Dietary determinants of changes in waist circumference adjusted for body mass index - a proxy measure of visceral adiposity

D. Romaguera, L. Angquist, D.U. Huaidong, M.U. Jakobsen, N.G. Forouhi, J. Halkjaer, E.J.M. Feskens, D.L. van der A, G. Masala, A. Steffen, D. Palli, N. Wareham, K. Overvad, A. Tjonneland, H. Boeing, E. Riboli, T. Sorensen

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Background Given the recognized health effects of visceral fat, the understanding of how diet can modulate changes in the phenotype “waist circumference for a given body mass index (WCBMI)”, a proxy measure of visceral adiposity, is deemed necessary. Hence, the objective of the present study was to assess the association between dietary factors and prospective changes in visceral adiposity as measured by changes in the phenotype WCBMI. Methods and Findings We analyzed data from 48,631 men and women from 5 countries participating in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study. Anthropometric measurements were obtained at baseline and after a median follow-up time of 5.5 years. WCBMI was defined as the residuals of waist circumference regressed on body mass index, and annual change in WCBMI (¿WCBMI, cm/y) was defined as the difference between residuals at follow-up and baseline, divided by follow-up time. The association between energy, energy density (ED), macronutrients, alcohol, glycemic index (GI), glycemic load (GL), fibre and ¿WCBMI was modelled using centre-specific adjusted linear regression, and random-effects meta-analyses to obtain pooled estimates. Men and women with higher ED and GI diets showed significant increases in their WCBMI, compared to those with lower ED and GI [1 kcal/g greater ED predicted a ¿WCBMI of 0.09 cm (95% CI 0.05 to 0.13) in men and 0.15 cm (95% CI 0.09 to 0.21) in women; 10 units greater GI predicted a ¿WCBMI of 0.07 cm (95% CI 0.03 to 0.12) in men and 0.06 cm (95% CI 0.03 to 0.10) in women]. Among women, lower fibre intake, higher GL, and higher alcohol consumption also predicted a higher ¿WCBMI. Conclusions Results of this study suggest that a diet with low GI and ED may prevent visceral adiposity, defined as the prospective changes in WCBMI. Additional effects may be obtained among women of low alcohol, low GL, and high fibre intake.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere11588
Number of pages7
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • epic-oxford participants
  • middle-aged men
  • glycemic index
  • abdominal adiposity
  • subsequent changes
  • european men
  • physical-activity
  • alcohol-consumption
  • insulin-resistance
  • energy density


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