OBJECTIVES:The aim of this study was to evaluate the independent association of the dietary inflammatory index (DII®) score with overweight and obesity in Brazilian participants of the Cohort of Universities of Minas Gerais (CUME project). METHODS:This was a cross-sectional study consisting of 3,151 graduates and postgraduates (2197 women) with a mean (SD) age of 36.3 y (±9.4 y). Sociodemographic characteristics, lifestyle, and anthropometric data were assessed via online self-reported questionnaire. Additionally, a validated food frequency questionnaire with 144 food items was used to generate energy-adjusted DII (E-DIITM) scores, which evaluated the inflammatory potential of the diet. RESULTS:The prevalence of overweight and obesity were 28.2% and 11%, respectively. Participants in the highest E-DII quartile (most proinflammatory diet) were more likely to be smokers/former smokers; sedentary; and consumers of red and ultra-processed meats, fats and oils (excluding olive oil), bottled fruit juices and soft drinks, sugars, sweets, and higher overall caloric intake, compared with the first quartile of E-DII. Both men and women in the fourth E-DII quartile had the highest prevalence of overweight and obesity (prevalence ratio [PR], 1.35; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.14-1.59 and PR, 1.97; 95% CI, 1.20-3.22, respectively, in men; PR, 1.38; 95% CI, 1.17 to 1.65 and PR, 1.95; 95% CI, 1.31-2.90, respectively, in women). CONCLUSION:The most proinflammatory dietary pattern was associated with a higher prevalence of overweight and obesity and other unhealthy lifestyles including being sedentary, smoking, and consuming a obesogenic diet.