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Nutrición Hospitalaria

On-line version ISSN 1699-5198Print version ISSN 0212-1611


KELLER, Kristin; RODRIGUEZ-LOPEZ, Santiago  and  CARMENATE-MORENO, María Margarita. Association between meal intake behavior and blood pressure in Spanish adults. Nutr. Hosp. [online]. 2017, vol.34, n.3, pp.654-660. ISSN 1699-5198.

Introduction and objectives:

Eating frequency has been suggested to modify blood pressure. Yet, the results are inconclusive, possibly because eating frequency, particularly meal intake behavior (MIB), does not differentiate between meals and snacks. Hence, the aim of this study was to examine the association between more specific MIBs, like the consumption of the three main meals, the intake of forenoon and afternoon meals and snacking between the regular meals, and systolic/diastolic blood pressure (SBP/DBP).


This cross-sectional study includes 1,314 Spanish adults aged 20-79 years. Data collection occurred during cardiovascular health day events organized in four Spanish cities (Madrid, Las Palmas, Seville and Valencia) in 2008. Linear regression analysis was performed to assess the independent association between the mentioned MIBs and SBP/DBP, controlling for several confounders in multiples models.


After adjusting for sex, age and individual risk factors, having an afternoon meal was associated with lower SBP (ß -3.91, 95% CI [-6.33, -1.49]) and DBP (ß -2.35, 95% CI [-3.76, -0.94]). This association was attenuated when introducing dietary intake and waist circumference in the predictive models (SBP: ß -2.83, 95% CI [-5.25, -0.40]; DBP: ß -1.67, 95% CI [-3.04, -0.31]), although it still remained significant. None of the other investigated MIBs showed any associations with SBP/DBP.


This study suggests that SBP/DBP might be reduced by the intake of an afternoon meal. However, population-based prospective studies are needed in order to confirm the consequences of the investigated associations on health.

Keywords : Systolic and diastolic blood pressure; Waist circumference; Forenoon meal; Afternoon meal; Snacking.

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