Variety in the diet as a predictor of body mass index, change in body mass index and caloric intake among women
Researchers who study eating behavior have found that variety in the diet increases food intake and can increase weight in rats and humans. The emphasis of variety in the diet may therefore contribute to the problem of obesity. In the present study, variety in the diet of 58 women was analyzed in two ways using three-day dietary records. These indexes and their relationship with caloric intake, body mass index and change in body mass index from 1984 to 1985 were determined. A number of other variables in addition to variety were regressed on the dependent variables. Stepwise multiple regression models for caloric intake and change in body mass index produced significant findings. A preference for fat and one variety index accounted for 37% of the variance in caloric intake. Body mass index in 1984 and the dummy variable dieting accounted for 14% of the variance in change in body mass from 1984 to 1985. The variety index scores were not significantly related to body mass index or change in body mass index.