Article in Journal

Dietary Diversity and Its Association with Diet Quality and Health Status of European Children, Adolescents, and Adults: Results from the I.Family Study

Dello Russo, M., Formisano, A., Lauria, F., Ahrens, Bogl, W., L. H., Eiben, G., De Henauw, S., Hebestreit, A., Intemann, T., Hunsberger, M., Lissner, L., Molnar, D., Pala, V., Papoutsou, S., Santaliestra-Pasias, A. M., Veidebaum, T., Wolters, M., Siani, A

Foods 2023, 12, 4458.


December 12, 2023

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Dietary diversity (DD) plays a crucial role in fostering high-quality diets, but its association with health outcomes, particularly body adiposity and non-communicable diseases (NCDs), is inconsistent. This may be due to a lack of a standardized method for estimating DD. Our study investigates the association between two DD indices, namely the dietary diversity score (DDS) and food variety score (FVS), and anthropometric measures, biochemical parameters, and diet quality in a large population sample from the I.Family study across research centers in eight European countries. In our cross-sectional analysis of 3035 participants, DDSs varied among countries, with a higher prevalence in the third DDS tertile among those with higher education. DDS showed a positive association with diet quality across all age groups. Higher DDS tertile individuals showed increased fiber, fruit, and vegetable intake, greater meal frequency, and lower ultra-processed food consumption. No relevant biochemical differences were observed across DDS tertiles, and a higher DDS was associated with lower overweight/obesity prevalence only in adults. No significant associations were found with FVS. Our findings emphasize the need to consider food groups for a more accurate estimation of diet quality. This aligns with studies suggesting DDS alone is not an independent risk factor for obesity in children and adolescents. Public health programs should prioritize food diversity to promote improved nutrition and overall well-being in communities.

This research output is related to

Spoke 05

Lifelong nutrition

A healthy diet for all

Lead organisationUniNa

Spoke leaderAnnamaria Colao
Research projectONMED

An approach to innovative and sustainable mediterranean diet model

Managed by

Principal investigators

Fabio Lauria,Gian Luigi Russo

Referred to

Spoke 05