Scientific publications

Diet quality index as a predictor of treatment efficacy in overweight and obese adolescents: The EVASYON study

Mar 29, 2018 | Magazine: Clinical Nutrition

De Miguel-Etayo P (1), Moreno LA (2), Santabárbara J (3), Martín-Matillas M (4), Azcona-San Julian MC (5), Marti Del Moral A (6), Campoy C (7), Marcos A (8), Garagorri JM (9); EVASYON Study Group.


A diet quality index (DQI) is a tool that provides an overall score of an individual's dietary intake when assessing compliance with food-based dietary guidelines. A number of DQIs have emerged, albeit their associations with health-related outcomes are debated.

The aim of the present study was to assess whether adherence to dietary intervention, and the overall quality of the diet, can predict body composition changes.


To this purpose, overweight/obese adolescents (n = 117, aged: 13-16 years; 51 males, 66 females) were recruited into a multi-component (diet, physical activity and psychological support) family-based group treatment programme. We measured the adolescents' compliance and body composition at baseline and after 2 months (intensive phase) and 13 months (extensive phase) of follow-up. Also, at baseline, after 6 months, and at the end of follow-up we calculated the DQI.


Global compliance with the dietary intervention was 37.4% during the intensive phase, and 14.3% during the extensive phase. Physical activity compliance was 94.1% at 2-months and 34.7% at 13months and psychological support compliance were growing over the intervention period (10.3% intensive phase and 45.3% during extensive phase).

Adolescents complying with the meal frequency criteria at the end of the extensive phase had greater reductions in FMI z-scores than those did not complying (Cohen's d = 0.53). A statistically significant association was observed with the diet quality index. DQI-A variation explained 98.1% of BMI z-score changes and 95.1% of FMI changes.


We conclude that assessment of changes in diet quality could be a useful tool in predicting body composition changes in obese adolescents involved in a diet and physical activity intervention programme backed-up by psychological and family support.

CITATION  Clin Nutr. 2018 Mar 29. pii: S0261-5614(18)30111-0. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2018.02.032