Association of major dietary patterns with muscle strength and muscle mass index in middle-aged men and women: Results from a cross-sectional study

Clin Nutr ESPEN. 2020 Oct;39:215-221. doi: 10.1016/j.clnesp.2020.06.010. Epub 2020 Jul 24.


Background: Dietary patterns may affect muscle mass, strength, and function; hence, we evaluated the association of major dietary patterns in relation to muscle mass index (MMI) and muscle strength in middle-aged adults. We hypothesized that unhealthy dietary patterns are associated with reduced muscle mass and muscle strength.

Subjects: and methods: The present cross-sectional study recruited 270 adults (118 males and 152 females) aged between 18 and 75 years' old. Socio-demographic data, body composition and muscle strength were determined. MMI was calculated by total fat free mass (FFM) (kg)/height2 (m). Dietary intake was assessed using a 168-item validated food frequency questionnaire. Factor analysis was conducted, and as a result, 3 factors were extracted. These factors were labeled as healthy, mixed and western dietary patterns.

Results: After control for potential confounders, there were a positive trend between tertiles of "healthy dietary pattern" and muscle strength (p = 0.03). Moreover, we found that those who were in the third tertile of "mixed dietary pattern" compared to those at the first tertile had no significant relationship with muscle strength (p = 0.42) and MMI (p = 0.36) even after controlling for potential confounders. In contrast, the adherence to the "Western dietary pattern" was associated with reduced MMI (p = 0.02).

Conclusion: Adherence to healthy dietary pattern might be associated with better muscle strength and greater adherence to Western pattern appears to reduce MMI.

Keywords: Cross-sectional study; Dietary pattern; Muscle mass; Muscle strength; Principal component analysis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Body Composition*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle Strength*
  • Muscles
  • Young Adult