Weight gain attempts and diet modification efforts among adults in five countries: a cross-sectional study

Kyle T. Ganson, Jason M. Nagata*, Lana Vanderlee, Rachel F. Rodgers, Jason M. Lavender, Vivienne M. Hazzard, Stuart B. Murray, Mitchell Cunningham, David Hammond

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Recent research has emphasized a growing trend of weight gain attempts, particularly among adolescents and boys and young men. Little research has investigated these efforts among adults, as well as the specific diet modifications individuals who are trying to gain weight engage in. Therefore, the aims of this study were to characterize the diet modification efforts used by adults across five countries who reported engaging in weight gain attempts and to determine the associations between weight gain attempts and concerted diet modification efforts. Methods: Cross-sectional data from the 2018 and 2019 International Food Policy Study, including participants from Australia, Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, and the United States (N = 42,108), were analyzed. In reference to the past 12 months, participants reported on weight gain attempts and diet modification efforts related to increased consumption of calories, protein, fiber, fruits and vegetables, whole grains, dairy products, all meats, red meat only, fats, sugar/added sugar, salt/sodium, and processed foods. Unadjusted (chi-square tests) and adjusted (modified Poisson regressions) analyses were conducted to examine associations between weight gain attempts and diet modification efforts. Results: Weight gain attempts were significantly associated with higher likelihood of each of the 12 forms of diet modification efforts among male participants, and 10 of the diet modification efforts among female participants. Notably, this included higher likelihood of efforts to consume more calories (males: adjusted prevalence ratio [aPR] 3.25, 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.94–3.59; females: aPR 4.05, 95% CI 3.50–4.70) and fats (males: aPR 2.71, 95% CI 2.42–3.03; females: aPR 3.03, 95% CI 2.58–3.55). Conclusions: Overall, the patterns of association between weight gain attempts and diet modification efforts may be indicative of the phenomenon of muscularity-oriented eating behaviors. Findings further highlight the types of foods and nutrients adults from five countries may try to consume in attempts to gain weight.

Original languageEnglish
Article number30
JournalNutrition Journal
Volume21
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Calories
  • Diet modification
  • Food; diet
  • Muscularity
  • Weight gain attempts

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