Associations between Food Consumption Patterns and Chronic Diseases and Self-Reported Morbidities in 6 American Indian Communities

Felicia J. Setiono, Brittany Jock, Angela Trude, Caroline R. Wensel, Lisa Poirier, Marla Pardilla, Joel Gittelsohn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: American Indian (AI) have the highest rates of diet-related chronic diseases in the country. Yet, the relation between dietary patterns and chronic diseases in this population has not been well explored. Objective: We aimed to characterize common dietary patterns among adults from 6 AI communities (N = 580) and assess their relation with BMI, percentage body fat, waist-to-hip ratio, hypertension, and self-reported type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Methods: We conducted a baseline assessment of an obesity prevention study (N = 580). Dietary intake data were collected using a modified Block FFQ. Exploratory factor analysis was used to characterize dietary patterns. We used multivariate linear and logistic regression analyses to assess associations between dietary patterns and health outcomes, controlling for age, sex, employment status, smoking status, geographic region, and energy intake. Results: Five dietary patterns, explaining 81.8% of variance in reported food consumption, were identified: "meat and fried foods," "processed foods," "fruits and vegetables," "sugary snacks," and "meat alternatives and high-protein foods." "Those with higher consumption of "meat and fried foods" were associated with higher mean waist-to-hip ratio (0.03; 95% CI: 0.01, 0.04), higher mean BMI (2.45 kg/m2; 95% CI: 0.83, 4.07), and increased odds of being overweight or obese (OR: 2.63; 95% CI: 1.10, 6.31) compared to those with lower consumption of "meat and fried foods." Higher consumption of "processed foods" was associated with increased odds of self-reported type 2 diabetes (OR: 3.41; 95% CI: 1.31, 8.90). No protective effect of consumption of "fruits and vegetables" was observed, although average consumption was below national recommendation levels. Conclusions: AI dietary patterns corroborate nutritional concerns previously reported among AI populations. Future interventions should discourage overconsumption of meat, fried foods, and processed foods, and promote consumption of fruits and vegetables to reduce chronic disease burden in this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-80
Number of pages12
JournalCurrent Developments in Nutrition
StatePublished - Feb 13 2019


  • American Indian
  • chronic disease
  • diet
  • factor analysis
  • food and nutrition
  • obesity
  • type 2 diabetes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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