Association between a healthy lifestyle and general obesity and abdominal obesity in an elderly population at high cardiovascular risk

Prev Med. 2011 Sep;53(3):155-61. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2011.06.008. Epub 2011 Jun 25.


Background: Diet, smoking and physical activity are important modifiable lifestyle factors that can influence body weight and fat accumulation. We assessed the relationship between lifestyle and obesity risk in a baseline analysis of the PREDIMED study, a randomized dietary primary prevention trial conducted in Spain.

Methods: 7000 subjects at high cardiovascular risk were assessed cross-sectionally. A healthy lifestyle pattern (HLP) was determined using a score including: adherence to the Mediterranean diet, moderate alcohol consumption, expending ≥200 kcal/day in leisure-time physical activity, and non-smoking.

Results: Inverse linear trends were observed between the HLP-score and body-mass-index (BMI) or waist circumference (p<0.001). The BMI and waist circumference of participants with a HLP-score=4 were, respectively, 1.3 kg/m(2) (95% CI: 0.9 to 1.7) and 4.3 cm (3.1 to 5.4) lower than those of subjects with an HLP≤1. The odds ratios of general obesity and abdominal obesity for an HLP score of 4 compared to an HPL score≤1 were 0.50 (0.42 to 0.60) and 0.51 (0.41 to 0.62), respectively.

Conclusion: A combination of four healthy lifestyle behaviors was associated with a lower prevalence of general obesity and abdominal obesity in Mediterranean elderly subjects at high cardiovascular risk.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / pathology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet, Mediterranean
  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Humans
  • Life Style*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Activity
  • Nutritional Status*
  • Obesity, Abdominal / epidemiology*
  • Obesity, Abdominal / pathology
  • Smoking
  • Spain / epidemiology

Associated data

  • ISRCTN/ISRCTN35739639