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Dietary patterns and metabolic syndrome in a Japanese working population

Shamima Akter*, Akiko Nanri, Ngoc Minh Pham, Kayo Kurotani and Tetsuya Mizoue

Author Affiliations

Department of Epidemiology and Prevention, Clinical Research Center, National Center for Global Health and Medicine, Tokyo, Japan

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Nutrition & Metabolism 2013, 10:30  doi:10.1186/1743-7075-10-30

Published: 27 March 2013



Metabolic syndrome has become a major public health concern, but the role of diet in the etiology of this syndrome is not well understood. This study investigated the association between major dietary patterns and prevalence of metabolic syndrome in a Japanese working population.


This cross-sectional study was conducted among 460 municipal employees (284 men and 176 women), aged 21–67 years, who participated in a health survey at the time of periodic checkup. Dietary patterns were derived by using the principal component analysis of the consumption of 52 food and beverage items, which were assessed by a validated brief diet history questionnaire. Metabolic syndrome was defined according to the modified NCEP-ATP III criteria. Logistic regression was used to examine the association between dietary patterns and metabolic syndrome with adjustment of potential confounding variables.


Three dietary patterns were identified. Westernized breakfast pattern characterized by high intakes of bread, confectionaries, and milk and yogurt but low intakes of rice and alcoholic beverages was inversely associated with prevalence of metabolic syndrome and high blood pressure (P for trend = 0.02 and 0.049, respectively). Animal food pattern characterized by high intakes of fish and shellfish, meat, processed meat, mayonnaise, and egg was not associated with prevalence of metabolic syndrome, but was positively associated with high blood glucose (P for trend = 0.03). Healthy Japanese dietary pattern characterized by vegetables and fruits, soy products, mushrooms, and green tea was not appreciably associated with prevalence of metabolic syndrome or its components.


The results suggest that westernized breakfast pattern may confer some protection against metabolic syndrome in Japanese. The causality of these associations needs to be confirmed.

Cross-sectional study; Metabolic syndrome; Dietary pattern; Japanese