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ARS Home » Plains Area » Grand Forks, North Dakota » Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center » Healthy Body Weight Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #335143

Research Project: Dietary Guidelines Adherence and Healthy Body Weight Maintenance

Location: Healthy Body Weight Research

Title: What do people eat when they don’t eat meat? An evaluation of dietary quality using the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), 2007-2012

Author
item Conrad, Zach
item Karlsen, Micaela - Tufts University
item Chui, Kenneth - Tufts University
item Jahns, Lisa

Submitted to: Journal of Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/1/2016
Publication Date: 4/1/2017
Citation: Conrad, Z.S., Karlsen, M., Chui, K., Jahns, L.A. 2017. What do people eat when they don’t eat meat? An evaluation of dietary quality using the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), 2007-2012. Journal of Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. 31: 648.10.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Objective: To compare diet quality scores between adult non-meat eaters and meat eaters, and to compare the consumption of diet components across quintiles of diet quality. Design: Cross-sectional analysis. Healthy Eating Index-2010 (HEI-2010) and Alternative Healthy Eating Index-2010 (AHEI-2010) were used to assess mean diet quality. Differences in consumption of diet components between quintiles of diet quality were tested using post hoc Wald tests. Setting: The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), 2007-2012. Subjects: The sample consisted of 16,688 respondents =20 y, including 281 individuals that reported not consuming meat, fowl, or seafood on two non-consecutive days of dietary recall. Dietary data were obtained from one dietary recall per individual. Results: Non-meat eaters had substantially greater HEI-2010 and AHEI-2010 scores compared to meat eaters (P<0.05). Among non-meat eaters, mean consumption across HEI-2010 quintiles demonstrated different (P<0.05) amounts of empty calories, whole fruit, and plant proteins. Mean consumption across AHEI-2010 quintiles demonstrated different (P<0.05) amounts of nuts and legumes, vegetables, and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Conclusions: Public health messages targeted at vegetarians and others who may choose to eat meat-free on certain days should emphasize decreased consumption of empty calories, and increased consumption of whole grains, plant proteins, nuts and legumes, and vegetables as a way to improve overall dietary quality.