Background and aims: Metabolically obese normal weight (MONW) subjects are a subgroup of individuals who have a normal weight and body mass index (BMI), but exhibit obesity-related abnormalities. The objective of this study was to analyze the prevalence of metabolic syndrome (MetS) and characteristics of diet patterns in MONW Koreans.
Methods and results: We analyzed the data of 3050 adults > 20 years of age with a normal BMI (18.5~24.9 kg/m(2)) obtained from the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III. Anthropometric measurements and information on health behaviors were obtained. The diagnostic criteria for MetS were defined by the International Diabetes Federation consensus. Dietary intake was assessed by the 24-h recall method. The weighted prevalence of MONW was 14.3%. The risk of MONW correlated inversely with the frequency of snacking and positively with the type of snack, particularly those with high carbohydrates. A high carbohydrate diet (≥73.9% of energy intake) compared to a low carbohydrate diet (<59.9% of energy intake) was positively associated with the risk of MONW (OR = 2.54; 95% CI: 1.41, 4.56), whereas a high protein diet (≥17.1% of energy intake) compared to a low protein diet (<12.2% of energy intake) reduced the risk of MONW (OR = 0.60; 95% CI: 0.39, 0.92) in females, but not in males.
Conclusions: This study suggests that a reduced intake of carbohydrates and carbohydrate snacks were associated with a lower prevalence of MONW in females.
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