Inverse relation between dietary fiber intake and visceral adiposity in overweight Latino youth

Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Nov;90(5):1160-6. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.2009.28133. Epub 2009 Sep 30.


Background: To date, no studies have assessed the longitudinal changes of dietary intake on metabolic risk factors in Latino youth.

Objective: We assessed the relation between changes in dietary intake, specifically sugar and fiber intakes, with changes in adiposity and risk factors for type 2 diabetes in a longitudinal analysis of overweight Latino youth.

Design: Overweight Latino youth (n = 85; aged 11-17 y) underwent the following measures over 2 y [mean (+/-SD) time difference was 1.5 +/- 0.5 y]: dietary intake by 2-d diet recalls, body composition by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry and magnetic resonance imaging, and glucose and insulin indexes by oral- and intravenous-glucose-tolerance tests. Partial correlations and repeated-measures analysis of covariance assessed the relation between changes in dietary intake with changes in adiposity and glucose and insulin indexes, independent of the following a priori covariates: sex, Tanner stage, time between visits, and baseline dietary and metabolic variables of interest.

Results: Increases in total dietary fiber (g/1000 kcal) and insoluble fiber (g/1000 kcal) were associated with decreases in visceral adipose tissue (VAT) (r = -0.29, P = 0.02, and r = -0.27, P = 0.03, for total dietary and insoluble fiber, respectively), independent of baseline covariates and change in subcutaneous abdominal adipose tissue. Participants who had decreased total dietary fiber (mean decrease of 3 g . 1000 kcal(-1) x d(-1)) had significant increases in VAT compared with participants who had increased total dietary fiber (21% compared with -4%; P = 0.02). No other changes in dietary variables were related to changes in adiposity or metabolic variables.

Conclusion: Small reductions in dietary fiber intake over 1-2 y can have profound effects on increasing visceral adiposity in a high-risk Latino youth population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / anatomy & histology*
  • Adiposity / physiology*
  • Adolescent
  • Area Under Curve
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Body Composition / physiology
  • Body Mass Index
  • Child
  • Cohort Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / genetics
  • Dietary Fiber / metabolism*
  • Energy Intake*
  • Female
  • Hispanic or Latino*
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Male
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Overweight / epidemiology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Viscera / anatomy & histology*


  • Blood Glucose
  • Dietary Fiber
  • Insulin