Background: Although it is known that abdominal obesity increases the risk of chronic diseases, prospective data examining the relation between lifestyle factors and the accumulation of abdominal adipose tissue are sparse.
Objective: The objective of the study was to determine the associations of changes in diet, physical activity, alcohol consumption, and smoking with 9-y waist gain among US men.
Design: A prospective cohort comprised 16 587 US men aged 40-75 y at baseline in 1986. Data on lifestyle factors were provided periodically with the use of self-reported questionnaires, and participants measured and reported their waist circumference in 1987 and 1996.
Results: In multivariate analyses, a 2% increment in energy intake from trans fats that were isocalorically substituted for either polyunsaturated fats or carbohydrates was significantly associated with a 0.77-cm waist gain over 9 y (P < 0.001 for each comparison). An increase of 12 g total fiber/d was associated with a 0.63-cm decrease in waist circumference (P < 0.001), whereas smoking cessation and a 20-h/wk increase in television watching were associated with a 1.98-cm and 0.59-cm waist gain, respectively (P < 0.001). Increases of 25 metabolic equivalent tasks (METs) * h/wk in vigorous physical activity and of >/= 0.5 h/wk in weight training were associated with 0.38-cm and 0.91-cm decreases in waist circumference, respectively (P < 0.001 for each comparison). These associations remained significant after further adjustment for concurrent change in body mass index. Changes in total fat and alcohol consumption and in walking volume were not significantly related to waist gain.
Conclusions: Waist gain may be modulated by changes in trans fat and fiber consumption, smoking cessation, and physical activity.