The association between food patterns and adiposity among Canadian children at risk of overweight.
Identifying food patterns related to obesity can provide information for health promotion in nutrition. Food patterns and their relation with obesity among Canadian children have not been reported to date. Our aim was to identify and describe food patterns associated with obesity in children at risk of overweight. Caucasian children (n = 630) with at least 1 obese biological parent recruited into the Quebec Adiposity and Lifestyle Investigation in Youth (QUALITY) cohort were studied in cross-sectional analyses. Measures of adiposity (body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, body fat mass percentage measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry), screen time, physical activity (accelerometer over 7 days), and dietary intake (three 24-h food recalls) were collected. Factor analysis was used to identify food patterns. The relationships between food patterns and overweight were investigated in logistic and multiple linear regression models. Three food patterns were retained for analysis: traditional food (red meats, main dishes-soups, high-fat dairy products, tomato products, dressings, etc.); healthy food (low-fat dairy products, whole grains, legumes-nuts-seeds, fruits, vegetables); and fast food (sugar-sweetened beverages, fried potatoes, fried chicken, hamburgers-hot dogs-pizza, salty snacks). Higher scores on the fast food pattern were associated with overweight (BMI ? 85th percentile), and other measures of adiposity (BMI, waist circumference, body fat mass percentage) after adjustment for age, sex, physical activity, screen time, sleep time, family income, and mother's obesity (p < 0.05). Controlling for energy intake did not change these relationships. Our results provide further evidence of a link between fast food intake and obesity in children.