Soup consumption is associated with a reduced risk of overweight and obesity but not metabolic syndrome in US adults: NHANES 2003-2006

PLoS One. 2013 Sep 30;8(9):e75630. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0075630. eCollection 2013.


A limited number of studies have found that soup consumption is related to a lower risk of overweight and obesity in Asian and European populations, however, these studies do not provide a consistent picture regarding the association between soup consumption and markers of metabolic syndrome. To date, no study examining the relationship between soup and body weight or metabolic syndrome have been conducted in the US population. The present study used a sample of 4158 adults aged 19-64 who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey between 2003 and 2006. The frequency of soup consumption was determined using a food frequency questionnaire. The weighted prevalence of soup consumption was 94%, with a seasonal variation in the frequency of soup consumption being found. Non-consumers of soup were at a higher risk of being overweight or obese (adjusted odds ratio = 1.381, P = 0.013), with a higher adjusted prevalence of reduced HDL cholesterol (adjusted odds ratio = 1.280, P = 0.045), but there was no association between soup consumption and metabolic syndrome (P = 0.520). The frequency of soup consumption was inversely associated with covariate-adjusted body mass index and waist circumference (P<0.05), but not with biomarkers of metabolic syndrome, except for a lower fasting insulin level in frequent soup consumers (P = 0.022). Results from the present study suggest soup consumption is not associated with metabolic syndrome. However, there is an inverse relationship between soup consumption and body weight status in US adults, which support laboratory studies showing a potential benefit of soup consumption for body weight management.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index
  • Diet*
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Metabolic Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Metabolic Syndrome / prevention & control
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutrition Surveys
  • Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Obesity / prevention & control
  • Odds Ratio
  • Overweight / epidemiology*
  • Overweight / prevention & control
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Waist Circumference


  • Insulin

Grants and funding

The authors have no support or funding to report.