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Heterogeneities in diet and disease associations across different populations might be related to differences in dietary intakes and socioeconomic correlates. To investigate this, NDPH researchers working with data from the China Kadoorie Biobank (CKB) study and the UK Biobank (UKB) study collaborated to compare intakes of major food groups overall and by socio-economic status (income and education) between the two cohorts. They also investigated associations of dietary intake with BMI in each cohort. The results have been published in the European Journal of Nutrition.

Data from 25,000 CKB participants and 74,000 UKB participants showed that there were large differences in the intakes of the 12 major foods groups and five beverages while red meat consumption was similar for both cohorts. Associations of dietary intakes with BMI and socio-economic status also varied between the two cohorts, with a higher status associated with a higher overall intake of all foods and beverages in CKB whereas different associations were observed for diet and income and diet and education in UKB. These findings support the hypothesis that possible differences in observed diet-disease associations observed between China and the UK might relate to differences in dietary intakes and their correlates between these populations. Differences in dietary intakes may provide insight into potentially different diet–disease associations between CKB and UKB.