Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Meat consumption is associated with obesity and central obesity among US adults

Abstract

Background:

Meats are high in energy and fat content, and thus may be associated with higher risk of obesity. Many controversies remain regarding the association between meat consumption (MC) and obesity.

Objectives:

The aim of this study was to analyze the associations between MC and obesity assessed using body mass index (BMI30) and waist circumference (102 cm in men and 88 cm in women) among US adults.

Methods:

Nationally representative data collected in the 1999–2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) were used. Linear and logistic regression analyses were conducted to test the associations between MC and adiposity measures controlling for potential confounders.

Results:

Considerable differences existed in MC across sociodemographic groups among US adults. Those who consumed more meat had a much higher daily total energy intake, for example, those in the upper vs bottom quintiles consumed around 700 more kcal day−1 (P<0.05). Regression models showed consistent positive associations between MC and BMI, waist circumference, obesity and central obesity, respectively. Using quintile 1 (low MC) as the reference, the association (odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI)) between total MC quintiles and obesity were 1.03 (0.88; 1.21; 2nd quintile), 1.17 (1.00; 1.38), 1.27 (1.08; 1.51) and 1.27 (1.08; 1.49;upper quintile), respectively; whereas that with central obesity was 1.13 (0.96–1.33), 1.31 (1.10; 1.54), 1.36 (1.17–1.60) and 1.33 (1.13; 1.55), respectively.

Conclusions:

These US national cross-sectional data show positive associations between MC and risk for obesity and central obesity.

This is a preview of subscription content

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

$32.00

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. World Health Organization. Obesity: Preventing and managing the global epidemic. Technical Report Series. World Health Organization: Geneva, Switzerland, 2000; 894: 1–253.

  2. Wang Y, Lobstein T . Worldwide trends in childhood obesity. Int J Pediatr Obes 2006; 1: 11–25.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Beydoun MA, Wang Y . How do socio-economic status, perceived economic barriers and nutritional benefits affect quality of dietary intake among US adults? Eur J Clin Nutr 2008; 62: 303–313.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Ogden CL, Carroll MD, Curtin LR, McDowell MA, Tabak CJ, Flegal KM . Prevalence of overweight and obesity in the United States, 1999–2004. JAMA 2006; 295: 1549–1555.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Togo P, Osler M, Sorensen TI, Heitmann BL . Food intake patterns and body mass index in observational studies. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 2001; 25: 1741–1751.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Nicklas TA, Farris RP, Myers L, Berenson GS . Impact of meat consumption on nutritional quality and cardiovascular risk factors in young adults: the Bogalusa Heart Study. J Am Diet Assoc 1995; 95: 887–892.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Vang A, Singh PN, Lee JW, Haddad EH, Brinegar CH . Meats, processed meats, obesity, weight gain and occurrence of diabetes among adults: findings from Adventist Health Studies. Ann Nutr Metab 2008; 52: 96–104.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Fung TT, Schulze M, Manson JE, Willett WC, Hu FB . Dietary patterns, meat intake, and the risk of type 2 diabetes in women. Arch Intern Med 2004; 164: 2235–2240.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Foster GD, Wyatt HR, Hill JO, McGuckin BG, Brill C, Mohammed BS et al. A randomized trial of a low-carbohydrate diet for obesity. N Engl J Med 2003; 348: 2082–2090.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Leitzmann C . Vegetarian diets: what are the advantages? Forum Nutr 2005; 147–156.

  11. Sabate J . The contribution of vegetarian diets to human health. Forum Nutr 2003; 56: 218–220.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  12. Atkins RC Atkins for Life: The Complete Controlled Carb Program for Permanent Weight Loss and Good Health. New York, NY: St Martins Press, 2004.

    Google Scholar 

  13. Gardner CD, Kiazand A, Alhassan S, Kim S, Stafford RS, Balise RR et al. Comparison of the Atkins, Zone, Ornish, and LEARN diets for change in weight and related risk factors among overweight premenopausal women: the A to Z Weight Loss Study: a randomized trial. JAMA 2007; 297: 969–977.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Astrup A, Meinert Larsen T, Harper A . Atkins and other low-carbohydrate diets: hoax or an effective tool for weight loss? Lancet 2004; 364: 897–899.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Dansinger ML, Gleason JA, Griffith JL, Selker HP, Schaefer EJ . Comparison of the atkins, ornish, weight watchers, and zone diets for weight loss and heart disease risk reduction: a randomized trial. JAMA 2005; 293: 43–53.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Centers for disease control and prevention. NHANES: Data Sets and Related Documentation http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/about/major/nhanes/datalink.htm 2006.

  17. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III 1988–1994) Reference Manuals and Reports (CD-ROM). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Bethesda, MD, 1996.

  18. National Institute of Health (NIH). National Heart L, and Blood Institute's (NHLBI), North American Association for the Study of Obesity (NAASO), The practical guide: Identification, Evaluation, and Treatment of Overweight and Obesity in Adults. NIH Publication No. 00-4084, 2000. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/guidelines/obesity/prctgd_c.pdf (assessed 29 February 2009).

  19. US Department of Agriculture ARS FSRG. WWEIA/NHANES 2003–04 and FNDDS 2.0 -list of nutrients/food components (unit). http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/tutorials/Dietary/SurveyOrientation/ResourceDietaryAnalysis/frame1.htm.

  20. Forshee RA, Storey ML . Demographics, not beverage consumption, is associated with diet quality. Int J Food Sci Nutr 2006; 57: 494–511.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Agriculture Research Service. MyPyramid Equivalents Database for USDA Survey Food Codes Version 1.0 http://www.ars.usda.gov/Services/docs.htm?docid=8503. Accessed on July 2007. USDA 2007.

  22. Williams DR, Collins C . US socioeconomic and racial differences in health: patterns and explanations. Ann Rev Sociol 1995; 21: 349–386.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. STATA. Statistics/Data Analysis: Release 9. 9.0. Stata Corporation: Texas, 2005.

  24. Wang Y, Rimm EB, Stampfer MJ, Willett WC, Hu FB . Comparison of abdominal adiposity and overall obesity in predicting risk of type 2 diabetes among men. Am J Clin Nutr 2005; 81: 555–563.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  25. Willet WC . Nutritional epidemiology 2nd edn. Oxford University Press: New York, 1998.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  26. Wacholder S . When measurement errors correlate with truth: surprising effects of nondifferential misclassification. Epidemiology 1995; 6: 157–161.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  27. Thiebaut AC, Kipnis V, Schatzkin A, Freedman LS . The role of dietary measurement error in investigating the hypothesized link between dietary fat intake and breast cancer–a story with twists and turns. Cancer Invest 2008; 26: 68–73.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

The study was supported in part by the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, the US Department of Agriculture (2044–05322), the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK/NIH, R01 DK63383), and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD/NIH, R03HD056073).

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Y Wang.

Appendix A

Appendix A

Table A1

Table a1 Associationa between meat consumption (100 g/day) and total energy intake (kcal/day)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Wang, Y., Beydoun, M. Meat consumption is associated with obesity and central obesity among US adults. Int J Obes 33, 621–628 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1038/ijo.2009.45

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/ijo.2009.45

Keywords

  • dietary intake
  • meat consumption
  • central obesity
  • body mass index
  • waist circumference
  • NHANES

Further reading

Search

Quick links