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Author Notes:

Corresponding author: Dr Aryeh D. Stein, fax + 1 404 727 1278, Aryeh.Stein@emory.edu

Acknowledgments: This study would not have been possible without the work and dedication of the INCAP field team, past and present investigators and collaborators, and of course continued participation of the INCAP cohort.

No author has any conflict of interest.

C. O. G. performed all statistical analyses and drafted the manuscript.

All authors participated in the study design, provided critical revision of the paper, and read and approved the final manuscript.


Research Funding:

We gratefully acknowledge financial support from the National Institutes of Health (R01 TW005598: PI Martorell; R01 HD046125: A. D. S.) and a pre-doctoral fellowship to C. O. G. from the American Heart Association.


  • Nutrition transition
  • Diet scores
  • Cardio-metabolic risk
  • Developing countries
  • Guatemala

Diet scores and cardio-metabolic risk factors among Guatemalan young adults


Journal Title:

British Journal of Nutrition


Volume 101, Number 12


, Pages 1805-1811

Type of Work:

Article | Final Publisher PDF


We assessed the association of four diet quality scores with multiple cardio-metabolic outcomes among Guatemalan young adults experiencing the nutrition transition. We obtained cross-sectional dietary, demographic, anthropometric and cardio-metabolic risk factor data from 1220 Guatemalan adults (mean age 32·7 (SD 5·8) years) in 2002–4, and computed a Recommended Food Score (RFS), Not Recommended Food Score (NRFS), Food Variety Score (FVS) and the Dietary Quality Index-International (DQI-I). All four scores were correlated with energy intake (r 0·23–0·49; all P<0·01), but had varying associations with socio-demographic characteristics, lifestyle factors and nutrient intakes. None of the scores was inversely associated with the metabolic syndrome or its components; rather some were positively associated with risk factors. Among both men and women the DQI-I was positively associated with BMI (kg/m2; β = 0·10, 95 % CI 0·003, 0·21 (men); β = 0·07, 95 % CI 0·01, 0·14 (women)) and waist circumference (cm; β = 0·02, 95 % CI 0·01, 0·03 (men); β = 0·02, 95 % CI = 0·01, 0·02 (women)). Among men, the RFS was positively associated with TAG (mg/l; β = 0·11, 95 % CI 0·02, 0·21) and glucose (mg/l; β = 0·13: 95 % CI 0·03, 0·22). We conclude that indices of diet quality are not consistently associated with chronic disease risk factor prevalence in this population of Guatemalan young adults.

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© The Authors 2008

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