Body mass index, central obesity, and dietary patterns in a group of young adult men

Polikandrioti, M. and Kotronoulas, G. and Liveri, D. and Giovaso, S. and Varelis, G. and Kyritsi, E. (2009) Body mass index, central obesity, and dietary patterns in a group of young adult men. Health Science Journal, 3 (1). pp. 54-63. ISSN 1108-7366 (

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Over the last decades, obesity has been increased in alarming rates not only in our country but also worldwide, tending to become one of the major health problems in the western world. Purpose: The purpose of the present study was to explore the relationship between dietary patterns and body mass index, as well as central obesity in young adult men. Method and Material: Study sample consisted of 1,000 army recruits and data was collected during their first referral for medical examination post recruitment. Collection of data was performed by means of a specifically designed questionnaire, which recruits were asked to complete themselves. Basic anthropometric measures were calculated and recorded by the examining physicians. Analysis of data was performed using the SPSS 15 statistical package and one-way ANOVA and t-tests were applied for the statistical process. Results: Regarding age, 13.8% of participants were 19-21 years old; 50.8% were 22-24 years old, and 30.7% were 25-27 years old, while 4.7% of participants were 28-30 years old. Regarding educational background, a 4.7% had received only basic education; 31.6% had received high-school education; and 63.7% had attended some college or university. 54.8% of participants considered their weight being "normal"; 5.1% considered weight being slightly or excessively above normal rates; and 40.3% reported that their weight was below normal rates. However, measurement results showed that only 58.7% of recruits were actually of normal body weight; 37.2% were overweight; and 4.1% were obese. Regarding central obesity, 50.3% of responders were classified as belonging to "low risk" group, with a 48.6% belonging to "moderate risk" group, and another 1.1% to "high risk" group. Statistic analysis of data revealed that the specific pattern of nourishment is associated to body mass index and to central obesity. More in advance, it was found that persons possessing optimal body weight were consuming significantly more frequently poultry, fish, or roast beef, p=0,022, as well as less bread, p=0,036 compared to the overweight participants. In addition, persons possessing optimal body weight were found to consume more frequently refreshers, sports drinks or soft drinks, p=<0,001, as well as snacks and desserts, p=<0,001 compared to both overweight and obese persons. Interestingly, persons with normal body weight reported consuming significantly more frequently fast-food meals, eggs, and sandwiches in their lunch-time, p=0,007 and p=0,040, respectively. Relatively to central obesity, recruits in "moderate risk" consumed significantly more frequently fast-food meals, p=0,005, more bread, p=0,035 and less fruit, p=0,030 than those in "low risk" for central obesity. Conclusions: Results of the present study suggest that the pattern of nourishment is not directly correlated to body mass index, but rather to central obesity.