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This review summarizes evidence from two projects embedded within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) on the association between dietary factors and obesity risk, in particular change in weight and waist circumference. A total of 12 publications from DiOGenes and six from EPIC-PANACEA were reviewed. The results show that dietary fiber, especially cereal fiber, was inversely associated with weight or waist change, as well as fruit/vegetable intake and the Mediterranean dietary pattern. Energy density and meat consumption were positively associated with the anthropometric changes, as was glycemic index with waist change. Clear associations with macronutrient composition were not observed. In additional studies, interactions with genetic polymorphism were investigated and shown to be present for protein intake and GI, although effect estimates were small. These interactions require replication. These results show that in European populations dietary factors are independently associated with weight/waist change. The findings provide further clues for the prevention of obesity.

Original publication




Journal article


Curr Obes Rep

Publication Date





67 - 78


Cohort, DiOGenes, Diet, Dietary patterns, EPIC-PANACEA, Epidemiology, Macronutrients, Obesity, Waist circumference, Weight gain