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Nutr Res Pract. 2013 Apr;7(2):139-45. doi: 10.4162/nrp.2013.7.2.139. Epub 2013 Apr 1.

Gender specific effect of major dietary patterns on the metabolic syndrome risk in Korean pre-pubertal children.

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Department of Oriental Medical Food and Nutrition, Semyung University, Jecheon 390-711, Korea.


There is a lack of data on metabolic risk factors during pre-puberty, which is important for identifying the subgroups of youth, at whom early interventions should be targeted. In this study, we evaluated the prevalence of metabolic risk factors and its subsequent relations with dietary patterns in Korean pre-pubertal children through a cross-sectional sample (n = 1,008; boys = 513) of pre-pubertal children (aged 8-9 years) from a sub-study of the Korea Metabolic Syndrome Research Initiatives (KMSRI) in Seoul, Korea. Measures of anthropometry and blood pressure as well as fasting blood samples were used in the analysis. A three-day food records were collected. The metabolic syndrome was defined according to the age-adjusted National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III guidelines. An added metabolic risk score was calculated for each subject by summing the quintile values of the five individual risk factors. Among the 5 risk components of metabolic syndrome, high waist circumference (WC) was the major factor (P < 0.001). A significant increasing trend of the added metabolic syndrome risk score was observed with the increase of WC (P (trend) < 0.001) among both genders. The cutoff point for high WC for pre-pubertal children was 61.3 cm for boys and 59.9 cm for girls. The prevalence of high triglyceride (TG) values was significantly higher in girls than it was in boys (P < 0.01). Girls in the highest quintile of balanced dietary pattern scores had lower TG values (P (trend) = 0.032) than did those in the lowest quintile. Moreover, girls in the highest quintile of western dietary pattern scores showed increasing trend for the added metabolic risk score (P (trend) = 0.026) compared with those in the lowest quintile. Adverse associations exist between western dietary patterns and the accumulation of metabolic risks among girls, not in boys, even during pre-puberty.


Metabolic syndrome; dietary pattern; gender; pre-pubertal children; waist circumference

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