One-hundred and fifteen subjects were diagnosed with Helicobacter pylori (HP) infection and 93 subjects with atrophic gastritis (AG) from tests of HP antibodies or serum levels of pepsinogen I and pepsinogen II involving 210 inhabitants, who participated in the health check-up program. Logistic regression analysis found that refreshing (isotonic) beverages significantly reduced the risk of HP infection (odds ratio: 0.767, 95% C.I.: 0.616-0.956). A higher frequency of intake for margarine (odds ratio: 1.413, 95% C.I.: 1.080-1.848), cheese (odds ratio: 1.416, 95% C.I.: 1.044-1.920), Tsukemono (odds ratio: 1.277, 95% C.I.: 1.000-1.631) or Cola-beverages (odds ratio: 1.471, 95% C.I.: 1.051-1.239) showed a significantly increased risk of AG. In addition, high serum values of &mgr;-carotene (odds ratio: 0.691, 95%C.I.: 0.498-0.958), linoleic acid (odds ratio: 0.594, 95%C.I.: 0.382-0.924), and &mgr;-linolenic acid (odds: 0.987, 95%C.I.: 0.976-0.998) were found to reduce the risk of AG, but not HP infection. Furthermore, these results suggest that a more frequent intake of margarine, Tsukemono (pickled vegetables), or Cola-beverages may be a risk factor for AG, while foods rich in carotenes, such as, &mgr;-carotene and n-6PUFAs, such as &mgr;-linolenic acid, may reduce the risk of AG.