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Associations between the portion sizes of food groups consumed and measures of adiposity in the British National Diet and Nutrition Survey

  • Mary T. Kelly (a1), Kirsten L. Rennie (a1) (a2), Julie M. W. Wallace (a1), Paula J. Robson (a3), Robert W. Welch (a1), Mary P. Hannon-Fletcher (a1) and M. Barbara E. Livingstone (a1)
  • DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0007114508060777
  • Published online: 10 October 2008
Abstract

The objective of the present study was to examine the associations between the portion sizes of food groups consumed with measures of adiposity using data from the National Diet and Nutrition Survey of British adults. Seven-day weighed dietary records, physical activity diaries and anthropometric measurements were used. Foods eaten were assigned to thirty different food groups and analyses were undertaken separately for men and women. The median daily portion size of each food group consumed was calculated. The potential misreporting of dietary energy intake (EI) was identified using the following equation: EI − estimated energy requirements × 100 = percentage of under-reporting (UR) of energy needs. Multinomial logistic regression (adjusted for age, social class, physical activity level and UR) was used to determine the portion sizes of food groups most strongly associated with obesity status. Few positive associations between the portion sizes of food groups consumed and obesity status were found. However, UR was prevalent, with a median UR of predicted energy needs of 34 and 33 % in men and women, respectively. After the adjustment was made for UR, more associations between the food groups and obesity status became apparent in both sexes. The present study suggests that the true effect of increased portion size of foods on obesity status may be masked by high levels of UR. Alternatively, these data may indicate that an increased risk of obesity is not associated with specific foods/food groups but rather with an overall increase in the range of foods and food groups being consumed.

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Corresponding author
*Corresponding author: Professor M. Barbara E. Livingstone, fax +44 28 70323023, email mbe.livingstone@ulster.ac.uk
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  • ISSN: 0007-1145
  • EISSN: 1475-2662
  • URL: /core/journals/british-journal-of-nutrition
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