Avocado Intake, and Longitudinal Weight and Body Mass Index Changes in an Adult Cohort.

Nutrients. 2019;11(3)

Plain language summary

There is increasing research aimed at reducing the prevalence of overweight and obesity worldwide. Evidence suggests nutrient-dense, whole food choices may help reduce weight gain by increased fibre intake, reduced fat absorption and improved satiety levels, and avocados have recently been suggested to help reduce excess adiposity. The aim of this study is to examine the effect of habitual avocado intake on adult weight gain and changes in body mass index (BMI). This longitudinal study analysed data from the Adventist Health Study-2, which is comprised of approximately 96,000 members. Subjects were mailed a comprehensive lifestyle questionnaire that included self-reported weight, height and avocado consumption. Two follow-up questionnaires were sent out to collect self-reported weight, with follow-up time varying between 4-11 years. This study found avocado intake to be associated with a lower prevalence of overweight and attenuated weight gain in normal weight individuals over time. While avocado intake reduced the odds of becoming overweight or obese, when adjusted for BMI it was found baseline BMI had more of an impact on the odds of becoming overweight or obese than avocado intake. Based on these results, the authors suggest avocado consumption, as part of a healthy diet, may impact long-term changes in weight at the population level.


Avocados contain nutrients and bioactive compounds that may help reduce the risk of becoming overweight/obese. We prospectively examined the effect of habitual avocado intake on changes in weight and body mass index (BMI). In the Adventist Health Study (AHS-2), a longitudinal cohort (~55,407; mean age ~56 years; U.S. and Canada), avocado intake (standard serving size 32 g/day) was assessed by a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ). Self-reported height and weight were collected at baseline. Self-reported follow-up weight was collected with follow-up questionnaires between four and 11 years after baseline. Using the generalized least squares (GLS) approach, we analyzed repeated measures of weight in relation to avocado intake. Marginal logistic regression analyses were used to calculate the odds of becoming overweight/obese, comparing low (>0 to <32 g/day) and high (≥32 g/day) avocado intake to non-consumers (reference). Avocado consumers who were normal weight at baseline, gained significantly less weight than non-consumers. The odds (OR (95% CI)) of becoming overweight/obese between baseline and follow-up was 0.93 (0.85, 1.01), and 0.85 (0.60, 1.19) for low and high avocado consumers, respectively. Habitual consumption of avocados may reduce adult weight gain, but odds of overweight/obesity are attenuated by differences in initial BMI values.

Lifestyle medicine

Fundamental Clinical Imbalances : Digestive, absorptive and microbiological
Patient Centred Factors : Mediators/Avocados
Environmental Inputs : Diet ; Nutrients
Personal Lifestyle Factors : Nutrition
Functional Laboratory Testing : Not applicable
Bioactive Substances : Monounsaturated fatty acids ; MUFAs ; Mannoheptulose

Methodological quality

Allocation concealment : Not applicable
Publication Type : Journal Article