Changes in intake of fruits and vegetables in relation to risk of obesity and weight gain among middle-aged women

K. He, F. B. Hu, G. A. Colditz, J. E. Manson, W. C. Willett, S. Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

298 Scopus citations

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To examine the changes in intake of fruits and vegetables in relation to risk of obesity and weight gain among middle-aged women. DESIGN: Prospective cohort study with 12y of follow-up conducted in the Nurses' Health Study. SUBJECTS: A total of 74063 female nurses aged 38-63y, who were free of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes at baseline in 1984. MEASUREMENTS: Dietary information was collected using a validated food frequency questionnaire, and body weight and height were self-reported. RESULTS: During the 12-y follow-up, participants tended to gain weight with aging, but those with the largest increase in fruit and vegetable intake had a 24% of lower risk of becoming obese (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2) compared with those who had the largest decrease in intake after adjustment for age, physical activity, smoking, total energy intake, and other lifestyle variables (relative risk (RR), 0.76; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.69-0.86; P for trend < 0.0001). For major weight gain (≥ 25 kg), women with the largest increase in intake of fruits and vegetables had a 28% lower risk compared to those in the other extreme group (RR, 0.72; 95% CI, 0.55-0.93; P=0.01). Similar results were observed for changes in intake of fruits and vegetables when analyzed separately. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that increasing intake of fruits and vegetables may reduce long-term risk of obesity and weight gain among middle-aged women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1569-1574
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Obesity
Volume28
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2004

Keywords

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Prospective study
  • Weight gain

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