Alcohol and macronutrient intake patterns are related to general and central adiposity

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Abstract

Background/Objectives:

Alcohol and dietary fat have high energy densities and may therefore be related to body weight and fat deposition. We studied associations between alcohol and macronutrient intake patterns and general and central adiposity.

Subjects/Methods:

A population-based cross-sectional study of 524 men and 611 women. The participants answered a dietary questionnaire describing habitual food consumption including intake of alcoholic beverages. Macronutrient intake was analysed in relation to anthropometric measures and dual energy X-ray absorptiometry determined body fat.

Results:

In women, total alcohol intake was negatively associated with body fat percentage (β:-0.67, P<0.01). In men, total alcohol intake was positively associated with sagittal abdominal diameter (SAD) (β: 0.28, P=0.01). In addition, positive associations were found between intake of alcohol from spirits and body fat percentage (β: 1.17, P<0.05), SAD (β: 0.52, P<0.05) and waist circumference (β: 2.29, P=0.01). In men, protein intake was positively associated with body mass index (BMI) (β: 0.03, P=0.001), body fat percentage (β: 0.04, P<0.05), SAD (β: 0.02, P=0.01) and waist circumference (β: 0.09, P<0.01). Also in men only, negative associations between fat intake and BMI (β: -0.03, P<0.01), SAD (β: -0.02, P<0.05) and waist circumference (β: -0.05, P<0.05) were found.

Conclusions:

Alcohol intake was inversely associated to relative body fat in women whereas spirits consumption was positively related to central and general obesity in men. Macronutrient intakes, particularly protein and fat, were differently associated with obesity indicators in men versus women. This may reflect a differential effect by gender, or differential obesity related reporting errors in men and women.

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