Diet composition and risk of overweight and obesity in women living in the southwestern United States

J Am Diet Assoc. 2007 Aug;107(8):1311-21. doi: 10.1016/j.jada.2007.05.008.


Objective: It is unknown whether dietary patterns or macronutrient composition contribute to the observed differences in rates of overweight and obesity among Hispanic and non-Hispanic white women in the United States. We assessed the association of dietary patterns and macronutrient composition with overweight and obesity in Hispanic and non-Hispanic white women.

Design: Cross-sectional analysis of dietary data from a case-control study of breast cancer.

Participants: Population-based control participants (871 Hispanic and 1,599 non-Hispanic white women) from the southwestern United States who completed the diet and other components of the interview and whose anthropometric measurements were available.

Main outcome measures: Body mass index (BMI; calculated as kg/m(2)), weight status (overweight, BMI 25 to 29.9; obese, BMI>30).

Statistical analyses performed: Dietary patterns were defined using factor analysis. Associations of dietary patterns and macronutrient composition with overweight and obesity as compared with normal weight were assessed with logistic regression.

Results: Hispanic women reported consuming more energy, a greater proportion of energy from fat and vegetable protein, less alcohol, and less energy from animal protein compared with non-Hispanic white women. Western and dieter patterns were associated with higher prevalence of overweight and obesity; the Prudent dietary pattern was associated with a 29% lower prevalence of overweight and a halving of the prevalence of obesity similarly in Hispanic and non-Hispanic white women. Higher proportions of energy from protein (odds ratio [OR] 1.81, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.28 to 2.56) and animal protein (OR 2.10 95% CI 1.47 to 2.98) were associated with a greater risk of overweight; greater proportions of energy from fat (OR 2.28, 95% CI 1.27 to 4.08), protein (3.55 95% CI 2.38 to 5.29), or animal protein (3.44 95% CI 2.31 to 5.14) were associated with higher risk of obesity among non-Hispanic white women only.

Conclusions: A Western dietary pattern was associated with greater risk and a Prudent diet with reduced risk of overweight and obesity. To reduce risk of overweight and obesity, Hispanic women should maintain healthful aspects of a native Hispanic diet, and non-Hispanic white women should replace animal protein with vegetable protein.

MeSH terms

  • Acculturation
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alcohol Drinking
  • Body Mass Index
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet*
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Proteins / administration & dosage
  • Energy Intake
  • European Continental Ancestry Group / statistics & numerical data*
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Female
  • Hispanic Americans / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Obesity / ethnology
  • Overweight*
  • Risk Factors
  • Southwestern United States / epidemiology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Dietary Fats
  • Dietary Proteins