Context: Childhood diet is hypothesized to influence development of chronic disease in adulthood.
Objective: Our objective was to evaluate the long-term effects of a dietary intervention to reduce fat and increase fiber intake during childhood and adolescence on the prevalence of metabolic syndrome in young adult women.
Design: A follow-up study was conducted in 2006-2008, 9 yr after termination of the Dietary Intervention Study in Children (DISC).
Setting: The study took place at six DISC clinical centers in the United States.
Participants: A total of 230 (76%) DISC female participants who were 25-29 yr old and had not been pregnant or breastfeeding in the previous 3 months participated in the follow-up study.
Intervention: There was no intervention between the end of the DISC trial and the follow-up visit.
Main outcome measure: Metabolic syndrome was the primary study endpoint planned before data collection and was hypothesized to be less common in the intervention group participants.
Results: Metabolic syndrome was uncommon, and its prevalence did not differ by treatment group. However, after adjustment for nondietary variables, mean systolic blood pressures of intervention and control group participants were 107.7 and 110.0 mm Hg, respectively (P = 0.03), whereas mean fasting plasma glucose levels were 87.0 and 89.1 mg/dl, respectively (P = 0.01). Intervention group participants also had lower concentrations of large very-low-density lipoprotein particles, a marker of hepatic insulin resistance, compared with control group participants. Adjustment for current diet did not materially alter results.
Conclusion: Consumption of a diet lower in fat and higher in fiber during childhood and adolescence may benefit glycemic control and blood pressure long term.