An increasing number of studies in Western countries have examined the relationship between dietary pattern, namely the measurement of overall diet by considering the cumulative effects of nutrients, and the risk of metabolic syndrome (MetS). However, such information is absolutely lacking among Asian populations, including Korea, with different subject characteristics and culture-specific dietary habits. This cross-sectional study examined the association between dietary pattern identified by factor analysis and the risk of MetS among Korean population. We used data from the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2007–2009. The analytical sample included men and women aged 30–80 years with 24 h recall, anthropometric and clinical measurements (n=5320). MetS was defined based on the Adult Treatment Panel III of the National Cholesterol Education Program criteria as having three or more risk factors using a modified obesity index. We identified three dietary patterns (“Meat & alcohol”, “Unbalanced Korean”, and “Diverse”) in both sexes. After adjustment for potential confounding factors, subjects in the highest quintile of the “Diverse” dietary pattern had significantly lower risk of MetS compared with those in the lowest in both sexes (multivariate OR: 0.50; 95% CI 0.27 to 0.90; p for trend =0.174 for men; multivariate OR: 0.58; 95% CI 0.38 to 0.87; p for trend =0.005 for women). Other dietary patterns were not associated with the risk of MetS. The result suggests that a diet high in vegetables, fruits, eggs, fish, and meat might reduce the risk of MetS among Korean population.
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