Association between protein-rich dietary patterns and anthropometric measurements among children aged 6 years

Sanaz Mehranfar, Yahya Jalilpiran, Pamela J. Surkan, Leila Azadbakht

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim: The associations between types of dietary protein intake and child anthropometric measurements have not been fully studied. Therefore, we examined dietary protein pattern in relation to anthropometric indicators among 6-year-old children. Methods: We carried out a cross-sectional study of 788 randomly selected children from health centres in Tehran, Iran. Dietary intake was assessed using a food frequency questionnaire completed by the mothers. Anthropometric measurements were based on standard protocols. Principle component analysis was performed to identify different dietary protein patterns. We used multivariate logistic regression to evaluate how these patterns were associated with child anthropometry. Results: Three dietary protein patterns were identified: pattern 1 (rich in red and processed meats, dairy products and eggs), pattern 2 (rich in fish and poultry) and pattern 3 (rich in soy and legumes). After adjusting for potential confounders (energy intake, socioeconomic status and physical activity), being in the third compared to the first tertiles of pattern 2 was associated with increased (OR = 1.57; 95% CI: 1.09-2.27; P =.01) and decreased (OR = 0.54; 95% CI: 0.32-0.92; P =.02) risk of overweight/obesity and underweight/wasting, respectively. There was no association between other dietary patterns and risk of overweight/obesity or underweight/wasting. Conclusions: The present study showed inverse association between the fish/white meat pattern and underweight/wasting and also a positive association between higher fish/white meat protein intake and higher risk of overweight/obesity. Further studies are needed to confirm these results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)359-367
Number of pages9
JournalNutrition and Dietetics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • children
  • dietary protein
  • obesity
  • underweight
  • wasting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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