Background/Aim: Analysing dietary patterns provides an alternative measure to investigate dietary habits related to excess adiposity. The aim of this study is to investigate dietary intakes and patterns of New Zealand European (NZE) women with different body composition profiles, participating in the women’s EXPLORE (Examining the Predictors Linking Obesity Related Elements) study.
Methods: Post-menarche, pre-menopausal NZE women (16-45 years) (n=231) completed a validated 220-item, self-administrated, semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) assessing dietary intake over the previous month. Quetelet’s BMI was calculated (kg/m2) from height and weight measurements; body fat percentage (BF%) was measured using air displacement plethysmography (BodPod). Dietary patterns were identified using principal component factor analysis. Associations between dietary patterns, age, BMI and BF% were investigated.
Results: Four dietary patterns were identified: P1: high fat and sugar; P2: meat and energy-dense; P3: fruit and vegetable; P4: meat alternatives, which explained 6.9, 6.8, 5.6 and 4.8% of variation in food intake, respectively. Mean±SD age (30.0±8.3 years) (P=0.048) and BMI (26.4±26.7) (P=0.036) were significantly associated with women loading highest (tertile 3) in P2. No significant associations were found with BF%. All patterns met the estimated average requirements for all nutrients. Mean±SD percentage of energy intake for carbohydrate (41.9%±7) was below and for saturated fat (13.9%±3.5) above the acceptable macronutrient distribution range.
Conclusion:Dietary patterns in NZE women may not explain all the differences seen between individual body compositions. Other factors such as macronutrient distribution and portion size may play a role.
Funding source: Nutricia Research Foundation.