Although many studies have examined the role of single nutrients, foods, or food groups in the etiology of disease, relatively little research has addressed the health effects of dietary patterns comprising multiple interdependent dietary factors. Research on dietary patterns is warranted on several grounds. First, complex diets consumed by free-living individuals do not consist of single nutrients or foods but rather a combination of foods containing multiple nutrients and non-nutrients. Second, intercorrelation of dietary variables makes it difficult to isolate effects of single nutrients or foods. Third, biological activities of nutrients in vivo are interdependent. Finally, recommendations for disease prevention implicitly reflect the dietary pattern approach by emphasizing the simultaneous change of several dietary behaviors such as increasing fruit, vegetable, and grain intake, and decreasing fat intake. However, the exact mechanisms through which healthy diet patterns modify the risk of heart disease are not known. Intuitively, such patterns may be effective at several levels, but little is known about it. This proposal will test the hypothesis that two diet indexes intended to represent healthy eating patterns may be associated with several major, life-habit, and emerging risk factors of coronary heart disease (CHD) risk identified by the ATP III in a representative sample of adult Americans. We will use dietary, anthropometric, biochemical, and health data from the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1988-1994 (>15,000), to address these issues.
|Kant, Ashima K; Graubard, Barry I (2005) A comparison of three dietary pattern indexes for predicting biomarkers of diet and disease. J Am Coll Nutr 24:294-303|