Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine whether dietary fat intake above current Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Range (AMDR) guidelines was associated with greater insulin resistance in black and white children.
Research methods and procedures: We studied 142 healthy children (n = 81 whites, n = 61 blacks), 6.5 to 14 years old. Dietary composition was determined by repeated 24-hour dietary recall, body composition by DXA, visceral fat by computed tomography, and insulin sensitivity (SI) and acute insulin response to glucose (AIRg) by frequently sampled intravenous glucose tolerance test. Subjects were categorized by ethnicity (white/black) and dietary fat intake (above-AMDR/within-AMDR guidelines), and differences were analyzed by 2 x 2 analysis of covariance, adjusting for covariates.
Results: After adjusting for total body fat, gender, and Tanner stage, subjects consuming dietary fat above AMDR intake guidelines had lower SI and higher AIRg. This effect was specific to black children (32% lower SI and 62% higher AIRg in above-AMDR compared with within-AMDR blacks) and was not seen in whites.
Discussion: In black, but not white, children, those with dietary fat intake above current AMDR guidelines had lower SI and higher AIRg than those who met AMDR guidelines. These findings support current AMDR guidelines for dietary fat in black children and adolescents. The mechanism(s) underlying the ethnic differences in the relationship between dietary fat intake and SI in children require further investigation.