Nutrient intake in relation to central and overall obesity status among elderly people living in the mediterranean islands: the medis study.
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BACKGROUND AND AIM:
The aim of the present work was to evaluate the relationship between energy-generating nutrients and the presence of central and overall obesity after correcting for socio-demographic, lifestyle and clinical characteristics, among healthy elders.
METHODS AND RESULTS:
During 2005-2007, 553 elderly men and 637 elderly women (mean age 74±7years) from eight Mediterranean islands in Greece and Cyprus, were enrolled. The retrieved information included demographic, bio-clinical and dietary characteristics. MedDietScore assessed adherence to the Mediterranean dietary pattern. The prevalence of obesity was 27% in males and 39% in females (p<0.001), while 73% of males and 87% of females had central obesity. The prevalence of diabetes, hypercholesterolemia and hypertension was higher in the obese than in the non-obese participants (p<0.01). After adjusting for various confounders, a 1% increase in carbohydrate consumption was associated with a 12% (95% CI 0.78-0.99) lower likelihood of having central obesity, while a 1% increase in carbohydrate and protein consumption was associated with a 14% (95% CI 0.78-0.95) and 16% (95% CI 0.72-0.97) lower likelihood of being obese, respectively. Vegetable protein was found to be associated with a 15% (95% CI 0.77-0.93) lower likelihood of being obese while, only low glycemic index carbohydrates seem to be associated with a 6% (95% CI 0.90-0.98) lower likelihood of having central obesity.
The presented findings suggest that a diet high in carbohydrates and vegetable protein is associated with a lower likelihood of being obese and may help elderly people to preserve normal weight.