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Public Health Nutr. 2017 Jun;20(9):1564-1573. doi: 10.1017/S136898001700026X. Epub 2017 Mar 8.

Diet quality on meatless days: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), 2007-2012.

Author information

1
1US Department of Agriculture,Agricultural Research Service,Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center,2420 2nd Ave. N.,Grand Forks,ND 58203,USA.
2
2Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy,Tufts University,Boston,MA,USA.
3
3School of Medicine,Tufts University,Boston,MA,USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To compare diet quality scores between adult non-meat eaters and meat eaters, and to compare the consumption of diet components across quintiles of diet quality.

DESIGN:

Cross-sectional analysis. The Healthy Eating Index-2010 (HEI-2010) and Alternative Healthy Eating Index-2010 (AHEI-2010) were used to assess mean diet quality. Differences in consumption of diet components between quintiles of diet quality were tested using post hoc Wald tests and z tests.

SETTING:

The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), 2007-2012.

SUBJECTS:

The sample consisted of 16810 respondents aged≥18 years, including 280 individuals who reported not consuming meat, poultry, game birds or seafood on two non-consecutive days of dietary recall. Dietary data were obtained from one dietary recall per individual.

RESULTS:

Non-meat eaters had substantially greater HEI-2010 and AHEI-2010 scores than meat eaters (P<0·05). Among non-meat eaters, mean consumption across HEI-2010 quintiles demonstrated different (P<0·05) amounts of empty calories and unsaturated:saturated fatty acids. Mean consumption across AHEI-2010 quintiles demonstrated different (P<0·05) amounts of nuts and legumes, vegetables and PUFA.

CONCLUSIONS:

Public health messages targeted at vegetarians and others who may choose to eat meat-free on certain days should emphasize decreased consumption of empty calories, and increased consumption of nuts and legumes, PUFA and vegetables, as a way to improve overall dietary quality.

KEYWORDS:

Diet quality; Healthy Eating Index; Meat; Vegetarian

PMID:
28270246
DOI:
10.1017/S136898001700026X
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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