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Nutr Res. 2019 Nov 21;73:75-82. doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2019.11.005. [Epub ahead of print]

Higher eating frequency, but not skipping breakfast, is associated with higher odds of abdominal obesity in adults living in Puerto Rico.

Author information

1
Department of Nutrition, Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, 665 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA, 02115, USA. Electronic address: m.tamez@mail.harvard.edu.
2
FDI Clinical Research of Puerto Rico, 988 Luis Muñoz Rivera Ave, San Juan, PR, 00927; University of Puerto Rico, School of Medicine, Department of Biochemistry, Paseo Dr Jose Celso Barbosa, Río Piedras, PR, 00921. Electronic address: jrodriguez@fdipr.com.
3
Department of Nutrition, Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, 665 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA, 02115, USA. Electronic address: jmattei@hsph.harvard.edu.

Abstract

Puerto Ricans have a high prevalence of obesity, yet little information is available regarding its association with eating patterns in this population. We hypothesized that higher eating frequency and skipping breakfast would be associated with increased odds of abdominal obesity among adults living in Puerto Rico (PR). In a cross-sectional study of adults living in PR aged 30-75 years (N = 310), participants reported their frequency of eating meals per day including snacks and breakfast. Trained interviewers measured waist (WC) and hip circumferences. We calculated the waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) dividing the waist by the hip measurement. Abdominal obesity was defined as either high WC (men ≥94 cm; women ≥80 cm) or high WHR (men ≥0.90; women ≥0.85). We used logistic regression models to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) to assess the association of eating frequency (≤1.5; 1.5-3; ≥3 times/day) and breakfast consumption (vs none) with abdominal obesity. Models were adjusted for age, sex, income, smoking, physical activity, TV watching, energy intake, diet quality, and eating frequency (only for breakfast consumption). Most participants consumed breakfast (70%), ate 1.5-3 times/d (47%), and had high WC (75%) and WHR (77%). Participants who ate 1.5-3 (OR: 2.75, 95% CI: 1.23-6.15) and ≥3 times/day (OR: 2.88; 95% CI: 1.14-7.31) were more likely to have high WC compared with participants who ate ≤1.5 times/d (P trend = .04). Breakfast consumption was not associated with abdominal obesity. In conclusion, higher eating frequency, but not skipping breakfast, is associated with abdominal obesity among adults in PR. Consuming less frequent meals may help prevent abdominal obesity in this population.

KEYWORDS:

Abdominal obesity; Breakfast; Cross-sectional study; Eating behavior; Waist circumference

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