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The association between cheese consumption and cardiovascular risk factors among adults

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Abstract Background 

Although current dietary guidelines recommend limiting foods high in fat and saturated fat, such as high-fat dairy, the effect of cheese consumption on body composition and cardiovascular risk factors is largely unknown. Methods 

Participants from a US population-based survey, NHANES III, aged 25–75 years who completed a food frequency questionnaire and had measures of body composition and cardiovascular risk factors were included (n = 10 872). Linear regression was used to compare anthropometrics, blood lipids, blood pressure and blood glucose across categories of cheese consumption (combined full and low-fat). Results 

In women, more frequent cheese consumption was associated with higher HDL-C and lower LDL-C (p for trend, < 0.05). However, in men, more frequent cheese consumption was associated with a higher body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, HDL-C and LDL-C, and diastolic blood pressure (p for trend, < 0.05). Men consuming 30 +  servings/month had significantly higher BMI, waist circumference, and diastolic blood pressure compared to nonconsumers (P < 0.05). Conclusions 

More frequent cheese consumption was associated with less favourable body composition and cardiovascular risk profile in men, but with a more favourable cardiovascular risk profile in women. However, the type of cheese consumed by men and women may have differed resulting in opposing trends on body composition and cardiovascular risk factors.
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Keywords: body mass index; cardiovascular risk factors; cheese; waist

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: The Department of Internal Medicine, Section on Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC, USA 2: The Department of Medicine, University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center, Memphis, TN, USA 3: The Department of Preventive Medicine, University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center, Memphis, TN, USA

Publication date: 2008-04-01

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