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Meal Frequency but Not Snack Frequency Is Associated with Micronutrient Intakes and Overall Diet Quality in Australian Men and Women.
J Nutr. 2016 Oct; 146(10):2027-2034.JN

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Skipping breakfast is associated with poorer diet quality among adults, but evidence of associations for other eating patterns [e.g., eating occasion (EO), meal, or snack frequency] is equivocal. An understanding of how eating patterns are associated with diet quality is needed to inform population-level dietary recommendations.

OBJECTIVE

We aimed in this cross-sectional study to determine the relation between frequency of meals, snacks, and all EOs with nutrient intakes and diet quality in a representative sample of Australian adults.

METHODS

Dietary data for 5242 adults aged ≥19 y collected via two 24-h recalls during the 2011-2012 National Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey were analyzed. EO, meal, and snack frequency was calculated. Adherence to recommendations for healthy eating was assessed with the use of the 2013 Dietary Guidelines Index (DGI) and its subcomponents. Linear regression, adjusted for covariates and energy misreporting, was used to examine associations between eating patterns, energy-adjusted nutrient intakes, and the DGI-2013.

RESULTS

The frequency of meals, but not of snacks, was positively associated with micronutrient intakes, overall diet quality [men: β = 5.6 (95% CI: 3.9, 7.3); women: β = 4.1 (95% CI: 2.2, 5.9); P < 0.001], and DGI-2013 component scores for cereals, lean meat and alternatives, and alcohol intake (P < 0.05). A higher frequency of all EOs, meals, and snacks was positively associated with DGI-2013 scores for food variety, fruits, and dairy foods (P < 0.05). Conversely, a higher snack frequency was associated with a lower compliance with guidelines for discretionary foods and added sugars among men (P < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS

These findings suggest that meal frequency is an important determinant of nutrient intakes and diet quality in Australian adults. Inconsistent associations for snack frequency suggest that the quality of snack choices is variable. More research examining the dietary profiles of eating patterns and their relations with diet quality is needed to inform the development of meal-based guidelines and messages that encourage healthy eating.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition, School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University, Geelong, Australia rleec@deakin.edu.au.Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition, School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University, Geelong, Australia.Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition, School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University, Geelong, Australia.Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition, School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University, Geelong, Australia.Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition, School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University, Geelong, Australia.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

27581583

Citation

Leech, Rebecca M., et al. "Meal Frequency but Not Snack Frequency Is Associated With Micronutrient Intakes and Overall Diet Quality in Australian Men and Women." The Journal of Nutrition, vol. 146, no. 10, 2016, pp. 2027-2034.
Leech RM, Livingstone KM, Worsley A, et al. Meal Frequency but Not Snack Frequency Is Associated with Micronutrient Intakes and Overall Diet Quality in Australian Men and Women. J Nutr. 2016;146(10):2027-2034.
Leech, R. M., Livingstone, K. M., Worsley, A., Timperio, A., & McNaughton, S. A. (2016). Meal Frequency but Not Snack Frequency Is Associated with Micronutrient Intakes and Overall Diet Quality in Australian Men and Women. The Journal of Nutrition, 146(10), 2027-2034.
Leech RM, et al. Meal Frequency but Not Snack Frequency Is Associated With Micronutrient Intakes and Overall Diet Quality in Australian Men and Women. J Nutr. 2016;146(10):2027-2034. PubMed PMID: 27581583.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Meal Frequency but Not Snack Frequency Is Associated with Micronutrient Intakes and Overall Diet Quality in Australian Men and Women. AU - Leech,Rebecca M, AU - Livingstone,Katherine M, AU - Worsley,Anthony, AU - Timperio,Anna, AU - McNaughton,Sarah A, Y1 - 2016/08/31/ PY - 2016/04/06/received PY - 2016/07/22/accepted PY - 2016/9/2/pubmed PY - 2017/6/2/medline PY - 2016/9/2/entrez KW - diet quality KW - eating occasion frequency KW - eating patterns KW - meals KW - nutrients KW - snacks SP - 2027 EP - 2034 JF - The Journal of nutrition JO - J. Nutr. VL - 146 IS - 10 N2 - BACKGROUND: Skipping breakfast is associated with poorer diet quality among adults, but evidence of associations for other eating patterns [e.g., eating occasion (EO), meal, or snack frequency] is equivocal. An understanding of how eating patterns are associated with diet quality is needed to inform population-level dietary recommendations. OBJECTIVE: We aimed in this cross-sectional study to determine the relation between frequency of meals, snacks, and all EOs with nutrient intakes and diet quality in a representative sample of Australian adults. METHODS: Dietary data for 5242 adults aged ≥19 y collected via two 24-h recalls during the 2011-2012 National Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey were analyzed. EO, meal, and snack frequency was calculated. Adherence to recommendations for healthy eating was assessed with the use of the 2013 Dietary Guidelines Index (DGI) and its subcomponents. Linear regression, adjusted for covariates and energy misreporting, was used to examine associations between eating patterns, energy-adjusted nutrient intakes, and the DGI-2013. RESULTS: The frequency of meals, but not of snacks, was positively associated with micronutrient intakes, overall diet quality [men: β = 5.6 (95% CI: 3.9, 7.3); women: β = 4.1 (95% CI: 2.2, 5.9); P < 0.001], and DGI-2013 component scores for cereals, lean meat and alternatives, and alcohol intake (P < 0.05). A higher frequency of all EOs, meals, and snacks was positively associated with DGI-2013 scores for food variety, fruits, and dairy foods (P < 0.05). Conversely, a higher snack frequency was associated with a lower compliance with guidelines for discretionary foods and added sugars among men (P < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that meal frequency is an important determinant of nutrient intakes and diet quality in Australian adults. Inconsistent associations for snack frequency suggest that the quality of snack choices is variable. More research examining the dietary profiles of eating patterns and their relations with diet quality is needed to inform the development of meal-based guidelines and messages that encourage healthy eating. SN - 1541-6100 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/27581583/Meal_Frequency_but_Not_Snack_Frequency_Is_Associated_with_Micronutrient_Intakes_and_Overall_Diet_Quality_in_Australian_Men_and_Women_ L2 - https://academic.oup.com/jn/article-lookup/doi/10.3945/jn.116.234070 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -