344 men and 241 women who underwent an MRI to quantify total volumes of VAT and SAAT. Intake of fourteen food groups was assessed with a self-administered 112-item FFQ. Linear regression models adjusted for age, sex, energy intake, physical activity, intake of other food groups and mutual adjustment for VAT and SAAT were calculated to analyse the associations between standardised food group intake and VAT and SAAT, or the VAT:SAAT ratio. Intakes of potatoes (P=0·043) and cakes (P=0·003) were positively and inversely, respectively, associated with both VAT and SAAT. By contrast, intake of cereals was negatively associated with VAT (P=0·045) only, whereas intakes of eggs (P=0·006) and non-alcoholic beverages (P=0·042) were positively associated with SAAT only. The association between eggs and non-alcoholic beverages with SAAT remained significant after further consideration of VAT. Intake of non-alcoholic beverages was also inversely associated with the VAT:SAAT ratio (P=0·001). Our analysis adds to the evidence that intake of foods is independently associated with VAT or SAAT volumes.


AT adipose tissue; EPIC European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition; Food group consumption; MRI; SAAT subcutaneous abdominal adipose tissue; Subcutaneous adipose tissue; VAT visceral adipose tissue; Visceral adipose tissue

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