Abstract Background Diet has been associated with differences in weight and nutritional status of an individual. The prevalence of overweight and obesity increased among adults in Taiwan. Hence, we examined the relationship between dietary patterns and weight status by gender among middle-aged and older adults in Taiwan. Methods The cross-sectional data of 62,965 participants aged ≥40 years were retrieved from the Mei Jau health screening institutions’ database collected from 2001 and 2010. Diet information was evaluated using a food frequency questionnaire, while the dietary patterns were derived using principal component analysis before summing up and dividing into quintiles of consumption. The association between dietary patterns and weight status among adult men and women was explored using multinomial logistic regression models. Three models were analyzed before stratifying data by gender. Results Two dietary patterns were derived with one reflecting a high consumption of vegetables and fruits (vegetable-fruit dietary pattern) and the other a high consumption of meat and processed foods (meat-processed dietary pattern). After adjustment, highest consumption of vegetables and fruits (Q5) reduced the likelihood of being overweight (OR = 0.91; 95% CI, 0.85–0.97) or obese (OR = 0.85; 95% CI, 0.78–0.92), while highest consumption of meat and processed foods increased the likelihood of being overweight (OR = 1.50; 95% CI, 1.40–1.59) or obese (OR = 1.94; 95% CI, 1.79–2.10). Women were less likely to be overweight or obese with the highest intake of fruits and vegetables (Q5) while both genders were more likely to be overweight or obese with high consumption of meat and processed foods. Conclusions High intake of vegetables and fruits is associated with lower odds of being overweight or obese, especially among women. But, high intake of meat and processed foods is associated with higher odds of overweight and obesity in both genders.