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Public Health. 2018 Apr;157:121-126. doi: 10.1016/j.puhe.2018.01.027. Epub 2018 Mar 20.

The association of fruit and vegetable consumption with changes in weight and body mass index in Chinese adults: a cohort study.

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School of Health Sciences, Wuhan University, PR China.
Usher Institute of Population Health Sciences and Informatics, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK.
School of Health Sciences, Wuhan University, PR China. Electronic address:



Findings regarding the benefits of fruit and vegetables (FV) on weight control are inconsistent and little is known among Chinese populations. Therefore, we examined the relationship between change in FV consumption, weight, and change in body mass index (BMI) among Chinese adults, participants of the China Health and Nutrition Survey (CHNS).


A prospective cohort study.


Two waves of CHNS conducted in 2006 and 2011 were used. Continuous FV consumption increase was considered as the exposure and changes in weight and BMI as outcomes. Change in FV consumption was categorized into quintiles. Analysis of covariance and multiple linear regression models, after controlling for potential confounders such as energy intake, physical activity, and smoking, were used to describe the relationship between change in FV consumption and change in weight and BMI.


A total of 4357 participants aged 18-65 years were included in this study. The respective weight and BMI gains in male individuals were 1.81 kg and 0.73 kg/m2 in the fifth quintile of FV change relative to individuals in the first quintile (3.67 kg for weight gain and 1.48 kg/m2 for BMI gain). An increase in FV consumption by 100 g was associated with a 211 g weight loss (B = -2.11; 95% confidence interval [CI], -3.34, -0.89, P < 0.001) and a decrease in BMI by 0.94 kg/m2 (B = -0.94; 95% CI, -1.36, -0.46, P < 0.001) in men; and a 140 g weight loss (B = -0.14; 95% CI, -0.97, 0.69, P = 0.74) and a decrease in BMI by 0.29 kg/m2 BMI (B = -0.29; 95% CI, -0.63, 0.06, P = 0.11) in women.


Increase in FV consumption was associated with statistically significant weight loss and decrease in BMI among Chinese men, and, although suggested, weight loss among women was not significant. Considering the protective effect of FV on human health, increasing FV consumption in the Chinese population is recommended.


Adult; BMI; Fruit and vegetables; Weight

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