Dietary diversity score is related to obesity and abdominal adiposity among Iranian female youth

Public Health Nutr. 2011 Jan;14(1):62-9. doi: 10.1017/S1368980010000522. Epub 2010 Mar 31.


Objective: To assess the relationship between diet and disease, consideration of whole-diet indices may be more informative than single-nutrient intake. The present study was conducted to report the relationship among dietary diversity score (DDS), obesity and abdominal adiposity among female university students.

Design: Cross-sectional study.

Setting: Isfahan, Iran.

Subjects: A representative sample of 289 healthy female students aged 18-28 years was selected randomly from Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Iran. Usual dietary intake was assessed using a validated semi-quantitative FFQ. DDS was calculated according to the scoring of the five food groups based on the US Department of Agriculture Food Guide Pyramid. This is a score of diet variety, and shows the diversity of the consumed diet. Participants were categorised on the basis of quartile cut-off points of DDS. Potential confounders such as age, total energy intake and physical activity were considered in all the analyses.

Results: The means (sd) of BMI and waist circumference were 25.9 (sd 5.1) kg/m2 and 85·5 (sd 14) cm, respectively. The probability of obesity decreased with quartiles of DDS (OR among quartiles: 1.00, 0.41, 0.31 and 0.21, P = 0.03; this was the same for abdominal adiposity: 1.00, 0.55, 0.36 and 0.21, P = 0.02). Those in the lowest quartile of the DDS had the highest risk for being overweight.

Conclusions: There were inverse associations among DDS, obesity and abdominal adiposity among the female students of Isfahan University. Further prospective investigations are needed to confirm this finding.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adiposity
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet / standards
  • Diet / statistics & numerical data
  • Energy Intake
  • Exercise
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Iran / epidemiology
  • Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Obesity, Abdominal / epidemiology
  • Waist Circumference
  • Young Adult