Background: Dietary antioxidants may decrease body fat through reduction of oxidative stress. This study aimed to examine the association between dietary antioxidant index (DAI) and body mass index (BMI) in adolescent boys. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 593 adolescent boys aged 12–16 years were randomly selected and were divided into two groups of overweight and non-overweight individuals. Data on physical activity and anthropometric measurements were collected. Dietary intake was assessed using 168-item semi quantitative food frequency questionnaire and the DAI score was calculated to measure the antioxidant capacity of the diet. Results: The overweight adolescents had higher intake of energy (2490.55 ± 632.49 vs. 2354.33 ± 632.64 kcal/d, p = 0.01), carbohydrate (290.21 ± 71.41 vs. 272.93 ± 79.22 g/d, p = 0.01), fat (111.51 ± 40.76 vs. 104.51 ± 35.56 g/d, p = 0.04), calcium (811.70 ± 283.70 vs. 741.06 ± 251.17 g/d, p = 0.003), and vitamin D (1.41 ± 1.17 vs. 1.18 ± 1.19 μg/d, p = 0.031) in comparison with normal weight adolescents. The DAI had an inverse association with BMI after adjustment for age and caloric intake (OR: 0.85, 95% CI: 0.76–0.96, p = 0.009). Additional adjustment for dietary intake of vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin C, zinc, manganese, and selenium did not change the results. Conclusion: The results of the study showed that following a diet rich in antioxidants may be effective in preventing obesity in adolescent boys. Further longitudinal studies are needed to confirm these finding and to determine the underlying mechanisms.
- dietary antioxidant