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Eating patterns and portion size associated with obesity in a Swedish population.

Journal article
Authors Christina Berg
Georg Lappas
Alicja Wolk
Elisabeth Strandhagen
Kjell Torén
Annika Rosengren
Dag Thelle
Lauren Lissner
Published in Appetite
Volume 52
Issue 1
Pages 21-6
ISSN 1095-8304
Publication year 2009
Published at Department of Food, Health and Environment
Institute of Medicine, School of Public Health and Community Medicine
Institute of Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine
Pages 21-6
Language en
Keywords food habits, eating, energy intake, appetite regulation, obesity, health behaviour, matvanor, fetma, måltidsordning, portionsstorlek, hälsovanor
Subject categories Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology, Domestic science and nutrition


The objective of this study was to describe the association between meal pattern and obesity. The study is based on data from the INTERGENE research programme, and the study population consists of randomly selected women and men, aged 25-74, living in the V?stra G?taland Region in Sweden. A total of 3610 were examined. Participants with measured BMI>/=30 were compared with others (BMI<30) with respect to questionnaire data on habitual meal patterns and intake of energy estimated from food frequencies and standard portions. Odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals were adjusted for age, sex, smoking and physical activity in logistic regression models. Being obese was significantly associated with omitting breakfast, OR 1.41 (1.05-1.90), omitting lunch OR 1.31 (1.04-1.66) and eating at night OR 1.62 (1.10-2.39). Obesity was also related to significantly larger self-reported portion sizes of main meals. No statistically significant relationship with intake of total energy was revealed. Thus, the results indicate that examination of meal patterns and portion sizes might tell us more about obesogenic food patterns than traditional nutrient analyses of food frequencies. Being obese was associated with a meal pattern shifted to later in the day and significantly larger self-reported portions of main meals.

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