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This study examined the relationship of physical activity (PA) and dietary quality to android fat composition and distribution using a national representative adult sample and determined sex-based differences in these relationships. It is a cross-sectional (n = 10,014) analysis of the 2011–2018 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and the US department of Agriculture’s Food Patterns Equivalents datasets. Variables utilized for this analysis include PA, 24-h dietary recalls, android percent fat, and android-gynoid (A/G) ratio measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Multiple linear regression was performed to examine the relationship between PA and/or dietary quality and android percent fat and A/G ratio adjusted for confounding factors. The study results revealed that PA and/or dietary quality were inversely related to android percent fat and A/G ratio (p < 0.05), but the sex effect was only seen between PA and A/G ratio (p = 0.003). Participants who met PA recommendations and had higher dietary quality had 2.12% lower android fat than those who did not meet PA recommendations and had lower dietary quality (p < 0.001). Both PA and dietary quality are associated with android fat reduction regardless of sex. Given the direct connection between android fat and cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, it is important to increase both PA and dietary quality.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Furong Xu is affiliated with the School of Education.

Geoffrey W. Greene is affiliated with the Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences.



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