Dietary Diversity: Implications for Obesity Prevention in Adult Populations

Published: August 09, 2018

selection of food that is good for the heart
  • 'Eat a variety of foods', or dietary diversity, is widely recommended to promote a healthy, nutritionally adequate diet and reduce risk of major chronic diseases.
  • However, recent evidence from observational studies suggests that greater dietary diversity is associated with suboptimal eating patterns, particularly when the diversity is reflected by a higher intake of processed foods, refined grains, and sugar-sweetened beverages instead of minimally processed foods, such as fish, fruits, and vegetables.
  • Based on the current state of science on dietary diversity, it’s appropriate to promote a healthy eating pattern that emphasizes adequate intake of plant foods, protein sources, low-fat dairy products, vegetable oils and nuts while limiting consumption of sweets, sugar-sweetened beverages, and red meats.