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Nutrients. 2016 Jul 26;8(8). pii: E450. doi: 10.3390/nu8080450.

Exploring the Dietary Patterns of Young New Zealand Women and Associations with BMI and Body Fat.

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School of Food and Nutrition, Massey University, Auckland 0745, New Zealand.
Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition, School of Exercise and Nutrition Services, Deakin University, Melbourne 3125, Australia.
School of Food and Nutrition, Massey University, Auckland 0745, New Zealand.
School of Food and Nutrition, Massey University, Auckland 0745, New Zealand.


Examining dietary patterns provides an alternative approach to investigating dietary behaviors related to excess adiposity. The study aim was to investigate dietary patterns and body composition profiles of New Zealand European (NZE) women, participating in the women's EXPLORE (Examining the Predictors Linking Obesity Related Elements) study. Post-menarche, pre-menopausal NZE women (16-45 years) (n = 231) completed a validated 220-item, self-administrated, semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire. Body mass index (BMI) was calculated using measured height (cm) and weight (kg); body fat percentage (BF%) was measured using air displacement plethysmography (BodPod). Dietary patterns were identified using principal component factor analysis. Associations between dietary patterns, age, BMI and BF% were investigated. Four dietary patterns were identified: snacking; energy-dense meat; fruit and vegetable; healthy, which explained 6.9%, 6.8%, 5.6% and 4.8% of food intake variation, respectively. Age (p = 0.012) and BMI (p = 0.016) were positively associated with the "energy-dense meat" pattern. BF% (p = 0.016) was positively associated with the "energy-dense meat" pattern after adjusting for energy intake. The women following the identified dietary patterns had carbohydrate intakes below and saturated fat intakes above recommended guidelines. Dietary patterns in NZE women explain only some variations in body composition. Further research should examine other potential factors including physical activity and socioeconomic status.


dietary assessment; dietary patterns; food frequency questionnaire; premenopausal women

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