Skip to main content

Work Under Way


What is the relationship between dietary patterns consumed and growth, size, body composition, and risk of overweight and obesity?

Approach to Answering the Question
Update to Existing NESR Systematic Review

Dietary Patterns Subcommittee

Systematic Review Protocol
Developed for each scientific question being examined, the protocol describes the plan for how the systematic review was conducted. The protocol provides the: 

  • Analytic framework, 
  • Literature search and screening plan, and 
  • Literature search and screening results. 

See the full protocol for the question, what is the relationship between dietary patterns consumed and growth, size, body composition, and risk of overweight and obesity?

View Full Protocol

Draft Conclusion Statement

The draft conclusion statements listed below describe the state of the science related to the specific question examined. Draft conclusions are not considered final until they have been deliberated with and decided upon by the full Committee and published in the Committee’s final advisory report. Individual conclusion statements should not be interpreted as dietary guidance or the Committee’s overarching advice to the Departments.

Dietary patterns: Children

Limited evidence suggests that dietary patterns consumed by children or adolescents that are lower in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy while being higher in added sugars, refined grains, fried potatoes, and processed meats are associated with higher fat-mass index and BMI later in adolescence. Grade: Limited 

Dietary patterns: Adults

The 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee conducted a systematic evidence scan and determined that the conclusion drawn by the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee generally* reflects the current state of science. Moderate evidence indicates dietary patterns emphasizing vegetables, fruits, and whole grains; seafood and legumes; moderate in dairy products (particularly low and non-fat dairy) and alcohol; lower in meats (including red and processed meats), and low in sugar-sweetened foods and beverages, and refined grains are associated with favorable outcomes related to body weight, (including lower BMI, waist circumference, or percent body fat) or risk of obesity. Components of the dietary patterns associated with these favorable outcomes include higher intakes of unsaturated fats and lower intakes of saturated fats, cholesterol, and sodium. 2015 DGAC Grade: Moderate

Diets based on macronutrient distribution: Children

No evidence is available to determine a relationship between diets based on macronutrient distribution consumed during childhood and growth, size, body composition, and risk of overweight/obesity. Grade: Grade Not Assignable

Diets based on macronutrient distribution: Adults

Insufficient evidence is available to determine the relationship between macronutrient distributions with proportions of energy falling outside of the acceptable macronutrient distribution range for at least one macronutrient due to methodological limitations and inconsistent results. Grade: Grade Not Assignable 

*The Committee will have a section of its report discussing additional information about alcohol consumption and health outcomes.