Skip to main content

Systematic Review Question

What is the relationship between dietary patterns consumed and growth, size, body composition, and risk of overweight and obesity?

Conclusion Statement

Dietary patterns: Children

  • Limited evidence suggests that dietary patterns consumed by children or adolescents that are lower in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy while being higher in added sugars, refined grains, fried potatoes, and processed meats are associated with higher fat-mass index and BMI later in adolescence. (Grade: Limited)

Dietary patterns: Adults 

  • The 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee reviewed newly published evidence using a systematic evidence scan and determined that the conclusion drawn by the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee generally reflects the current state of science. Moderate evidence indicates dietary patterns emphasizing vegetables, fruits, and whole grains; seafood and legumes; moderate in dairy products (particularly low and non-fat dairy) and alcohol; lower in meats (including red and processed meats), and low in sugar-sweetened foods and beverages, and refined grains are associated with favorable outcomes related to body weight, (including lower BMI, waist circumference, or percent body fat) or risk of obesity. Components of the dietary patterns associated with these favorable outcomes include higher intakes of unsaturated fats and lower intakes of saturated fats, cholesterol, and sodium. (2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Grade: Moderate)

Diets based on macronutrient distribution: Children

  • No evidence is available to determine a relationship between diets based on macronutrient distribution consumed during childhood and growth, size, body composition, and risk of overweight/obesity. (Grade: Grade not assignable)

Diets Based on macronutrient distribution: Adults

  • Insufficient evidence is available to determine the relationship between macronutrient distributions with proportions of energy falling outside of the AMDR for at least one macronutrient and growth, size, body composition, and risk of overweight/obesity, due to methodological limitations and inconsistent results. (Grade: Grade not assignable)