Diet determines features of the metabolic syndrome in 6- to 14-year-old children

Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2009 Jan;79(1):14-23. doi: 10.1024/0300-9831.79.1.14.


Background/objectives: Insulin resistance (IR) and hypertension are common in overweight children, and the adipocyte-derived hormones resistin, adiponectin, and leptin may modulate IR and blood pressure (BP). Few data exist in children on dietary determinants of IR, BP, or leptin, and no data exist on dietary determinants of resistin and adiponectin. Therefore, the objective of this study was to investigate dietary determinants of IR, BP, resistin, adiponectin, and leptin concentrations, as well as the interrelationship among these variables, in normal and overweight children.

Subjects/methods: In 6- to 14-year-old Swiss children (n=79), nutritional intake was assessed using two 24-hour-recalls and a one-day dietary record. Body mass index (BMI), body fat percentage (BF%), waist/hip ratio (W/H ratio), BP, glucose, insulin, resistin, adiponectin, and leptin were determined. IR was calculated using the quantitative insulin sensitivity check index (QUICKI).

Results: BMI, BF%, and W/H ratio were significant predictors of leptin and insulin, QUICKI, and systolic BP, but not resistin or adiponectin. Of the overweight and obese children, 40% were diagnosed pre-hypertensive or hypertensive. Total energy, fat, saturated fat, and protein intakes were significant predictors of fasting insulin and QUICKI, and total fat, saturated fat, and monounsaturated fat intakes were significant predictors of systolic BP, independent of BMI standard deviation score (BMI-SDS) and age. There were no associations between these dietary factors and leptin, adiponectin, or resistin.

Conclusion: In children, dietary macronutrient composition is a predictor of IR and systolic BP, but not resistin, adiponectin, or leptin concentrations. Resistin and adiponectin concentrations are not correlated with IR or BP in this age range.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adiponectin / blood
  • Adiposity
  • Adolescent
  • Algorithms
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Blood Pressure / physiology*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Child
  • Databases, Factual
  • Diet Records
  • Diet Surveys
  • Diet*
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage*
  • Fasting / blood
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance / physiology*
  • Leisure Activities
  • Leptin / blood
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome* / blood
  • Motor Activity
  • Nutrition Policy
  • Obesity
  • Overweight
  • Regression Analysis
  • Resistin / blood
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Adiponectin
  • Blood Glucose
  • Dietary Fats
  • Leptin
  • Resistin