Total, low-fat, and full-fat dairy consumption and risk of metabolic syndrome among workers

Clin Nutr ESPEN. 2021 Dec;46:350-355. doi: 10.1016/j.clnesp.2021.09.733. Epub 2021 Sep 28.


Background & aim: Dairy products may play a beneficial role against metabolic syndrome; however, epidemiological evidence is scarce in Asian populations, who consume less dairy than Western populations. We prospectively investigated the association between dairy product intake, both overall and by fat content, and metabolic syndrome in a Japanese working population.

Methods: Participants were 1014 workers (aged 19-68 years) without metabolic syndrome at baseline who completed a 3-year follow-up survey. Dietary intake was assessed using a validated self-administered diet history questionnaire. Metabolic syndrome was defined according to the Joint Interim Statement (JIS) criteria. Multiple logistic regression was used to estimate the odds ratio of metabolic syndrome according to tertile of total, low-fat, and full-fat dairy product intake with adjustment for covariates.

Results: At the 3-year follow-up, 66 (6.5%) workers were newly identified as having metabolic syndrome. A trend towards decreased odds of developing metabolic syndrome was observed among those in the highest tertile of total and full-fat dairy product intake: multivariable-adjusted odds ratio for the highest versus lowest tertile was 0.54 (95% CI 0.26-1.12; P for trend = 0.094) for total dairy products and 0.50 (95% CI 0.24-1.05; P for trend = 0.038) for full-fat dairy products. Low-fat dairy intake was not associated with metabolic syndrome.

Conclusions: Our results suggest that higher intake of full-fat, but not low-fat, dairy products may be associated with a lower risk of metabolic syndrome among Japanese.

Keywords: Dairy; Japanese; Metabolic syndrome; Prospective study.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Dairy Products
  • Diet, Fat-Restricted
  • Humans
  • Metabolic Syndrome* / epidemiology
  • Metabolic Syndrome* / prevention & control
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Risk Factors