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Open Access Highly Accessed Research

The risk of child and adolescent overweight is related to types of food consumed

Vichuda L Matthews1*, Michelle Wien2 and Joan Sabaté12

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, California, USA

2 Department of Nutrition, School of Public Health, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, California, USA

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Nutrition Journal 2011, 10:71  doi:10.1186/1475-2891-10-71

Published: 24 June 2011

Abstract

Background/Aims

To investigate the association between the risk of overweight and the consumption of food groups in children and adolescents.

Methods

We studied 1764 healthy children and adolescents (age 6-19y) attending 16 Seventh-Day Adventist schools and 13 public schools using a 106-item non-quantitative food frequency questionnaire from the late 1980 Child-Adolescent Blood Pressure Study. Logistic regression models were used to compute the risk of overweight according to consumption of grains, nuts, vegetables, fruits, meats/fish/eggs, dairy, and, low nutrient-dense foods (LNDF).

Results

The frequency of consumption of grains, nuts, vegetables and LNDF were inversely related to the risk of being overweight and dairy increased the risk. Specifically, the odds ratio (95% CI) for children in the highest quartile or tertile of consumption compared with the lowest quartile or tertile were as follows: grains 0.59(0.41-0.83); nuts 0.60(0.43-0.85); vegetables 0.67(0.48-0.94); LNDF 0.43(0.29-0.63); and, dairy 1.36(0.97, 1.92).

Conclusion

The regular intake of specific plant foods may prevent overweight among children and adolescents.