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There is growing recognition of the link between diet, inflammation, and disease. Certain dietary patterns were found to either increase (e.g., “Western”) or lower (e.g., Mediterranean) inflammatory biomarkers. Furthermore, the consumption of anti-inflammatory foods was related to a decreased risk of developing chronic health conditions. Despite these findings, there is a paucity of research related to the inflammatory nature of diets in Canada. Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate the inflammatory nature of diets, as measured by the Dietary Inflammatory Index [DII]. Specifically, we determined the association between DII scores and Healthy Eating Index [HEI] Canada scores, as well as adherence to the Canadian Food Guide recommendations. Methods: This study used data from the Canadian Community Health Survey. Diet, health, and sociodemographic information was collected from participants. T-test and ANOVA analyses were conducted to determine if there were significant differences in mean DII scores between population characteristics. Separate regression analyses were performed to explore the association between DII and HEI Canada scores and adherence to CFG recommendations, respectively. Results: Significantly lower mean DII scores (anti-inflammatory) were reported for men, non-smokers and individuals who met physical activity recommendations. Higher adherence to CFG recommendations was associated with lower DII scores. Conclusion: There were significant differences in DII scores across geographical regions and socio-demographic groups in Canada. Future research should examine the regional differences in DII scores to develop targeted interventions and to further explore the relationship between HEI-C and DII scores.
Keywords: Dietary Inflammatory Index, inflammation, Canada food guide, diet quality