In the present study, we examined the associations of total carbohydrate intake, dietary glycaemic load (DGL) and white rice intake with metabolic syndrome risk factors by sex in Korean adolescents. For the present cross-sectional study, data from the Fourth Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2007-9) were used. A total of 2209 adolescents (n 1164 boys and n 1045 girls) aged 10-18 years with complete anthropometric, biochemical and dietary intake data were included in the study. Dietary intake data were obtained using the 24 h recall method, and total carbohydrate intake, DGL and white rice intake were divided into quartiles by sex. The metabolic syndrome and its risk factors were defined using the International Diabetes Federation criteria for children and adolescents. Fasting insulin levels and insulin resistance were included as the metabolic syndrome risk factors. All statistical analyses considered the complex sampling design effect and appropriate sampling weights. Multivariate linear regression analysis was used to estimate means with their standard errors of the mean for the metabolic syndrome risk factors across the quartiles of total carbohydrate intake, DGL and white rice intake. While high DGL was significantly associated with increased fasting glucose levels in boys, high total carbohydrate intake, DGL and white rice intake were consistently associated with reduced HDL-cholesterol levels in girls. High white rice intake was significantly associated with an increased risk of insulin resistance and the metabolic syndrome in girls but not in boys. Optimising dietary carbohydrate intake with respect to the source or amount is fundamental to preventing and managing metabolic diseases in Asian adolescents.
Keywords: Korean adolescents.