Diet scores and prediction of general and abdominal obesity in the Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study.

Allison M. Hodge, Md Nazmul Karim, James R. Hébert, Nitin Shivappa, Roger L. Milne, Barbora De Courten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Objective To ascertain which of the Alternative Healthy Eating Index 2010 (AHEI), Dietary Inflammatory Index (DII®) and Mediterranean Diet Score (MDS) best predicted body mass index (BMI) and waist-to-hip circumference ratio (WHR). Design Body size was measured at baseline (1990-94) and in 2003-7. Diet was assessed at baseline using a food frequency questionnaire, along with age, sex, socioeconomic status, smoking, alcohol drinking, physical activity, and country of birth. Regression coefficients and 95% confidence intervals for the association of baseline dietary scores with follow-up BMI and WHR were generated using multivariable linear regression, adjusting for baseline body-size, confounders and energy intake. Setting Population-based cohort in Melbourne, Australia. Participants Included were data from 11,030 men and 16,774 women aged 40 to 69 years at baseline. Results Median (IQR) follow up was 11.6 (10.7 - 12.8) years. BMI and WHR at follow-up were associated with baseline DII® (Q5 vs Q1 (BMI 0.41 95%CI (0.21, 0.61) and WHR 0.009 95%CI (0.006, 0.013)), and AHEI (Q5 vs Q1 (BMI -0.51 95%CI (-0.68, -0.35) and WHR -0.011 95%CI (-0.013, -0.008)). WHR, but not BMI, at follow-up was associated with baseline MDS (Group 3 most Mediterranean vs G1 (BMI -0.05 95%CI (-0.23, 0.13) and WHR -0.004 95%CI (-0.007, -0.001)). Based on Akaike's Information Criterion and Bayesian Information Criterion statistics, AHEI was a stronger predictor of body size than the other diet scores. Conclusion Poor quality or pro-inflammatory diets predicted overall and central obesity. The AHEI may provide the best way to assess the obesogenic potential of diet.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6157-6168
Number of pages12
JournalPublic Health Nutrition
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • Diet score
  • food frequency questionnaire
  • Key words:
  • nutritional epidemiology
  • overall and central obesity
  • prospective

Cite this