A higher healthy eating index is associated with decreased markers of inflammation and lower odds for being overweight/obese based on a case-control study

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Obesity is a health risk characterized by chronic inflammation, and food choices are strongly associated with its etiology. Our objective was to investigate the association between dietary patterns and the healthy eating index (HEI) with the odds of overweight/obesity and related inflammatory markers. Within a population-based case-control study, we collected data and samples from 793 normal-weight and 812 overweight/obese Iranian people (based on either body mass index (BMI) or body surface area (BSA)). Dietary intake and HEI scores were obtained via a validated 124-item food frequency questionnaire. Anthropometric and socioeconomic parameters, as well as blood inflammatory markers, were measured. Participants with higher HEI scores had higher serum high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C) and significantly lower energy intake. Water
consumption in the overweight/obese group was significantly lower than in the control group. In the final models using partial correlation and controlling for multiple confounders, there was a significant inverse correlation between HEI and interleukin-4 (IL-4, R = −0.063), IL-1β (R = −0.054), and high-
sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP, R = −0.069). Based on multivariable logistic regression models adjusted for multiple confounders, there was a significant association between HEI as a continuous variable (OR = 0.993, 95% CI: 0.988–0.999) and categorical variable (OR = 0.801, 95% CI: 0.658–0.977)
and odds of overweight/obesity across BMI groups. The dietary patterns in the case and control groups however were similar, and we failed to find a significant association between HEI and odds of overweight/obesity based on BSA. Adherence to healthy eating recommendations may be a prudent recommendation to prevent overweight/obesity and keeping inflammatory indicators low.
Original languageEnglish
Article number5127
Issue number23
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 2022

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Science - Reactive oxygen species, Immune system, Antioxidants, Cardiometabolic disease, Cytokines

Number of downloads are based on statistics from Google Scholar and www.ku.dk

No data available

ID: 327455297