Association between Frequency of Consumption of Fruit, Vegetables, Nuts and Pulses and BMI: Analyses of the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC)
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Diets which emphasize intakes of plant-based foods are recommended to reduce disease risk and for promoting healthy weight. The aim of this study was to examine the association between fruit, vegetables, pulses and nut intake and body mass index (BMI) across countries in adolescents (13-14 years) and children (6-7 years). Data from the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood; 77,243 children's parents and 201,871 adolescents was used to examine the association between dietary intake (Food Frequency Questionnaire) and BMI using general linear models, adjusting for country gross national index. Adolescents who consumed fruit, vegetables, pulses and nuts three or more times a week had a lower BMI than the never or occasional group; eating nuts three or more times a week, was associated with a BMI value of 0.274 kg/m² lower than the never group (p < 0.001). Compared to children who never or occasionally reported eating vegetables, those reporting that they ate vegetables three or more times per week had a lower BMI of -0.079 kg/m². In this large global study, an inverse association was observed between BMI and the reported increasing intake of vegetables in 6-7 years old and fruit, vegetables, pulses and nuts in adolescents. This study supports current dietary recommendations which emphasize the consumption of vegetables, nut and pulses, although the effect sizes were small.
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