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Association between dietary patterns and metabolic syndrome in a sample of portuguese adults

Maria João Fonseca1*, Rita Gaio12, Carla Lopes13 and Ana Cristina Santos13

Author affiliations

1 Institute of Public Health, University of Porto, Rua das Taipas nº 135, Porto, 4050-600, Portugal

2 Department of Mathematics, Science Faculty, University of Porto, Portugal. Centre for Mathematics, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal (CMUP

3 Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Predictive Medicine and Public Health and Cardiovascular Research & Development Unit, University of Porto Medical School, Porto, Portugal

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Citation and License

Nutrition Journal 2012, 11:64  doi:10.1186/1475-2891-11-64

Published: 3 September 2012



There is scarce evidence regarding the association between diet and metabolic syndrome (MetS) in Portuguese population. We aim to evaluate the association between a posteriori dietary patterns (DPs) and MetS and its features.


Using random digit dialing, a sample of 2167 adults was selected between 1999 and 2003, in Porto. During a face-to-face interview, a questionnaire was applied, anthropometric measures were taken, blood pressure measured and a fasting blood sample collected. Diet was assessed using a validated food frequency questionnaire, and four DPs were identified in each sex by multivariate finite mixture models.


After adjustment for age and daily energy intake, comparing to the “healthy” DP, women with the “low fruit and vegetables” DP had a higher odds of high waist circumference (OR = 1.88 95% CI 1.17-3.01) and low HDL-cholesterol (OR = 1.78 95% IC 1.12-2.82) and women in the “red meat and alcohol” DP had higher odds of high waist circumference (OR = 1.45 95% CI 1.01-2.07) and of MetS (OR = 1.57 95% CI 1.07-2.29); men with the “fish” DP had a higher odds of high triglycerides (OR = 1.57 95% CI 1.05-2.35). After further adjustments (education, physical activity, smoking, alcohol drinking, BMI, and menopausal status) no significant associations remained.


Four distinct DPs were identified in a community sample of Portuguese adults and there was no association with the prevalence of MetS.

a posteriori dietary patterns; Finite mixture model; Metabolic syndrome; Portugal