NQplus – a longitudinal study on diet and health

During the past decades our lifestyle has changed considerably, as shown by for instance a decrease in physical activity levels and changes in dietary habits. With that, the number of people with obesity and cardiometabolic conditions is rising. To pin-point the specific dietary factors that may be responsible for the rise in obesity and adverse cardiometabolic health outcomes, we initiated the Nutrition Questionnaires plus (NQplus) study, a prospective cohort study initiated by researchers of the division of Human Nutrition of Wageningen University.

Recruitment started in May 2011 and 2048 men and women, aged 20-70 years, were willing to participate in the study. Baseline measurements included the assessment of habitual dietary intake (by FFQ and repeated 24-hour recalls), a physical examination (e.g. body composition, blood pressure, tonometry, AGE-measurement, and cognitive performance), a venepuncture (e.g. to determine total and HDL-cholesterol, triglycerides, glucose, carotenoids, tocopherols, fatty acids, vitamin D, MGP, and DNA profiles), 24-hour urine collection (e.g. for nitrogen, sodium, and potassium determination), and a variety of validated questionnaires (e.g. on demographics, body weight history, lifestyle, eating behaviour and mental health). All measurements are repeated after one and two years of follow-up.

Currently, the NQplus study is still on-going, and 2-year measurements are expected to be finalized in the summer of 2015. Several MSc and PhD student projects used these data to answer their research questions. This included a project on the development of the Dutch Healthy Diet index, a project on sodium, potassium and blood pressure, and projects on determinants of dietary intake and the role of various aspects of eating behaviour on obesity. Also the NDARD project is embedded in this study.

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