Obesity Associated with Poor Nutrient Intake

The Physicians Committee

Obesity Associated with Poor Nutrient Intake

January 16, 2015

People who are obese consume fewer essential nutrients, according to a study published online in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition. Researchers compared diet records of 18,177 participants from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) Study. Although results showed most Americans consume inadequate amounts of various nutrients, those who are the heaviest, classified as obese, experienced up to 12 percent lower intake of vitamins A, C, D, and E and calcium and magnesium, compared with those who are categorized as normal weight. This study highlights the importance of incorporating nutrient-dense foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, and grains into the diet for optimal weight and nutrition.

Other studies have shown that people who consume animal products tend to be heavier, while those who avoid animal products consume more fiber, magnesium, potassium, vitamins C and E, folate carotenoids, and other phytochemicals.

Agarwal S, Reider C, Brooks JR, Fulgoni VL. Comparison of prevalence of inadequate nutrient intake based on body weight status of adults in the United States: an analysis of NHANES 2001–2008. J Am Coll Nutr. Published online on January 7, 2015.

Tonstad S, Butler T, Yan R, Fraser GE. Type of vegetarian diet, body weight and prevalence of type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2009;32:791-796.

Craig WJ, Mangels AR. Position of the American Dietetic Association: vegetarian diets. J Am Diet Assoc. 2009;109:1266-1282.

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