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Diet quality and a traditional dietary pattern predict lean mass in Australian women: Longitudinal data from the Geelong Osteoporosis Study


Prev Med Rep. 2021 Jan 7;21:101316. doi: 10.1016/j.pmedr.2021.101316. eCollection 2021 Mar.

Jessica A Davis 1Mohammadreza Mohebbi 2Fiona Collier 1 3 4Amy Loughman 1Nitin Shivappa 5 6 7James R Hébert 5 6 7Julie A Pasco 1 4 8 9Felice N Jacka 1 10 11 12

Author Information

1 Deakin University, IMPACT - the Institute for Mental and Physical Health and Clinical Translation, School of Medicine, Barwon Health, HERB Building, Level 3, 285-299 Ryrie St, Geelong, VIC 3220, Australia.

2 Deakin University, Faculty of Health, Biostatistics Unit, Building BC, Room BC4.121, 221 Burwood Highway, Geelong, Burwood, VIC 3125, Australia.

3 Geelong Centre for Emerging Infectious Diseases (GCEID), Barwon Health, HERB Building, Level 3, 285-299 Ryrie St, Geelong, VIC 3220, Australia.

4 Barwon Health, PO Box 281, Geelong, VIC 3220, Australia.

5 Cancer Prevention and Control Program, University of South Carolina, Discovery 1 Building, Suite 200, 915 Greene Street, Columbia, SC 29208, USA.

6 Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, 921 Assembly Street, Columbia, SC 29208, USA.

7 Department of Nutrition, Connecting Health Innovations LLC, Discovery 1 Building, Suite 200, 915 Greene Street, Columbia, SC 29208, USA.

8 Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Prahran, 553 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne, VIC 3004, Australia.

9 Department of Medicine-Western Health, The University of Melbourne, St Albans, Furlong Rd, St Albans, VIC 3021, Australia.

10 Centre for Adolescent Health, Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Flemington Road, Parkville, VIC 3052, Australia.

11 Black Dog Institute, Hospital Rd, Randwick, NSW 2031, Australia.

12 James Cook University, 1 James Cook Dr, Douglas, QLD 4811, Australia.


Low muscle mass is associated with reduced independence and increased risk for falls and fractures. Identification of modifiable risk factors for low muscle mass is thus imperative. This study aimed to examine the longitudinal relationship between both diet quality and patterns and lean mass in Australian women. Data from n = 494 participants of the Geelong Osteoporosis Study's 10- and 15-year women's follow-ups were used (conducted in 2004-08 and 2011-14, respectively), and participants were aged 21-89 years. Self-reported lifestyle and demographics were collected, and food frequency questionnaire data informed the dietary exposure variables: the Australian Recommended Food Score (ARFS); the Dietary Inflammatory Index (DII); and a posteriori dietary patterns. The outcome, Skeletal Muscle Index (SMI), was calculated from DXA-derived appendicular lean mass (ALM) relative to height (ALM kg/m2). Analyses employed Generalised Estimating Equations. A higher ARFS score positively predicted SMI over 5-years, and adjustments for age and physical activity did not attenuate this relationship (B:0.044, (95%CI 0.004, 0.084) kg/m2). Following adjustment, both an anti-inflammatory diet (B:-0.034, (95%CI -0.070, -0.002) kg/m2) and a 'traditional' dietary pattern predicted higher SMI (B:0.081, (95%CI 0.004, 0.158) kg/m2). No other associations were observed. Our study reinforces the importance of diet quality for healthy, aging muscle mass. Furthermore, a less inflammatory diet and a diet comprising a wide variety of plant and animal foods may be conducive to maintenance of muscle mass in women. Further studies investigating diet quality's impact on various muscle health measures over longer time periods are warranted.