Table 1

Meta-analyses used to derive the links between foods, nutrients, biological risk factors and adverse health outcomes

Nutrient/food/biological risk factorOutcomeMeta-analysis detailsAdjustmentsDose–response relationship observed?Source
FruitCHD (I20–25)Six cohort studies (3446 events)Age, smoking, obesityYes5
Stroke (I60–69)Five cohort studies (1853 events)Age, hypertension, smoking, obesityYes6
Mouth, pharynx, larynx cancer (C00–14)Seven case–control studiesSmokingNo3
Oesophagus cancer (C15)Eight case–control studies**3
Lung cancer (C34)14 cohort studiesSmokingYes3
Stomach cancer (C16)Eight cohort studies*No3
VegetablesCHDSeven cohort studies (3833 events)Age, smoking, obesityYes5
StrokeFour cohort studies (933 events)Age, hypertension, smoking, obesity, blood cholesterol, physical activity, energy intake, alcohol intakeNo6
Mouth, pharynx, larynx cancerFour case–control studiesSex, smoking, alcohol intakeYes3
Oesophagus cancerFive case–control studies**3
Stomach cancerSeven cohort studies*No3
FibreCHD10 cohort studies (2011 CHD deaths)Age, energy intake, smoking, obesity, physical activity, education, alcohol intake, multiple vitamin use, raised cholesterol, hypertension, dietary saturated fat, poly-unsaturated fatty acids and cholesterolYes7
Total fatTotal serum cholesterol227 dietary intervention studies with diets persisting at least 2 weeksAge, weight, other dietary fat measures*8
Body weight37 randomised dietary intervention trialsAll potentially confounding factorsYes9
Saturated fat, mono-unsaturated fatty acids, poly-unsaturated fatty acids, dietary cholesterolTotal serum cholesterol227 dietary intervention studies with diets persisting at least 2 weeksAge, weight, other dietary fat measuresYes8
Trans fatsTotal serum cholesterol40 dietary intervention studies with diets persisting at least 2 weeksAge, weight, other dietary fat measuresYes8
SaltStomach cancerTwo cohort studies*Yes3
Blood pressure28 randomised controlled trials in hypertensive and normotensive individualsAll potentially confounding factorsYes10 11
Total serum cholesterolCHD61 cohort studies (33 744 events)Age, sexYes12
Stroke61 cohort studies (11 663 events)Age, sexNo12
Blood pressureCHD61 cohort studies (34 283 events)Blood cholesterol, diabetes, weight, alcohol intake, smokingYes13
Stroke61 cohort studies (11 960 events)Blood cholesterol, diabetes, weight, alcohol intake, smokingYes13
ObesityCHD57 cohort studiesAge, sex, smokingYes (from 20 kg/m2 onwards)14
Stroke57 cohort studiesAge, sex, smokingYes (from 23 kg/m2 onwards)14
Oesophagus cancerFour case–control studies**3
Pancreas cancer (C25)17 cohort studiesSmokingYes3
Colorectum cancer (C18)28 cohort studies*Yes3
Breast cancer (C50)16 cohort studies**3
Endometrial cancer (C54.1)15 cohort studies*Yes3
Kidney cancer (C64)Seven cohort studiesSmokingYes3
Gallbladder cancer (C23)Four cohort studies**3
  • The number of events is provided where reported in the source document.

  • * Either the adjusted factors or the dose–response relationship were not reported. ICD-10 codes are provided in parentheses for the first entry of each disease.

  • CHD, coronary heart disease.