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Eur J Nutr. 2013 Feb;52(1):97-105. doi: 10.1007/s00394-011-0291-3. Epub 2011 Dec 23.

Association between dietary patterns and the risk of metabolic syndrome among Lebanese adults.

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Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences, Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences, American University of Beirut, Riad El-Solh, P.O.Box 11-0236, Beirut, 1107-2020, Lebanon.



The main objective of this study was to evaluate the association between dietary patterns and the metabolic syndrome (MetS) and its metabolic abnormalities among Lebanese adults, using data from a national nutrition survey.


A cross-sectional analysis involving adults aged ≥ 18 years (n = 323) with no prior history of chronic diseases was conducted. Participants completed a brief sociodemographic and 61-item food frequency questionnaire. Anthropometric measurements and fasting blood samples were also obtained. The International Diabetes Federation criteria were used to classify study participants with the metabolic syndrome. Dietary patterns were identified by factor analysis. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to evaluate the associations of extracted patterns with MetS and its metabolic abnormalities.


Out of 323 participants, 112 (34.6%) were classified as having MetS. Three dietary patterns were identified: "Fast Food/Dessert," "Traditional Lebanese," and "High Protein." Compared with participants in the lowest quintile of the Fast Food/Dessert pattern, those in the highest quintile had significantly higher odds for MetS (OR, 3.13; 95% CI: 1.36-7.22) and hyperglycemia (OR, 3.81; 95% CI: 159-9.14). Subjects with the highest intake of the High Protein pattern had an increased risk for hypertension (OR, 2.98; 95% CI: 1.26-7.02). The Traditional Lebanese pattern showed no association with MetS or its components.


The findings of this study demonstrate a positive association of the Fast Food/Dessert pattern with MetS and hyperglycemia among Lebanese adults. These results may guide the development of improved preventive nutrition interventions in this adult population.

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