Dietary patterns, which represent a broader picture of food and nutrient consumption, have gained increasing interest over the last decades. In a cohort design, we followed 27 544 women aged 29–49 years from baseline in 1991–1992. We collected data from an FFQ at baseline and body weight (BW) and waist circumference (WC) data both at baseline and at follow-up in 2003. We calculated the Mediterranean diet score (MDS, ranging from 0 to 9) and the Nordic diet score (NDS, ranging from 0 to 6). We used linear regression to examine the association between MDS and NDS (exposures) with subsequent BW change (ΔBW) and WC change (ΔWC) (outcomes) both continuously and categorically. Higher adherence to the MDS or NDS was not associated with ΔBW. The multivariable population average increment in BW was 0·03 kg (95 % CI −0·03, 0·09) per 1-point increase in MDS and 0·04 kg (95 % CI −0·02, 0·10) per 1-point increase in NDS. In addition, higher adherence to the MDS was not associated with ΔWC, with the multivariable population average increment per 1-point increase in MDS being 0·05 cm (95 % CI −0·03, 0·13). Higher adherence to the NDS was not significantly associated with gain in WC when adjusted for concurrent ΔBW. In conclusion, a higher adherence to the MDS or NDS was not associated with changes in average BW or WC in the present cohort followed for 12 years.