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Lipids and cardiovascular/metabolic health

Colors of fruits and vegetables and 3-year changes of cardiometabolic risk factors in adults: Tehran lipid and glucose study



We aimed to investigate the associations of colors of fruit and vegetable (FV) subgroups, with 3-year changes of cardiometabolic risk factors.


This longitudinal study was conducted in the framework of Tehran Lipid and Glucose Study, between 2006–2008 and 2009–2011, on 1272 adults. Total intake of FV and their subgroups have been assessed by a validated semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire at baseline (2006–2008) and again at the second examination (2009–2011). Demographics, anthropometrics and biochemical measures were evaluated at baseline and 3 years later. The associations of anthropometric and lipid profile changes with FV subgroups were estimated.


The mean age of men and women at baseline was 39.8±12.7 and 37.3±12.1 years, respectively. Mean total intake of FV, red/purple, yellow, green, orange and white FV was 706±337, 185±95, 141±91, 152±77, 141±87 and 22±18 g/day, respectively. In men, 3-year changes of weight (β=−0.13, P=0.01) and waist circumference (β=−0.14, P=0.01) were related to intake of red/purple FV; the yellow group was inversely associated with 3-year changes of total cholesterol (β=−0.09, P=0.03) and High-density lipoprotein cholesterol (β=−0.11, P=0.03). Consumption of green and white FV was inversely related to abdominal fat gain, and atherogenic lipid parameters in men (P<0.05). In women, higher intake of red/purple FV was associated to lower weight and abdominal fat gain, fasting serum glucose and total cholesterol (P<0.05); yellow FV was also related to 3-year weight gain (β=−0.11, P=0.01).


Various colors of FV subgroups had different effects on cardiometabolic risk factors; higher intake of red/purple FV may be related to lower weight and abdominal fat gain, and yellow, green and white FV may be related to lipid parameters.

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We thank the TLGS participants and the field investigators of the TLGS for their assistance in physical examinations, biochemical and nutritional evaluation and database management. We acknowledge Ms. Niloofar Shiva for critical editing of English grammar and style of the manuscript. This study was supported by grant 121 from National Research Council of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Research Institute for Endocrine Sciences of Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences.

Author Contributions

The project was designed and implemented by ZB and PM. Data were analyzed and interpreted by ZB and SB. ZB, NM and PM prepared the manuscript. PM and FA supervised overall project. All authors read and approved the final version of manuscript.

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Correspondence to F Azizi.

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Mirmiran, P., Bahadoran, Z., Moslehi, N. et al. Colors of fruits and vegetables and 3-year changes of cardiometabolic risk factors in adults: Tehran lipid and glucose study. Eur J Clin Nutr 69, 1215–1219 (2015).

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