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A Provegetarian Food Pattern Emphasizing Preference for Healthy Plant-Derived Foods Reduces the Risk of Overweight/Obesity in the SUN Cohort

1
Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, School of Medicine, University of Navarra, 31008 Pamplona, Spain
2
Biomedical Research Centre Network of Physiopathology of Obesity and Nutrition (CIBERobn), Institute of Health Carlos III, 28029 Madrid, Spain
3
Navarra Institute for Health Research (IdiSNA), 31008 Pamplona, Spain
4
Department of Nutrition, Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02115, USA
5
Department of Nutrition, Food Sciences and Physiology, School of Pharmacy and Nutrition, University of Navarra, 31008 Pamplona, Spain
6
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, School of Pharmacy and Nutrition, University of Navarra, 31008 Pamplona, Spain
7
Food Design and Consumer Behavior Section, Department of Food Science, University of Copenhagen, Rolighedsvej 26, 1958 Frederiksberg C, Denmark
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2019, 11(7), 1553; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11071553
Received: 21 May 2019 / Revised: 24 June 2019 / Accepted: 5 July 2019 / Published: 9 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Choice and Nutrition)
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Abstract

Provegetarian diets (i.e., preference for plant-derived foods but not exclusion of animal foods) have been associated with a reduced risk of long-term weight gain and could be more easily embraced than strict vegetarian diets. However, not all plant-derived foods are equally healthy. In the “Seguimiento Universidad de Navarra” (SUN) cohort, we prospectively evaluated the association between different provegetarian food patterns and the incidence of overweight/obesity in 11,554 participants with initial body mass index <25 kg/m2. A provegetarian food pattern (FP) was built by assigning positive scores to plant foods and reverse scores to animal foods. A healthful and an unhealthful provegetarian FP, which distinguished between healthy (fruits/vegetables/whole grains/nuts/legumes/olive oil/coffee) and less-healthy plant foods (fruit juices/potatoes/refined grains/pastries/sugary beverages), were also built. A total of 2320 new cases of overweight or obesity were identified after a median follow-up of 10.3 years. Higher baseline conformity with the overall provegetarian FP was inversely associated with overweight/obesity (HR comparing extreme quintiles: 0.85; 95% CI: 0.75 to 0.96; p-trend: 0.014). This association was stronger for the healthful FP (HR: 0.78; 95% CI: 0.67 to 0.90; p-trend: <0.001) and was not apparent for the unhealthful FP (HR: 1.07; 95% CI: 0.92 to 1.23; p-trend: 0.551). In a large prospective cohort of relatively young adults, better conformity with a healthy provegetarian diet was associated with a reduced long-term risk of overweight/obesity, whereas no consistent trend was found for a FP that emphasized less-healthy plant foods. View Full-Text
Keywords: overweight; obesity; dietary patterns; vegetarian; provegetarian; epidemiology; nutrition; prospective cohort study overweight; obesity; dietary patterns; vegetarian; provegetarian; epidemiology; nutrition; prospective cohort study
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Gómez-Donoso, C.; Martínez-González, M.Á.; Martínez, J.A.; Gea, A.; Sanz-Serrano, J.; Perez-Cueto, F.J.A.; Bes-Rastrollo, M. A Provegetarian Food Pattern Emphasizing Preference for Healthy Plant-Derived Foods Reduces the Risk of Overweight/Obesity in the SUN Cohort. Nutrients 2019, 11, 1553.

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