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Eating frequency and body fatness in middle-aged men


OBJECTIVE: The relationship between eating frequency and body fatness was tested in a population sample.

DESIGN: A cross-sectional survey on cardiovascular risk factors and a nutritional survey were carried out from June 1996 to April 1997.

SUBJECTS: Population sample of 330 free-living middle-aged men (45–64 y).

MEASUREMENTS: Body mass index (BMI), waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) and nutritional survey (3-day record).

RESULTS: In the whole sample, BMI and WHR decreased significantly (P<0.05) along with the increase of the number of eating occasions. When low energy records were excluded, the trend for BMI and WHR according to eating categories remained significant. For WHR, averages were 0.98, 0.95, 0.94 and 0.93 for 1–2, 3, 4 or 5 or more feedings a day, respectively. For BMI, mean values were 28.1, 26.2, 26.2 and 24.5 kg/m2, respectively. After adjustment for confounders (total energy intake or macronutrients, age, educational level, smoking habits, physical activity and restrained diet), the linear trend for BMI and WHR throughout feeding categories was significant when the whole sample was considered. This relationship remained similar when low energy records or when dieters were excluded.

CONCLUSION: These results suggest that for an isoenergetic intake the increase of eating frequency is associated with lower body fatness.

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Ruidavets, J., Bongard, V., Bataille, V. et al. Eating frequency and body fatness in middle-aged men. Int J Obes 26, 1476–1483 (2002).

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  • eating frequency
  • body fatness
  • body mass index
  • waist-to-hip ratio
  • men

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