Longitudinal Changes in Measures of Body Fat and Diet Among Adult Tsimane’ Forager-Horticulturalists of Bolivia, 2002-2010

Hilary J. Bethancourt*, William R. Leonard, Susan Tanner, Alan F. Schultz, Asher Y. Rosinger

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: This study examined changes in body fat and diet among Tsimane’ forager-horticulturalists and assessed how dietary shifts relate to increases in adiposity between 2002 and 2010. Methods: Longitudinal anthropometric and household-level dietary recall data from 365 men and 339 women aged ≥20 years in the Tsimane’ Amazonian Panel Study were used. Multilevel mixed-effects models estimated how BMI, body fat percentage, waist circumference, skinfolds, and fat-free mass relate to household consumption of crops, hunted or fished foods, domesticated animal products, cooking oil, and refined grains and sugar. Results: Women’s prevalence of overweight and obesity increased from 22.6% and 2.4% in 2002 to 28.8% and 8.9% in 2010, respectively, and BMI increased by 0.60% ± 0.12% per year (P < 0.001). Increases in fat-free mass accounted for some of this observed weight gain among women. Men’s prevalence of overweight and obesity increased from 16.2% and 0.7% to 25.0% and 2.2%, respectively, and BMI increased by 0.22% ± 0.09% per year (P = 0.009). Household use of cooking oil increased and was positively associated with female BMI. Consumption of domesticated animal products did not change significantly but was positively associated with female BMI and male waist circumference. Conclusions: Even small increases in energy-dense market-based foods can contribute to adiposity gains among a moderately active, subsistence-based population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1347-1359
Number of pages13
JournalObesity
Volume27
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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