Dietary fat in relation to body fat and intraabdominal adipose tissue: A cross-sectional analysis

Academic Article


  • Numerous studies report positive links between dietary fat and adiposity. However, the relation between fat intake and intraabdominal adipose tissue (IAAT), a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and diabetes, is not known. We therefore evaluated the association between dietary fat and adipose tissue stores in 135 white men aged 44 ± 10 y (x̄ ± SD: weight, 86 ± 14 kg; body fat, 23 ± 8%) and in 214 white women aged 45 ± 14 y (weight, 64 ± 12 kg; body fat, 33 ± 10%). Dietary intake was estimated from 3-d food records, body composition from hydrostatic weighing, IAAT and subcutaneous abdominal adipose tissue (SCAAT) by computed tomography, and physical activity by using the Baecke Questionnaire. After adjustment for fat-free mass, sex, age, physical activity, and nonfat energy intake, fat intake was weakly correlated with fat mass, explaining only 2% of the variance (partial R2 = 0.018, P < 0.01). In a separate model that evaluated type of fat, saturated fat was positively related (partial R2 = 0.025, P < 0.01) to fat mass after adjustment for fat free mass, sex, age, physical activity, and nonfat energy intake whereas polyunsaturated fat intake was negatively related (partial R2 = 0.007, P = 0.056). On the basis of partial correlation analyses, dietary fat was also associated with SCAAT adjusted for nonfat energy intake and IAAT (partial R2 = 0.014, P < 0.01), but not IAAT adjusted for nonfat energy intake and SCAAT. However, the association between dietary fat and adjusted SCAAT was not significant after further adjustment for sex, age, and physical activity. Thus, results of this cross-sectional analysis suggest that dietary fat independently plays a very minor role in increasing overall adiposity and does not specifically influence fat accretion in the intraabdominal region.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Larson DE; Hunter GR; Williams MJ; Kekes-Szabo T; Nyikos I; Goran MI
  • Start Page

  • 677
  • End Page

  • 684
  • Volume

  • 64
  • Issue

  • 5