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To examine the association between cardiorespiratory fitness and dietary patterns in adolescents.
Food choice was assessed using the validated New Zealand Adolescent FFQ. Principal components analysis was used to determine dietary patterns. Trained research assistants measured participants’ height and body mass. Cardiorespiratory fitness was assessed in a subset of participants using the multistage 20 m shuttle run. The level and stage were recorded, and the corresponding VO2max was calculated. Differences in mean VO2max according to sex and BMI were assessed using t tests, while associations between cardiorespiratory fitness and dietary patterns were examined using linear regression analyses adjusted for age, sex, school attended, socio-economic deprivation and BMI.
Secondary schools in Otago, New Zealand.
Students (n 279) aged 14–18 years who completed an online lifestyle survey during a class period.
Principal components analysis produced three dietary patterns: ‘Treat Foods’, ‘Fruits and Vegetables’ and ‘Basic Foods’. The 279 participants who provided questionnaire data and completed cardiorespiratory fitness testing had a mean age of 15·7 (sd 0·9) years. Mean VO2max was 45·8 (sd 6·9) ml/kg per min. The ‘Fruits and Vegetables’ pattern was positively associated with VO2max in the total sample (β=0·04; 95 %CI 0·02, 0·07), girls (β=0·06; 95 % CI 0·03, 0·10) and boys (β=0·03; 95 % CI 0·01, 0·05).
These results indicate that increase in cardiorespiratory fitness was associated with a healthier dietary pattern, suggesting both should be targeted as part of a global lifestyle approach. Longitudinal studies are needed to confirm this association in relation to health outcomes in New Zealand adolescents.
To examine the potential associations between diet quality and multiple measures of body composition in a sample of New Zealand adolescents aged 14–18 years.
Cross-sectional survey of eleven high schools in Otago, New Zealand. Each participant completed an online FFQ and a New Zealand Diet Quality Index for Adolescents (NZDQI-A) score was calculated based on variety and adequacy of intake for five major food groups. Besides height and waist circumference measurements, body composition was assessed using segmental bio-impedance analysis. Generalized estimating equations were used to examine associations between diet quality and body composition in models adjusted for sex, age, ethnicity and socio-economic status.
High schools in Otago, New Zealand.
High-school students (n 681, 56 % male, mean age 16·1 (sd 1·5) years) participating in the Otago School Students Lifestyle Survey Two.
Higher NZDQI-A scores were significantly associated with lower body fat percentage (β=−0·19; 95 % CI −0·35, −0·04; P=0·014), fat-to-lean mass ratio (β=−0·26; 95 % CI −0·46, −0·05; P=0·016) and lower fat mass index (β=−0·23; 95 % CI −0·45, −0·004; P=0·046) after multivariate adjustment. No association was found between NZDQI-A and BMI, waist circumference or waist-to-height ratio.
Diet quality, as measured by NZDQI-A, was associated only with measures of body fat, not measures of overall body size. Measures specific to body fat should be used for more accurate ascertainment of body composition in examining the diet–body composition associations in this age group.
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