Introduction: The high prevalence of obesity among Spanish children and adolescents has become an important public health problem.
Objective: To assess the association between dietary macronutrient intake and obesity in a case-control study of children and adolescents (aged 5.5 to 18.8) from Navarra.
Methods: Cases were 178 obese children (body mass index > 97th percentile), from Navarra. Controls were individually matched by sex and age. Anthropometric data were collected by trained personal using standardized procedures. Personal interviews were performed to collect previously validated semiquantitative food frequency questionnaires (FFQs). From these FFQs we calculated the intake of macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins and fats) and types of fatty acids. Energy-adjusted macronutrient intake was divided into quintiles. Conditional logistic regression was used and confounder factors were taken into account.
Results: The macronutrient composition of the diet was similar between cases and controls, except for polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) intake, which was significantly inversely associated with obesity (p for trend < 0.01), with adjusted odds ratio = 0.34 (95% CI: 0.15 to 0.77) for the fifth versus the first quintile.
Conclusions: An inverse and significant association between PUFA intake and obesity was found in this case-control study.