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Fruit and vegetable intake and body adiposity among populations in Eastern Canada: the Atlantic Partnership for Tomorrow’s Health Study
  1. Zhijie Michael Yu1,
  2. Vanessa DeClercq1,
  3. Yunsong Cui1,
  4. Cynthia Forbes2,
  5. Scott Grandy2,
  6. Melanie Keats2,
  7. Louise Parker1,
  8. Ellen Sweeney1,
  9. Trevor J B Dummer3
  1. 1 Population Cancer Research Program, Department of Paediatrics, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
  2. 2 School of Health and Human Performance, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
  3. 3 Centre of Excellence in Cancer Prevention, School of Prevention and Public Health, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Dr Zhijie Michael Yu; Zhijie.Yu{at}


Objectives The prevalence of obesity among populations in the Atlantic provinces is the highest in Canada. Some studies suggest that adequate fruit and vegetable consumption may help body weight management. We assessed the associations between fruit and vegetable intake with body adiposity among individuals who participated in the baseline survey of the Atlantic Partnership for Tomorrow’s Health (Atlantic PATH) cohort study.

Methods We carried out a cross-sectional analysis among 26 340 individuals (7979 men and 18 361 women) aged 35–69 years who were recruited in the baseline survey of the Atlantic PATH study. Data on fruit and vegetable intake, sociodemographic and behavioural factors, chronic disease, anthropometric measurements and body composition were included in the analysis.

Results In the multivariable regression analyses, 1 SD increment of total fruit and vegetable intake was inversely associated with body mass index (−0.12 kg/m2; 95% CI −0.19 to –0.05), waist circumference (−0.40 cm; 95% CI −0.58 to –0.23), percentage fat mass (−0.30%; 95% CI −0.44 to –0.17) and fat mass index (−0.14 kg/m2; 95% CI −0.19 to –0.08). Fruit intake, but not vegetable intake, was consistently inversely associated with anthropometric indices, fat mass, obesity and abdominal obesity.

Conclusions Fruit and vegetable consumption was inversely associated with body adiposity among the participant population in Atlantic Canada. This association was primarily attributable to fruit intake. Longitudinal studies and randomised trials are warranted to confirm these observations and investigate the underlying mechanisms.

  • epidemiology
  • public health

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  • Contributors Study conception and design: ZMY, LP and TJBD. Acquisition, analysis and interpretation of data and drafting of manuscript: ZMY. Critical revision of the article: VD, YC, CF, SG, MK, LP, ES and TJBD. All authors have full access to all the data in the study, take responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis, and give final approval of the version to be submitted.

  • Funding Production of this study has been made possible through the financial support from the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer and Health Canada.

  • Disclaimer The study funders had no involvement in the study design; in the collection, analysis and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; and in the decision to submit the article for publication. The views expressed herein represent the views of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the funders.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval The study was approved by appropriate Research Ethics Boards in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Prince Edward Island.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement No datasets were generated during the current study. Data from the Atlantic PATH study are not publicly available to researchers without an approved data access request to Atlantic PATH, as per the Atlantic PATH consent form and study protocol. While the authors cannot provide data to a third party directly, the dataset can be provided by Atlantic PATH following a data access request approval. Interested researchers should contact Atlantic PATH (

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