Research Research and Professional Brief| Volume 108, ISSUE 8, P1355-1359, August 2008

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Dietary Intake and the Metabolic Syndrome in Overweight Latino Children


      Little is known about the relationship between diet and metabolic health in Latino children, a population at increased risk for diabetes. The present study evaluates diet composition and the metabolic syndrome in a cross-sectional sample of 109 overweight Latino children aged 10 to 17 years with a family history of type 2 diabetes. Dietary intake was assessed by two 24-hour recalls. Associations between nutrients and features of the metabolic syndrome were examined using multiple linear regression and analysis of covariance. Log cholesterol intake was positively associated with log systolic blood pressure (β=0.034, P=0.017) and log soluble dietary fiber intake was inversely associated with log waist circumference (β=−0.069, P=0.036). Log soluble fiber intake was significantly higher in participants with 0 features compared to those with 3+ features of the metabolic syndrome (P=0.046), which translates to 5.2 g vs 4.1 g soluble fiber daily. No other significant associations were found between dietary variables and either the individual features of the metabolic syndrome or the clustering of metabolic syndrome components. Increases in soluble fiber through the daily consumption of fruits, vegetables, and beans may improve metabolic health in Latino children.
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      E. E. Ventura, C. E. Byrd-Williams, and C. M. Toledo-Corral are research assistants and doctoral students, J. N. Davis is an assistant professor, L. A. Kelly is a research associate, K. E. Alexander is a research assistant, and C. J. Lane is a biostatistician, Department of Preventive Medicine; and W. Lee is a research assistant, Department of Biostatistics; all at the University of Southern California, Keck School of Medicine, Los Angeles.


      G. Q. Shaibi is a postdoctoral research fellow, College of Nursing and Healthcare Innovation, Arizona State University, Phoenix.


      M. J. Weigensberg is associate professor, Clinical Pediatrics, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, and director, Pediatric Endocrinology, Los Angeles County and University of Southern California Medical Center, Los Angeles.


      M. I. Goran is professor of preventive medicine/physiology and biophysics, University of Southern California, Keck School of Medicine, Los Angeles; he is also director, USC Childhood Obesity Research Center (CORC), Los Angeles, CA.