Bean consumption is associated with greater nutrient intake, reduced systolic blood pressure, lower body weight, and a smaller waist circumference in adults: results from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999-2002

J Am Coll Nutr. 2008 Oct;27(5):569-76. doi: 10.1080/07315724.2008.10719740.


Background: Epidemiological studies have shown positive findings associated with legume consumption and measures of cardiovascular disease and obesity. However, few observational trials have examined beans as a separate food variable when determining associations with health parameters.

Objective: To determine the association of consuming beans on nutrient intakes and physiological parameters using the National Health and Examination Survey (NHANES) 1999-2002.

Methods: Using data from NHANES 1999-2002, a secondary analysis was completed with a reliable 24-hour dietary recall where three groups of bean consumers were identified (N = 1,475). We determined mean nutrient intakes and physiological values between bean consumers and non-consumers. Least square means, standard errors and ANOVA were calculated using appropriate sample weights following adjustment for age, gender, ethnicity and energy.

Results: Relative to non-consumers, bean consumers had higher intakes of dietary fiber, potassium, magnesium, iron, and copper (p's < 0.05). Those consuming beans had a lower body weight (p = 0.008) and a smaller waist size (p = 0.043) relative to non-consumers. Additionally, consumers of beans had a 23% reduced risk of increased waist size (p = 0.018) and a 22% reduced risk of being obese (p = 0.026). Also, baked bean consumption was associated with a lower systolic blood pressure.

Conclusions: Bean consumers had better overall nutrient intake levels, better body weights and waist circumferences, and lower systolic blood pressure in comparison to non-consumers. These data support the benefits of bean consumption on improving nutrient intake and health parameters.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Pressure*
  • Body Weight*
  • Diet*
  • Fabaceae*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Nutrition Assessment
  • Nutrition Surveys
  • Obesity / physiopathology
  • United States
  • Waist Circumference*