Meat consumption and the risk of general and central obesity: the Shahedieh study

BMC Res Notes. 2022 Nov 1;15(1):339. doi: 10.1186/s13104-022-06235-5.


Objective: This study aimed to investigate the relations of total meat intake and its subtypes, including red and processed meat, white meat, poultry, fish, and organ meat to the risk of general/central obesity.

Methods: This cross-sectional study included a total of 7312 Iranian adults with the age range of 35-70 years from the Shahedieh cohort study, Yazd, Iran. Dietary intake of subjects was evaluated using a validated 120-item Food Frequency Questionnaire. General obesity was defined as body mass index ≥ 30 kg/m2 and central obesity as waist circumference ≥ 102 cm in men and ≥ 88 cm in women.

Results: After controlling for potential covariates including energy intake, age, marital status, gender, physical activity, supplement use, house possession, education, family size, current smoking, night shift working, history of thyroid disease and depression, and intakes of vegetables, legumes, nuts, fruits, whole grains, and dairy, a significant direct association was found between the higher consumption of white meat (OR = 1.31; 95% CI: 1.06-1.61) and poultry (OR = 1.23; 95% CI: 1.04-1.45) with odds of general obesity. Processed meat was a significant predictor for central obesity in the fully adjusted model, so that individuals in the fourth quartile of processed meat intake, compared with those in the first quartile, had a 22% (OR = 1.22; 95% CI: 1.04-1.43) increased risk to be centrally obese.

Conclusion: This study reveals that higher intakes of white meat and poultry are associated with increased risk of general obesity, while, processed meat consumption was associated with central obesity.

Keywords: Body mass index, Waist circumference; Fish; Meat; Obesity; Poultry.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet
  • Iran
  • Meat
  • Obesity* / complications
  • Obesity, Abdominal*
  • Risk Factors
  • Vegetables