Background: Metabolic syndrome (MetS), a cluster of visceral adiposity-related risk factors, affects approximately 35% of the United States population. Although improvement in diet quality is an important approach to reducing MetS risk, the role of particular dietary components remains unclear, especially among younger adults. Individual dietary components have been implicated in ameliorating or exacerbating MetS risk; however, the extent to which these factors contribute to MetS prevention has received little attention. Objective: This cross-sectional study aimed to assess relations between diet and individual MetS components in young to middle-aged adults who are overweight and/or obese. Methods: Participants aged 25-45 y (N = 117) with overweight and obesity, but no other diagnosed metabolic disease, recorded dietary intake over 7 d. MetS components (waist circumference, blood pressure, glucose, triglycerides [TGs], and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol [HDL]) were measured. Visceral adipose tissue was measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Linear regression was used to assess relations between diet and MetS risk factors, adjusting for age, sex, and visceral adipose tissue. Results: MetS prevalence in this sample was 32%. Energy-adjusted total fiber intake (β = −0.21, P = 0.02) was inversely associated with TG concentrations. No significant relations were observed between other dietary factors and MetS components. These findings indicate that among MetS components, TG concentrations are potentially sensitive to fiber consumption. Conclusions: These results provide cross-sectional evidence supporting the protective influence of dietary fiber on MetS components among young to middle-aged adults. Additional, well-designed clinical trials are needed to assess the causal relations between various types of dietary fiber and metabolic disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbernzy094
JournalCurrent Developments in Nutrition
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2019


  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Obesity
  • Soluble fiber
  • Visceral adiposity
  • Young adults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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