Weight management

Snack choice and BMI matters most for body fat composition

Snack choice and BMI matters most for body fat composition

To date, the association between snacking and total adiposity or the pattern of fat deposition remains unevaluated. A new study investigated the associations between snacking type and frequency and detailed adiposity measurements in 10,092 adults, residing in Cambridgeshire, England.

Snacking effect differs according to BMI

Among normal-weight individuals (BMI<25 kg/m2), each additional snack was inversely associated with obesity measures: lower total body fat in men and women (−0·41% and −0·41%, respectively) and waist circumference (−0·52 cm) in men.

In contrast, among the overweight/obese (BMI≥25 kg/m2), each increment in snacking was positively associated with the risk in both genders:  women showed a higher waist circumference (0·80 cm) and subcutaneous fat (0·06 cm), whereas only a higher waist circumference (0·37 cm) was found for men.

Obese consumers consume less yogurt and nuts

Furthermore, the comparison of intakes of snack-type foods showed that participants, with a BMI ≥25 kg/m2, consume more crisps, sweets, chocolates and ice-creams, but eat less yogurt and nuts, in comparison with normal-weight participants. According to the authors, the differential association by BMI group may therefore be due to differences in the choice of snack. Improving snack choices could contribute to anti-obesity public health interventions.

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Reference: O’Connor et al. Br J Nutr. 2015 Oct 28; 114(8): 1286–1293.

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