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Dietary pattern trajectories across adolescence and early adulthood and their associations with childhood and parental factors

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-21, 01:46 authored by Appannah, G, Murray, K, Trapp, G, Dymock, M, Wendy OddyWendy Oddy, Ambrosini, GL

Background: Although adolescent dietary patterns tend to be of poor quality, it is unclear whether dietary patterns established in adolescence persist into adulthood.

Objectives: We examined trajectories across adolescence and early adulthood for 2 major dietary patterns and their associations with childhood and parental factors.

Methods: Using data from the Western Australian Pregnancy Cohort (Raine Study), intakes of 38 food groups were estimated at ages 14, 17, 20 and 22 y in 1414 participants using evaluated FFQs. Using factor analysis, 2 major dietary patterns (healthy and Western) were consistently identified across follow-ups. Sex-specific group-based modeling assessed the variation in individual dietary pattern ȥ scores to identify group trajectories for each pattern between ages 14 and 22 y and to assess their associations with childhood and parental factors.

Results: Two major trajectory groups were identified for each pattern. Between ages 14 and 22 y, a majority of the cohort (70% males, 73% females) formed a trajectory group with consistently low ȥ scores for the healthy dietary pattern. The remainder had trajectories showing either declining (27% females) or reasonably consistent healthy dietary pattern ȥ scores (30% males). For the Western dietary pattern, the majority formed trajectories with reasonably consistent average scores (79% males, 81% females) or low scores that declined over time. However, 21% of males had a trajectory of steady, marked increases in Western dietary pattern scores over time. A lower maternal education and higher BMI (in kg/m2) were positively associated with consistently lower scores of the healthy dietary pattern. Lower family income, family functioning score, maternal age, and being in a single-parent family were positively related to higher scores of the Western dietary pattern.

Conclusions: Poor dietary patterns established in adolescence are likely to track into early adulthood, particularly in males. This study highlights the transition between adolescence and early adulthood as a critical period and the populations that could benefit from dietary interventions.


Publication title

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition








Menzies Institute for Medical Research


Amer Soc Clinical Nutrition

Place of publication

9650 Rockville Pike, Subscriptions, Rm L-3300, Bethesda, USA, Md, 20814-3998

Rights statement

© The Author(s) 2020. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the American Society for Nutrition. All rights reserved

Repository Status

  • Restricted

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