Objective: To compare how three different energy adjustment approaches influence the ranking of individuals on fat intake, and to examine the relation between fat intake and socio-economic, demographic and lifestyle characteristics for each energy adjustment approach.
Design: A cross-sectional analysis project, using a sub-sample (7055 women and 3240 men) from the Malmö Diet and Cancer Study. Dietary habits were assessed with an interview based diet history method. Fat intake was, depending on energy-adjustment method, defined as absolute intake (FATg), percentage energy from fat (FAT%), and residuals from total fat regressed on total energy (FATres). Cross-classification compared categorisation into fat intake quintiles. Logistic regression estimated, separately for each of the three approaches, the associations between high fat intake and socio-economic, demographic and lifestyle characteristics.
Results: Agreement in individuals' ranking was high between FAT% and FATres, but FATg differed substantially from the others. Current smoking, low level of leisure time physical activity and low alcohol intakes were, in multivariate analysis, consistently associated with risk of high fat consumption regardless of energy adjustment method. However, the associations with socio-economic characteristics varied with energy adjustment method and gender groups.
Conclusions: The similarities between FAT% and FATres, in the ranking of individuals and in the association with lifestyle factors and socio-economic characteristics implies that it is possible to translate results obtained with FATres to recommendations using FAT%. The consistent lifestyle pattern across fat intake definitions (in energy adjusted models) may indicate that fat consumption is more strongly related to lifestyle factors than to socio-economic characteristics.