Dietary factors in relation to weight change among men and women from two southeastern New England communities

Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 1997 Feb;21(2):103-9. doi: 10.1038/sj.ijo.0800373.


Objective: Dietary factors, independent of total energy, may be important in promoting obesity. We examined prospectively the relationship between baseline diet composition and weight gain among adult men and women from southeastern New England.

Design: The prospective association of nutrient consumption and weight change was examined in a randomly selected cohort examined four years apart.

Subjects: Adults aged 18 through 64 years from two communities in Southeastern New England were randomly selected for the study after being interviewed in their homes. The present investigation is based on a subgroup of 465 individuals who completed a food-frequency questionnaire in 1986 or 1987 and were reinterviewed four years later.

Statistical analyses: Multiple regression analyses were used to determine the association of weight change with different nutrients and food groups after adjusting for age, smoking status, baseline body mass index, physical activity level, and total energy.

Results: Total energy was positively associated with weight gain and age was inversely associated with weight gain. None of the nutrients or food groups were significantly related to weight gain.

Conclusions: These findings indicate that weight gain increased with increasing baseline total energy intake, particularly in the young. Future research is required to determine ways of decreasing energy intake in younger individuals.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight / physiology*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet*
  • Dietary Sucrose / administration & dosage
  • Energy Intake
  • Energy Metabolism*
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Obesity / etiology*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Regression Analysis
  • Rhode Island / epidemiology
  • Saccharin / administration & dosage
  • Sweetening Agents / administration & dosage


  • Dietary Sucrose
  • Sweetening Agents
  • Saccharin