Non-Dairy Animal Protein Consumption Is Positively Associated with Overweight and Obesity in Israeli Adolescents

Chen Dor, Aliza Hannah Stark, Rita Dichtiar, Lital Keinan-Boker, Tali Sinai*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Protein consumption apparently plays a role in weight control. This cross-sectional study examined the association of protein consumption in Israeli adolescents with overweight/obesity. 7th–12th grade students participating in a national school-based survey (2015–2016) completed self-administered questionnaires, including a food frequency questionnaire, and height and weight measurements (n = 3443, 48% males, 15.2 ± 1.6 years). WHO growth standards served to define weight status. Intakes of total protein and protein source were calculated. Multivariable logistic regression analyses evaluated associations with overweight/obesity (BMI z-score ≥ 1), adjusting for possible covariates. Total protein intake (median (IQR)) was 62.5 (45.5, 85.7) g/d, accounting for 12.0 (10.5, 13.6) percent of daily energy. Of participants, 31.4% were overweight/obese. In multivariable models, overweight/obesity was positively associated with incremental increases of 10 g/d in total protein intake (OR = 1.07, 95% CI: 1.02–1.12, p < 0.01), total animal protein intake (OR = 1.05, 95% CI: 1.01–1.10, p = 0.026), and non-dairy animal protein intake (OR = 1.06, 95% CI: 1.01–1.11, p = 0.029). No associations were found with plant or dairy protein intake. These associations remained when protein intake was reported as a percentage of daily energy and when overweight and obesity were analyzed individually. High daily protein intakes, principally from non-dairy animal sources, were positively associated with overweight/obesity in adolescents. Additional studies are needed to establish causality of these findings.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number2072
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 2022

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  • BMI
  • Israel
  • dietary intake
  • protein
  • youth


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