Anti-inflammatory Dietary Inflammatory Index scores are associated with healthier scores on other dietary indices

Nutr Res. 2016 Mar;36(3):214-9. doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2015.11.009. Epub 2015 Nov 14.


Dietary components are important determinants of systemic inflammation, a risk factor for most chronic diseases. The Dietary Inflammatory Index (DII) was developed to assess dietary inflammatory potential. It was hypothesized that anti-inflammatory DII scores would be associated with "healthier" scores on other dietary indices. The Energy Balance Study is an observational study focusing on energy intake and expenditure in young adults; only baseline data were used for this analysis (n=430). The DII, as well as the Healthy Eating Index-2010 (HEI-2010), the Alternative Healthy Eating Index (AHEI), and the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension Index (DASH) were calculated based on one to three 24-hour dietary recalls. General linear models were used to estimate least square means of the AHEI, HEI-2010, and DASH according to DII quartiles. Those with higher (ie, more proinflammatory) DII scores were more likely to be males, have less than a completed college education, and be younger. In addition, those with higher scores for cognitive restraint for eating or drive for thinness had lower (ie, anti-inflammatory) DII scores. Linear regression analyses indicated that as the DII increased, the AHEI, HEI-2010, and DASH dietary indices decreased (ie, became more unhealthy, all P<.01). The DII is a novel tool that characterizes the inflammatory potential of diet and is grounded in the peer-reviewed literature on diet and inflammation. Findings from the Energy Balance Study indicate that the DII is associated with other dietary indices, but has the added advantage of specifically measuring dietary inflammatory potential, a risk factor for chronic disease.

Keywords: Chronic disease; Diet; Dietary Inflammatory Index; Inflammation; Observational.

Publication types

  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet, Healthy*
  • Energy Intake
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / diet therapy
  • Inflammation*
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Mental Recall
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Young Adult