Takeaway food, sugar-sweetened beverages and preclinical cardiometabolic phenotypes in children and adults

Eur J Prev Cardiol. 2022 Jan 11;28(16):1784-1794. doi: 10.1093/eurjpc/zwaa070.


Aims: To investigate relationships between takeaway food and sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) consumption with cardiometabolic phenotypes during childhood and mid-adulthood.

Method: Design: Cross-sectional Child Health CheckPoint within the national population-representative Longitudinal Study of Australian Children. Participants: 1838 children (mean age 11.5 years; 49.1% female) and 1846 adults (mean age 43.7 years; 87.6% female). Exposures: Self-reported takeaway food and SSB consumption ('frequent': ≥ weekly). Outcomes: Functional (pulse wave velocity (PWV), blood pressure (BP)) and structural (carotid intima-media thickness, retinal microvascular calibre) preclinical cardiovascular phenotypes; lipids (total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL), high-density lipoprotein (HDL), triglycerides). Analysis: Linear regression (exposure: takeaway or SSB consumption, individually or together) adjusted for age, sex and socio-economic position; and mediation analysis for body mass index (BMI).

Results: Associations were small among children (standardized mean difference (SMD) ≤0.15). In adults, associations were stronger with functional, but not structural, cardiovascular phenotypes and lipids, particularly for frequent takeaway food consumption (e.g. PWV (0.20 m/s; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.03 to 0.37); systolic (3.3 mmHg; 95% CI 1.3 to 5.3) and diastolic BP (1.4 mmHg; 95% CI 0.2 to 2.6); LDL (0.10 mmol/L; 95% CI 0.02 to 0.18); HDL (-0.14 mmol/L; 95% CI -0.19 to -0.10) and triglycerides (0.30 mmol/L; 95% CI 0.12 to 0.48)]. BMI mediated associations between takeaway food consumption and PWV, BP, HDL and TG (proportion of mediation 34% to 75%), while mediation effects were smaller for SSB consumption.

Conclusions: Frequent takeaway food consumption in adults was associated with adverse blood lipids and vascular function (mainly via BMI). Lack of strong associations in children highlights opportunities for prevention.

Keywords: Adults; Arterial stiffness; Arterial structure; Blood pressure; Cardiometabolic phenotypes; Cardiovascular; Children; Plasma lipids; Sugar-sweetened beverages; Takeaway foods.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Australia / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / diagnosis
  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / prevention & control
  • Carotid Intima-Media Thickness
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Phenotype
  • Pulse Wave Analysis
  • Sugar-Sweetened Beverages* / adverse effects