Teens with high-fiber diets less likely to develop diabetes, heart risks

NEW YORK — Teenagers that consume a fiber-rich diet are less likely to develop metabolic syndrome, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

Based on a cross-sectional analysis of 2,128 boys and girls ages 12 to 19 years, who participated in the 1999-2002 National Health and Nutrition Examination survey, researchers found that 9.2% of those with a diet that consisted of the least amount of fiber had developed risk factors of metabolic syndrome, while only 3.1% with a fiber-rich diet experienced an increase. Overall, the prevalence of metabolic syndrome was 6.4% (138 subjects).

Metabolic syndrome is a group of risk factors that occur together and increase the risk for such conditions as coronary artery disease and Type 2 diabetes.

"It is more important to emphasize a paradigm that promotes the inclusion of fiber-rich, nutrient-dense, plant-based foods vs what foods to restrict or exclude as is commonly done when the focus is on total fat, cholesterol, or saturated fat intake," the researchers concluded.

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