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.