Dietary habits and cardiometabolic health in obese children

Luisa Gilardini, Marina Croci, Lucia Pasqualinotto, Katherine Caffetto, Cecilia Invitti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Prevalence rates of cardiometabolic risk factors vary largely among overweight children. This study investigated the relationships between dietary habits and cardiometabolic health among obese children living in a city of Northern Italy. Methods: Dietary habits were collected in 448 obese subjects aged 6-18 years, attending an obesity outpatient center in Milan. Anthropometry, blood pressure (BP), lipids, fasting and post-load glucose, and insulin were measured. Physical activity was assessed in adolescents using a questionnaire. Results: Frequency of glucose intolerance, hypertension and dyslipidemia was 0.7%, 13% and 27.2%, respectively. Plausible reporters consumed more animal protein and sodium and less legumes than recommended in nutritional recommendations and adequate amounts of fiber mainly derived from whole grains. Subjects skipping breakfast had unhealthy diets and greater body fatness. After adjustment for confounders, waist/height and fasting glucose were associated with sodium intake (r =0.149 and r = 0.142, respectively; p <0.05), 2-hour glucose with fiber (r = -0.172; p <0.01), and BP with vegetable protein intake (systolic r = -0.120 (p <0.05); diastolic r = -0.267 (p <0.01)). Hypertensive children consumed less vegetable protein than normotensive children. Conclusions: The cardiometabolic health of obese children improves with vegetable protein and whole grain intake, whereas dysglycemia and adiposity increase with sodium intake.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-109
Number of pages9
JournalObesity Facts
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 24 2015


  • Cardiometabolic risk
  • Childhood obesity
  • Dietary habits
  • Glucose metabolism
  • Hypertension

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology (medical)
  • Health(social science)


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