Seven-year tracking of dietary factors in young adults: The CARDIA study

Julie E. Dunn, Kiang Liu, Philip Greenland, Joan E. Hilner, David R Jacobs Jr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


Objectives: This report determines the extent to which young adults in the highest and lowest intake quintiles of 13 nutrients remain in the same or adjacent quintiles (i.e., 'tracked') relative to each other, over 7 years. Methods: Data from baseline and year 7 of the CARDIA study were divided into race/gender-specific quintiles for each nutrient and cross-tabulated. Results: For most nutrients, over 60% of those in the lowest absolute intake quintile at year 0 remained in the lowest or second-lowest quintile at year 7. A similar pattern was seen with highest absolute intake quintiles at years 0 and 7. Tracking was attenuated when nutrient density, rather than absolute intake, was examined. Conclusions: Ingrained dietary habits may cause high- or low-intake groups to retain relative ranking, even in the face of secular, age-, or lifestyle-related trends in dietary intake.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)38-45
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican journal of preventive medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2000

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The CARDIA study was funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute contracts NO1-HC-48047, NO1-HC-48048, NO1-HC-48049, NO1-HC-48050, and NO1-HC-95095 and conducted with the approval of institutional review boards at the respective institutions. We would like to express our appreciation to Mary Ann Chamberlain, Laura Colangelo, Heather McCreath, Nkenge Jones, and Chong Do Lee for assistance with statistical programming and data verification, and to Joe Garden for assistance with manuscript preparation.


  • Adult
  • Feeding behavior
  • Food habits
  • Nutrition


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