Open Access Research

Association between obesity and calcium:phosphorus ratio in the habitual diets of adults in a city of Northeastern Brazil: an epidemiological study

Danielle de Carvalho Pereira1*, Raquel Patrícia Ataíde Lima1, Roberto Teixeira de Lima2, Maria da Conceição Rodrigues Gonçalves2, Liana Clébia Soares Lima de Morais2, Sylvia do Carmo Castro Franceschini3, Rosália Gouveia Filizola2, Ronei Marcos de Moraes2, Luiza Sonia Rios Asciutti4 and Maria José de Carvalho Costa2

Author affiliations

1 Center for Health Sciences, Federal University of Paraiba, Castelo Branco, Joao Pessoa, PB 58059-900, Brazil

2 Department of Nutrition, Center for Health Sciences, Federal University of Paraiba, Castelo Branco, Joao Pessoa, PB 58059-900, Brazil

3 Department of Nutrition, Center for Health Sciences, Center for Biological and Health Sciences, Federal University of Viçosa, Viçosa, MG 36570-000, Brazil

4 Faculty of Medical Sciences, Paraíba, Undergraduate Program in Nutrition, Centro, João Pessoa, PB 58010-740, Brazil

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Citation and License

Nutrition Journal 2013, 12:90  doi:10.1186/1475-2891-12-90

Published: 27 June 2013

Abstract

Background

Low calcium:phosphorus ratios (Ca:P ratio) in habitual diet have been observed worldwide, and it has been shown to be harmful to the bone health of the population. However, no study associating this ratio with obesity was found. Thus, considering that the intake of calcium and phosphorus will generate a ratio between them, which may be associated with obesity, this research seeks at evaluating the relation between obesity and the Ca:P ratio in the habitual diet of adults.

Methods

Cross-sectional population-based epidemiological study with stratified and systematic sampling. The sample was composed of 506 adults, aged between 18 and 60 years, of both genders. Information on socioeconomic and demographic conditions was obtained through questionnaires completed during home visits, where anthropometric and dietary evaluations were also conducted.

Results

In the habitual diet consumed by the study subjects, a Ca:P ratio above the median of 0.57 reduced the risk of central obesity based on waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) (OR: 0.61; 95% CI: 0.41 – 0.92). Habitual dietary intake of calcium (OR: 0.65; 95% CI: 0.43 – 0.97) and dairy products (OR: 0.56; 95% CI: 0.37 – 0.84) above the median value (485.4 mg and 0.9 servings, respectively) was found to be a protective factor related to central obesity based on WHtR.

Conclusions

Values above the median for the Ca:P ratio found in the habitual diet were negatively associated with central obesity based on WHtR. In addition, calcium and dairy consumption were negatively associated with central obesity based on WHtR. Therefore, higher Ca:P ratios contributed to a lower prevalence of central obesity.

Keywords:
Calcium: phosphorus Ratio; Obesity; Adult