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Diet quality scores are designed mainly based on Western-style dietary patterns. They were demonstrated to be good indicators of obesity in developed but not developing countries. Several diet quality scores were developed based on the Chinese dietary guidelines, yet no systematic review exists regarding how they were related to obesity. We searched research articles published between 2000 and 2021 in PubMed, CINAHL, and Scopus databases. Both cross-sectional and prospective studies that examined the relationship between a diet quality score and weight, body mass index, obesity, or waist circumference conducted in a Chinese population were selected. From the 602 articles searched, 20 articles were selected (12 are cross-sectional studies and 8 are prospective cohort studies). The relationship between internationally used scores and obesity was inconsistent among studies. Scores tailored to the Chinese diet demonstrated a strong relationship with both being underweight and obesity. The heterogeneity of the populations and the major nutrition transition in China may partially explain the discrepancies among studies. In conclusion, diet quality scores tailored to the Chinese diet may be associated with both undernutrition and overnutrition, as well as being underweight and obesity outcomes.


This work was originally published in Nutrients, available at nu13103555

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0).



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