Dietary pattern transitions, and the associations with BMI, waist circumference, weight and hypertension in a 7-year follow-up among the older Chinese population: A longitudinal study

Xiaoyue Xu, Julie Byles, Zumin Shi, Patrick McElduff, John Hall

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38 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Few studies explored the effects of nutritional changes on body mass index (BMI), weight (Wt), waist circumference (WC) and hypertension, especially for the older Chinese population. Methods: By using China Health and Nutrition Survey 2004-2011 waves, a total of 6348 observations aged ≥ 60 were involved in the study. The number of participants dropped from 2197 in 2004, to 1763 in 2006, 1303 in 2009, and 1085 in 2011. Dietary information was obtained from participants using 24 hour-recall over three consecutive days. Height, Wt, WC, systolic and diastolic blood pressure were also measured in each survey year. The dietary pattern was derived by exploratory factor analysis using principal component analysis methods. Linear Mixed Models were used to investigate associations of dietary patterns with BMI, Wt and WC. Generalized Estimating Equation models were used to assess the associations between dietary patterns and hypertension. Results: Over time, older people's diets were shifting towards a modern dietary pattern (high intake of dairy, fruit, cakes and fast food). Traditional and modern dietary patterns had distinct associations with BMI, Wt and WC. Participants with a diet in the highest quartile for traditional composition had a β (difference in mean) of -0.23 (95 % CI: -0.44; -0.02) for BMI decrease, β of -0.90 (95 % CI: -1.42; -0.37) for Wt decrease; and β of -1.57 (95 % CI: -2.32; -0.83) for WC decrease. However, participants with a diet in the highest quartile for modern diet had a β of 0.29 (95 % CI: 0.12; 0.47) for BMI increase; β of 1.02 (95 % CI: 0.58; 1.46) for Wt increase; and β of 1.44 (95 % CI: 0.78; 2.10) for Wt increase. No significant associations were found between dietary patterns and hypertension. Conclusions: We elucidate the associations between dietary pattern and change in BMI, Wt, WC and hypertension in a 7-year follow-up study. The strong association between favourable body composition and traditional diet, compared with an increase in BMI, WC and Wt with modern diet suggests that there is an urgent need to develop age-specific dietary guideline for older Chinese people.

Original languageEnglish
Article number743
JournalBMC public health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 8 Aug 2016


  • Body mass index
  • Dietary pattern
  • Hypertension
  • Older people
  • Waist circumference

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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