Scientists from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention found that a healthy diet may prevent excessive belly fat in women.
Excess body fat has serious consequences for health.
It’s associated with high levels of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and triglycerides and low levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol.
It can harm the body’s responsiveness to insulin, raising blood sugar and insulin levels.
Excess body fat contributes to many causes of death and disability, including heart attacks, strokes, high blood pressure, cancer, diabetes, osteoarthritis, fatty liver, and depression.
How diet impacts the risk of overweight and abdominal obesity (excessive belly fat) among Chinese older people is unclear.
In the current study, researchers aimed to examine the association of overall diet quality with general overweight and excessive belly fat in the Chinese elderly.
They used data from the China Health and Nutrition Survey (CHNS) from 1993 to 2015, an ongoing cohort study, and selected people aged 60 and older who were not generally overweight, but who had excessive belly fat.
The team found that the older women with the highest diet quality scores had a 38% reduction in the risk of excessive belly fat, as compared to those with the lowest diet quality scores.
The association was not observed in the older men.
The team did not see a link between diet quality scores and the risk of overweight/general obesity in the Chinese elderly.
Based on the findings, the researchers conclude that high diet quality was linked to a reduced risk of excessive belly fat among elderly women in China.
The findings will help to improve the understanding of the link between the overall effect of diet and health.
It may provide new information for obesity intervention policy formulation from the aspect of improving overall dietary quality.
The research was published in Nutrients and conducted by Lixin Hao et al.
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