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Dietary and non-dietary determinants of central adiposity among Tehrani women

  • Leila Azadbakht (a1) (a2) and Ahmad Esmaillzadeh (a1) (a2)



To determine the correlates of central adiposity.


Population-based cross-sectional study.


A total of 926 women (aged 40–60 years) from all districts of Tehran.


Demographic data were collected and anthropometric indices were measured according to standard protocols. Dietary intakes were assessed by means of a semi-quantitative food-frequency questionnaire. The suggested cut-off point for waist-to-hip ratio (WHR≥0.84) for Tehrani people, adjusted for their age group, was used to determine central adiposity. Logistic regression analysis was used to determine the correlates of WHR, which were adjusted for age, taking medications and body mass index (BMI). The components of dietary intake were determined by factor analysis. Pearson correlation was used to determine the association between the dietary components and WHR. Analysis of covariance was employed to compare the mean values of WHR in different lifestyle groups, with adjustment for BMI and age.


Mean WHR was 0.82 ± 0.06. The possibility of being centrally obese was higher in women with light physical activity (odds ratio: 2.11; 95% confidence interval: 1.40–2.53), depressed women (1.36; 1.02–1.93), smokers (1.21; 1.02–1.56) and unemployed women (1.41; 1.13–1.72). Marriage (1.31; 1.10–1.82), menopause (1.22; 1.02–1.61), low vitamin C intake (2.31; 1.25–4.25) and low calcium intake (1.30; 1.07–3.78) were associated with central fat accumulation. Dairy consumption was inversely correlated with central fat accumulation (r = −0.2, P < 0.05).


Central adiposity is associated with poor lifestyle factors including low physical activity, depression, smoking, low intake of vitamin C, low intake of calcium and dairy products and high fat consumption. Thus lifestyle modifications should be encouraged to achieve a healthier body shape.

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