Changes in diet and physical activity affect the body mass index of Chinese adults

Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 1998 May;22(5):424-31. doi: 10.1038/sj.ijo.0800603.


Objective: To examine the relationship between diet, particularly dietary fat intake, and body mass index (BMI).

Design: Prospective study of adults who participated in the 1989 and 1991 China Health and Nutrition Survey.

Subjects: 3484 adults aged 20-45 at baseline (1989) survey.

Measurements: Measurement of dietary intake with replicated 24 h dietary recalls. Anthropometric measurements. Measurements of physical activity, smoking habit and socio-economic factors.

Results: Change in fat intake was positively associated with change in BMI in men (beta=0.00036, P=0.0001), and change in physical activity level was inversely associated with change in BMI in women (beta=-0.12, P=0.02). Energy intake, physical activity and major socio-economic factors were related to BMI in cross-sectional analysis.

Conclusions: Diet is becoming an increasingly important determinant of body weight in this population, where fat and energy consumption has been increasing steadily during the past decade.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index*
  • China
  • Diet Records
  • Diet*
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Proteins
  • Educational Status
  • Energy Intake
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Rural Population
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Smoking
  • Social Class
  • Urban Population


  • Dietary Fats
  • Dietary Proteins