Nutritional risk and the metabolic syndrome in women: opportunities for preventive intervention from the Framingham Nutrition Study1–3

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Abstract

Background:

Diet is recognized as a key factor in the cause and management of the metabolic syndrome (MetS). However, policies to guide preventive clinical nutrition interventions of the condition are limited.

Objectives:

We examined the relation between dietary quality and incident MetS in adult women and identified foci for preventive nutrition interventions.

Design:

This was a prospective study of 300 healthy women (aged 30–69 y) in the Framingham Offspring-Spouse study who were free of MetS risk factors at baseline. The development of individual MetS traits and overall MetS status during 12 y of follow-up were compared in women by tertile of nutritional risk, based on intake of 19 nutrients. Multivariate logistic regression models considered age, smoking, physical activity, and menopausal status.

Results:

Baseline age-adjusted mean nutrient intake and ischemic heart disease risk profiles differed by tertile of nutritional risk. Women with higher nutritional risk profiles consumed more dietary lipids (total, saturated, and monounsaturated fats) and alcohol and less fiber and micronutrients; they had higher cigarette use and waist circumferences. Compared with women with the lowest nutritional risk, those in the highest tertile had a 2- to 3-fold risk of the development of abdominal obesity and overall MetS during 12 y of follow-up [odds ratio: 2.3 (95% CI: 1.2, 4.3) and 3.0 (95% CI: 1.2, 7.6), respectively].

Conclusions:

Higher composite nutritional risk predicts the development of abdominal obesity and MetS during long-term follow-up in healthy women, independent of lifestyle and ischemic heart disease risk factors. Preventive nutrition interventions for obesity and MetS risk reduction should focus on the overall nutritional quality of women's dietary profiles. Am J Clin Nutr 2006;84:434–41.

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