Prospective associations between a dietary index based on the British Food Standard Agency nutrient profiling system and 13-year weight gain in the SU.VI.MAX cohort.Prev Med. 2015 Dec; 81:189-94.PM
The scoring of the nutritional quality of individual foods using nutrient profiling systems (NPS) has been suggested as a basis for public health preventive measures. Used for front-of-package labeling, such scoring would help consumers in making healthier food choices. An individual dietary score based on the Food Standards Agency NPS has been developed (FSA-NPS-DI), but its long term association with weight gain has not been investigated. Our objectives were to investigate long-term associations between the FSA-NPS DI and weight gain and overweight/obesity onset in a middle-aged French population.
Subjects included in the French SU.VI.MAX cohort with at least three dietary records at baseline and available anthropometric measurements at baseline and at a 13-year follow-up examination were included in the study. FSA-NPS DI at baseline was computed for each subject. Association between FSA-NPS DI and weight and BMI gain were investigated with ANCOVA and associations with overweight/obesity onset with logistic regression models.
Higher baseline FSA-NPS DI (reflecting a poorer diet) was associated with higher weight and BMI gain (beta Q4 versus Q1=0.70; (95%CI 0.01; 1.38), P for trend=0.04). A 16% higher risk of obesity for a 1 point increase of FSA-NPS DI was observed only in men.
Our results suggest that a shift in nutritional quality of the foods and beverages within an individual's diet, as expressed by the FSA-NPS DI would be associated with lower weight gain in the long term. Using the FSA-NPS as a basis for food labeling might therefore contribute to tackle obesity.