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01-03-2012 | Cardiometabolic | Article

Dietary pattern influences effect of diet beverages on cardiometabolic risk


Free abstract

MedWire News: An individual's overall dietary pattern can influence the association between diet beverage consumption and risk for incident cardiometabolic outcomes, shows study findings.

Diet beverages, which contain no calories, are currently recommended by the American Diabetes Association and many weight-loss programs as a means to reduce energy intake and therefore promote weight control and support weight loss, explain the study authors.

However, positive associations between diet beverage consumption and increased cardiometabolic risk have been reported.

In the present study, the researchers examined whether different dietary patterns have an effect on associations between diet beverage consumption and 20-year cardiometabolic risk.

Dietary intake was assessed in more than 4000 participants of the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) Study at baseline using the CARDIA Diet History questionnaire.

Cluster analysis identified two baseline dietary patterns: prudent (higher intakes of fruit, whole grains, and nuts and seeds; n=1778) and Western (higher intakes of fast food, meat and poultry, pizza and snacks; n=2383). Participants were also classified as "consumers" or "nonconsumers" of diet beverages.

Overall, 22.7% of participants consumed diet beverages and 42.7% had a prudent dietary pattern. Consumers of diet beverages were more likely to be in the prudent than Western diet group (66.2 vs 36.0%).

Individuals in the prudent diet group had a 33% lower risk for developing the metabolic syndrome, as well as three of its components (low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, high triglycerides, and high blood pressure) than those consuming a Western diet.

Nonconsumers had a 19% lower risk for developing the metabolic syndrome compared with consumers, but the authors note there was no consistency observed among its components (significantly lower risk was only observed for high waist circumference).

In combined analyses, being a nonconsumer with a prudent diet was independently associated with the lowest cardiometabolic risk. Specifically, compared with Western consumers, prudent nonconsumers had a significant 22% lower risk for high waist circumference, 28% lower risk for high triglycerides, and a 36% lower risk for developing the metabolic syndrome through year 20.

"Our results suggest that both overall dietary pattern and diet beverage consumption are important, to various degrees, for different metabolic outcomes," say Kiyah Duffey (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, USA) and team. "This covariation and interaction may partially explain differences in the relation between diet beverage consumption and cardiometabolic health observed in previous studies."

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2012

By Nikki Withers