Dietary Patterns in Adolescence Are Related to Adiposity in Young Adulthood in Black and White Females1,2

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Few studies have systematically used a total diet approach to classify adolescent dietary patterns. We examined dietary patterns in relation to nutrient intakes and adiposity in the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Growth and Health Study cohort of 2371 black and white girls recruited at 9-10 y of age and followed for 10 y. Serial measurements were obtained for indices of anthropometry, dietary intake, physical activity, and sociodemographic variables. Dietary patterns for the 2 racial subgroups were separately identified by cluster analysis of 40 food groupings derived from 3-d food records. Nutrient intakes and measures of adiposity (BMI, percent body fat, and waist circumference) were compared by dietary pattern. We identified 4 discrete dietary patterns for black and for white adolescents. A Healthy pattern, followed by 12% of white girls and characterized by a high intake of fruits, vegetables, dairy, grains without added fats, mixed dishes and soups, and a low intake of sweetened drinks, other sweets, fried foods, burgers, and pizza, was related to more favorable nutrient intakes and a smaller increase in waist circumference. Among black girls, none of the dietary patterns appeared distinctly advantageous in terms of mitigating increases in adiposity. In conclusion, a cumulative pattern of food intake consistent with recommendations for general health appears to help prevent overweight, but this pattern was followed by only a minority of adolescent girls. J. Nutr. 137: 399-406, 2007.

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