UAB: Longitudinal Analysis of Nut-Inclusive Diets and Body Mass Index Among Overweight and Obese African American Women Living in Rural Alabama and Mississippi, 2011-2013

School of Public Health

Dr. Suzanne Judd, an associate professor in the department of biostatistics at the UAB School of Public Health was part of a team that conducted this longitudinal analysis over a two-year period. Nuts, when eaten alongside other nutritionally rich foods, may decrease obesity and related chronic disease risks, which are high among African American women in the rural South. We monitored changes in nut intake, other obesity-related foods (fruits, vegetables, red or processed meats, added sugars), and body mass index (BMI) over a 2-year weight loss intervention among 383 overweight and obese African American women in rural Alabama and Mississippi.

Two dietary recalls were administered at 4 points over 24 months. Mann-Whitney tests compared differences in median food group intake between nut consumers and non-nut consumers, and tests identified BMI differences between groups. Mixed linear models tested the relationship between nut intake and intake of the select food groups, and between nut intake and BMI over time.

Overall nut consumers ate more fruits and vegetables and less red meat than non-nut consumers. Nut consumers had lower BMI values than non-nut consumers. Weight loss by the end of the intervention was significant for nut consumers but not for non-nut consumers, even after accounting for kilocalorie consumption and physical activity engagement.

Overall nut consumers ate more fruits and vegetables and less red meat than non-nut consumers. Nut consumers had lower BMI values than non-nut consumers. Weight loss by the end of the intervention was significant for nut consumers but not for non-nut consumers, even after accounting for kilocalorie consumption and physical activity engagement.

Other authors include: Drs. Brenda Bertrand, Paula Chandler-Laney, and Ms. Samara Sterling from the Department of Nutrition Sciences, UAB School of Health Professions, and Dr. Monica Baskin from the Division of Preventive Medicine at the UAB School of Medicine.

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