Both diet and visceral adiposity play key roles in cardiometabolic disease. However, the association between dietary fat and subsequent visceral fat accumulation is not known. Thus, we prospectively examined future visceral fat accumulation in relation to dietary intake of animal and plant fats, or saturated and polyunsaturated fats in 312 nondiabetic Japanese-American men and women. Visceral adiposity was measured as intra-abdominal fat (IAF) area at the umbilicus by computed tomography at baseline and 10-11 years. Detailed dietary information was assessed at baseline using a food frequency questionnaire and 24-hour recall. Insulin sensitivity was evaluated by homeostasis model assessment for insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) and insulin response by the insulinogenic index (IGI) [Δinsulin/Δglucose (30-0 minutes)]. After adjustment for baseline IAF, age, sex, smoking habits (non-smokers, past-smokers, current smokers), physical activity, alcohol consumption, HOMA-IR, IGI, total protein intake, and total carbohydrate intake in multiple linear regression models, baseline log transformed animal fat intake [coefficient=15.319 (P=0.002)], but not plant fat intake [0.163 (P=0.270)], was associated with future IAF change. In the model that included saturated and polyunsaturated fat substituted for animal and plant fat intake, saturated fat was associated with future IAF change in both men [0.892 (P=0.030)] and women [1.121 (P=0.022)], but a statistically significant interaction was present between sex and polyunsaturated fat, such that polyunsaturated fat intake was inversely associated with future IAF change in men [-1.290 (P=0.003)], but not women [-0.058 (P=0.905)].

In conclusion, in both men and women, higher intake of animal fat and saturated fat, not plant fat, precede more visceral fat accumulation, while in men only, higher polyunsaturated fat intake precedes less visceral fat accumulation.


T. Hayashi: None. K. Sato: None. D.L. Leonetti: None. S.E. Kahn: Advisory Panel; Self; Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH, Elcelyx Therapeutics, Inc., Eli Lilly and Company, Intarcia Therapeutics, Inc., Janssen Research & Development, Merck & Co., Inc., Novo Nordisk A/S. S. Uehara: None. W.Y. Fujimoto: None. E.J. Boyko: None.

Readers may use this article as long as the work is properly cited, the use is educational and not for profit, and the work is not altered. More information is available at