Prospective association between a Mediterranean-style dietary score in childhood and cardiometabolic risk in young adults from the ALSPAC birth cohort

Diet and dietary patterns have been shown, in various studies, to influence cardiometabolic health.  This study investigates the association between the consumption of a Mediterranean diet in childhood and cardiometabolic disease risk in young adults

Quick takes:

  • Various studies show diet as a modifiable risk factor that can influence cardiometabolic diseases
  • This study used the children’s relative Mediterranean-style diet score (C-rMED) to calculate diet and dietary patterns for UK children at ages 7, 10, and 13 years; and anthropometric and biochemical data to calculate the Cardiometabolic risk (CMR) scores at the age of 17 and 24 years old in children from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC)
  • A high C-rMED score at the age of 13 years old was associated with a 32% decrease in CMR at the age of 24 years old, with no associations evident at other ages. Two high scores of C-rMED during the age bracket of 7 – 13 years old showed the highest decreased odds of having a high CMR score at the age of 24 years old
  • The impact of the Mediterranean diet in reducing adiposity and improving glucose metabolism appear to be the main factors driving the association, as reflected by homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) and fat mass index (FMI)
  • Findings highlight the importance of establishing healthy eating habits during childhood and early adolescents to support cardiometabolic health in later life stages
  • The potential application of a Mediterranean diet and dietary patterns in early life could be considered as a preventative strategy for cardiometabolic diseases in later life stages

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