Meat consumption is associated with obesity and central obesity among US adults

Y. Wang, M. A. Beydoun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

153 Scopus citations


Background:Meats are high in energy and fat content, and thus may be associated with higher risk of obesity. Many controversies remain regarding the association between meat consumption (MC) and obesity.Objectives:The aim of this study was to analyze the associations between MC and obesity assessed using body mass index (BMI≥30) and waist circumference (≥102 cm in men and ≥88 cm in women) among US adults.Methods:Nationally representative data collected in the 1999-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) were used. Linear and logistic regression analyses were conducted to test the associations between MC and adiposity measures controlling for potential confounders.Results:Considerable differences existed in MC across sociodemographic groups among US adults. Those who consumed more meat had a much higher daily total energy intake, for example, those in the upper vs bottom quintiles consumed around 700 more kcal day <1 (P<0.05). Regression models showed consistent positive associations between MC and BMI, waist circumference, obesity and central obesity, respectively. Using quintile 1 (low MC) as the reference, the association (odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI)) between total MC quintiles and obesity were 1.03 (0.88; 1.21; 2nd quintile), 1.17 (1.00; 1.38), 1.27 (1.08; 1.51) and 1.27 (1.08; 1.49;upper quintile), respectively; whereas that with central obesity was 1.13 (0.96-1.33), 1.31 (1.10; 1.54), 1.36 (1.17-1.60) and 1.33 (1.13; 1.55), respectively. Conclusions:These US national cross-sectional data show positive associations between MC and risk for obesity and central obesity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)621-628
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Obesity
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Body mass index
  • Central obesity
  • Dietary intake
  • Meat consumption
  • Waist circumference

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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