Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) Dietary Pattern Is Associated with Reduced Incidence of Metabolic Syndrome in Children and Adolescents

J Pediatr. 2016 Jul;174:178-184.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2016.03.077. Epub 2016 May 5.


Objective: To assess the association of adherence to Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH)-style diet with development of metabolic syndrome (MetS) in children and adolescents.

Study design: Dietary data were collected using a valid and reliable food frequency questionnaire among 425 healthy subjects, aged 6-18 years. MetS was defined as the presence of at least 3 of the following according to the Cook criteria: waist circumference ≥90th percentile for sex and age according to national reference curves; systolic blood pressure and/or diastolic blood pressure ≥90th percentile for sex, age, and height; fasting plasma glucose ≥100 mg/dL; triglycerides ≥110 mg/dL; and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol <40 mg/dL. The DASH-style diet score was assessed based on 8 components: high intakes of whole grain, vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes; moderate amounts of low-fat dairy products; and low intake of red and processed meat, sweetened beverages, and sodium. Multivariable logistic regression models were used to estimate the OR and 95% CI after 3.6 years of follow-up for developing MetS in each quartile of DASH score after adjustment for baseline confounders.

Results: Mean ± SD for age and DASH score were 13.6 ± 3.7 years and 24.1 ± 4.3, respectively, at baseline. The OR (95% CI) of developing MetS in the highest, compared with the lowest, quartile of DASH score was 0.36 (0.14-0.94) with a linear decreasing trend (P for trend = .023). Also, incidence of hypertension, high fasting plasma glucose, and abdominal obesity decreased with higher adherence to DASH diet (P < .05 for all).

Conclusions: Our findings indicate the relationship of adherence to DASH-style diet with MetS and some of its components in both children and adolescents.

Keywords: Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension; adolescents; children; diet quality score; metabolic syndrome.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Child
  • Diet*
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / prevention & control*
  • Incidence
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Metabolic Syndrome / prevention & control
  • Prospective Studies