Nut intake and 5-year changes in body weight and obesity risk in adults: results from the EPIC-PANACEA study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Purpose: There is inconsistent evidence regarding the relationship between higher intake of nuts, being an energy-dense food, and weight gain. We investigated the relationship between nut intake and changes in weight over 5 years. Methods: This study includes 373,293 men and women, 25–70 years old, recruited between 1992 and 2000 from 10 European countries in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study. Habitual intake of nuts including peanuts, together defined as nut intake, was estimated from country-specific validated dietary questionnaires. Body weight was measured at recruitment and self-reported 5 years later. The association between nut intake and body weight change was estimated using multilevel mixed linear regression models with center/country as random effect and nut intake and relevant confounders as fixed effects. The relative risk (RR) of becoming overweight or obese after 5 years was investigated using multivariate Poisson regressions stratified according to baseline body mass index (BMI). Results: On average, study participants gained 2.1 kg (SD 5.0 kg) over 5 years. Compared to non-consumers, subjects in the highest quartile of nut intake had less weight gain over 5 years (−0.07 kg; 95% CI −0.12 to −0.02) (P trend = 0.025) and had 5% lower risk of becoming overweight (RR 0.95; 95% CI 0.92–0.98) or obese (RR 0.95; 95% CI 0.90–0.99) (both P trend <0.008). Conclusions: Higher intake of nuts is associated with reduced weight gain and a lower risk of becoming overweight or obese.


  • Heinz Freisling
  • Hwayoung Noh
  • Nadia Slimani
  • Véronique Chajès
  • Anne M May
  • Petra H Peeters
  • Elisabete Weiderpass
  • Amanda J Cross
  • Guri Skeie
  • Mazda Jenab
  • Francesca Romana Mancini
  • Marie-Christine Boutron-Ruault,
  • Guy Fagherazzi
  • Verena A. Katzke
  • Tilman Kühn
  • Annika Steffen
  • Heiner Boeing
  • Anne Tjønneland
  • Cecilie Kyrø
  • Camilla P Hansen
  • Kim Overvad
  • Eric J. Duell
  • Daniel Redondo-Sánchez
  • Pilar Amiano
  • Carmen Navarro
  • Aurelio Barricarte
  • Aurora Perez-Cornago
  • Konstantinos K Tsilidis
  • Dagfinn Aune
  • Heather Ward
  • Antonia Trichopoulou
  • Androniki Naska
  • Philippos Orfanos
  • Giovanna Masala
  • Claudia Agnoli
  • Franco Berrino
  • Rosario Tumino
  • Carlotta Sacerdote
  • Amalia Mattiello
  • Bas H. Bueno-De-Mesquita
  • Anna Winkvist
  • Tonje Braaten
  • Isabelle Romieu
  • Joan Sabaté
External organisations
  • International Agency for Research on Cancer, World Health Organization
  • University Medical Center Utrecht
  • Imperial College London
  • UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø
  • Karolinska Institutet
  • Centre for Research in Epidemiology and Population Health (CESP)
  • University of Paris-Sud
  • German Institute of Human Nutrition
  • Danish Cancer Society Research Center
  • Aarhus University
  • Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute
  • University of Granada
  • CIBER Epidemiology and Public Health (CIBERESP)
  • Biodonostia Health Research Institute
  • University of Murcia
  • Health Research Institute of Navarra (IDISNA)
  • University of Oxford
  • University of Ioannina
  • Bjørknes University College
  • Hellenic Health Foundation, Athens
  • National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
  • Cancer Research and Prevention Institute (ISPO)
  • Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori
  • Citta' della Salute e della Scienza Hospital-University of Turin
  • University of Naples Federico II
  • National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM)
  • University of Malaya
  • Sahlgrenska Academy
  • Loma Linda University
  • German Cancer Research Centre
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Nutrition and Dietetics


  • Adults, Energy balance, Europe, Nut intake, Obesity, Weight gain
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Nutrition
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jul 21
Publication categoryResearch