Background and Aims: Overweight and other risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD) as well as their clustering, or the metabolic syndrome, are increasingly prevalent among children and adolescents. We examined dietary patterns, CVD risk factors, and the clustering of these risk factors, in 1139 14 year olds living in Western Australia.

Methods and Results: Usual dietary intake was assessed with a food frequency questionnaire. Two dietary patterns, ‘Western’ and ‘Healthy’, were identified using factor analysis. Associations between these dietary patterns and BMI, waist circumference, systolic blood pressure, fasting levels of serum glucose, insulin, total cholesterol, HDL C, LDL C, triglycerides and insulin resistance were assessed using ANOVA. Cluster analysis identified a high risk group (the “high risk metabolic cluster’) with features akin to adult metabolic syndrome. Belonging to the high risk metabolic cluster was examined in relation to dietary patterns using logistic regression, adjusting for aerobic fitness and socio demographic factors. Higher ‘Western’ dietary pattern scores were associated with greater odds for the ‘high risk metabolic cluster’ (p for trend =0.02) and greater mean values for total cholesterol (p for trend=0.03), waist circumference (p for trend=0.03) and BMI (p for trend =0.02) in girls, but not boys. Scores for the ‘Healthy’ dietary pattern were not related to the ‘high risk metabolic cluster but were inversely associated with serum glucose in boys and girls (p for trend=0.01 and 0.04, respectively) and were positively associated with HDL C in boys (p for trend=0.02).

Conclusions: Dietary patterns are associated with CVD risk factors and the clustering of these risk factors in adolescence.


Peer-reviewed, adolescents, metabolic syndrome, dietary patterns, cardiovascular disease, biochemistry, cohort study

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