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Epidemiology

A modified Mediterranean diet score is inversely associated with metabolic syndrome in Korean adults

Abstract

Background/objectives

Findings from studies in Western countries showed that Mediterranean diet is inversely associated with metabolic syndrome, but little is known about this association in Asian countries. To evaluate the association between Mediterranean diet and metabolic syndrome in Korean population, this study was conducted.

Subjects/methods

A total of 8387 adults 19–64 years of age from the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2012–2015 were assessed. A 112-item dish-based semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire was used to assess dietary intakes. Mediterranean diet was assessed by a modified Mediterranean diet score, which was based on the alternate Mediterranean diet score of Fung et al. Multivariable logistic regression models were used to calculate odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) adjusted for other dietary and lifestyle variables.

Results

Participants with 5–6 and 7 or higher modified Mediterranean diet scores had a lower prevalence of metabolic syndrome by 27% (OR = 0.73, 95% CI: 0.56–0.96) and 36% (OR = 0.64, 95% CI: 0.46–0.89; P-trend = 0.0031), compared with those with 2 or lower modified Mediterranean diet scores, respectively. Higher modified Mediterranean diet scores were associated with a lower prevalence of abdominal obesity and hypertriglyceridemia, which are components of metabolic syndrome

Conclusions

Our findings suggest that diet rich in fruit, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, peanuts and fish is associated with a lower prevalence of metabolic syndrome in Korean adults.

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Acknowledgements

This research was supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF), funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (NRF-2015R1A1A1A05001362). The sponsor had no role in the design of the study, data collection and analysis, preparation of the manuscript or decision to publish.

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Correspondence to Youjin Je.

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Kim, Y., Je, Y. A modified Mediterranean diet score is inversely associated with metabolic syndrome in Korean adults. Eur J Clin Nutr 72, 1682–1689 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41430-018-0156-4

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