Associations between changes in fruit and vegetable consumption and weight change in Japanese adults

Abstract

Background

Fruits and vegetables may induce greater satiety, reduce hunger, decrease energy intake, and modulate energy metabolism, thereby playing a role in weight loss.

Objective

To determine the associations between changes in fruit and vegetable consumption and weight change over a 5-year interval in Japanese adults.

Methods

This cohort study included 54,015 subjects (54.6% female, mean age 56.5 years) of the Japan Public Health Center-based Prospective Cohort Study who had no known history of major chronic diseases at baseline. Data on fruit and vegetable consumption were collected using a validated food frequency questionnaire. Body weight was self-reported. We used multivariable linear mixed-effects regression models to examine the associations between changes in fruit and vegetable consumption and change in body weight.

Results

On average, body weight decreased by 25 g [95% confidence interval (CI), 3, 47] for every 100 g/d increase in total vegetable consumption. Change in fruit consumption was nonlinearly associated with weight change. Fruit consumption was directly associated with weight change among subjects who increased consumption (70 g; 95% CI, 39, 101) but was not associated with weight change among subjects who reduced or did not change fruit consumption. These associations did not vary by sex, age, and body mass index (BMI) at baseline. The association with vegetables was restricted to yellow/red vegetables (− 74 g; 95% CI, − 129, − 18) and allium vegetables (− 129 g; 95% CI, − 231, − 28). Lower-fiber vegetables were inversely associated with weight change, whereas lower-fiber fruits or higher-energy fruits were directly associated with weight change beyond 0 g/d change in consumption.

Conclusions

Change in vegetable consumption was inversely associated with weight change while fruit consumption was positively associated with weight change among subjects who increased consumption. The influence of fruits and vegetables on weight change may depend on the characteristics of the fruits and vegetables.

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Acknowledgements

This study was supported by the National Cancer Center Research and Development Fund (23-A-31[toku], 26-A-2 and 29-A-4, since 2011), a Grant-in-Aid for Cancer Research from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan (19shi-2, from 1989 to 2010), and Grant-in-Aid from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF-CPS-2016-1-1). Members of Japan Public Health Center-based Prospective Study (JPHC Study) are listed at the following site (as of April 2017): https://epi.ncc.go.jp/en/jphc/781/7951.html.

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CW, NS, and ST designed the research; ST conducted the research; CW performed the statistical analysis and wrote the manuscript; and all authors interpreted the data, provided critical input, and read and approved the final manuscript. NS had primary responsibility for the final content.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Norie Sawada.

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None of the authors has a conflict of interest to declare.

Ethical standards

This study was approved by the Institutional Review Board of the National Cancer Center of Japan and was conducted in accordance with the ethical standards laid down in the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendment. All participants gave their informed consent prior to their inclusion in the study.

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Wilunda, C., Sawada, N., Goto, A. et al. Associations between changes in fruit and vegetable consumption and weight change in Japanese adults. Eur J Nutr 60, 217–227 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00394-020-02236-x

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Keywords

  • Obesity
  • Weight
  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Japanese