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Are existing measures of overall diet quality associated with peak bone mass in young premenopausal women?

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How to cite this article Zagarins S.E., Ronnenberg A.G., Gehlbach S.H., Lin R. & Bertone‐Johnson E.R. (2012) Are existing measures of overall diet quality associated with peak bone mass in young premenopausal women? J Hum Nutr Diet. 25, 172–179

Background:  Low peak bone mass in young adulthood is associated with an increased risk of osteoporosis and fracture after menopause, and an understanding of the modifiable factors that contribute to low peak bone mass is important for fracture prevention. Diet is an important modifiable factor linked to bone health and, although studies have examined the role of individual dietary components in bone health, bone growth and maintenance are complex processes, and such studies may not adequately represent the role of diet in these processes.

Methods:  To address this issue, a cross‐sectional analysis of 226 healthy, premenopausal women aged 18–30 years was conducted to determine whether existing indices of overall diet quality are associated with bone density in premenopausal women nearing peak bone mass. Bone density was measured using dual‐energy X‐ray absorptiometry and diet quality was measured using two overall diet scores based on current dietary guidelines: the Recommended Food Score and the Alternate Healthy Eating Index (AHEI).

Results:  In the multiple linear regression, bone density did not increase across quartiles of either diet quality score and was not associated with continuous diet quality variables. Furthermore, none of the individual AHEI components (e.g. fruit intake, vegetable intake) were associated with bone density.

Conclusions:  These findings suggest that existing diet quality scores are not appropriate for studies of peak bone mass, most likely because they do not give sufficient weight to foods and nutrients important to bone health. We recommend the development of a diet pattern index that better predicts bone mass measures.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Public Health, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Amherst, MA, USA

Publication date: 2012-04-01

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