Intake of milk, but not total dairy, yogurt, or cheese, is negatively associated with the clustering of cardiometabolic risk factors in adolescents
Epidemiologic studies have reported an inverse association between dairy product consumption and cardiometabolic risk factors in adults, but this relation is relatively unexplored in adolescents. We hypothesized that a higher dairy product intake is associated with lower cardiometabolic risk factor clustering in adolescents. To test this hypothesis, a cross-sectional study was conducted with 494 adolescents aged 15 to 18 years from the Azorean Archipelago, Portugal. We measured fasting glucose, insulin, total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides, systolic blood pressure, body fat, and cardiorespiratory fitness. We also calculated homeostatic model assessment and total cholesterol/high-density lipoprotein cholesterol ratio. For each one of these variables, a z score was computed using age and sex. A cardiometabolic risk score (CMRS) was constructed by summing up the z scores of all individual risk factors. High risk was considered to exist when an individual had at least 1 SD from this score. Diet was evaluated using a food frequency questionnaire, and the intake of total dairy (included milk, yogurt, and cheese), milk, yogurt, and cheese was categorized as low (equal to or below the median of the total sample) or "appropriate" (above the median of the total sample).The association between dairy product intake and CMRS was evaluated using separate logistic regression, and the results were adjusted for confounders. Adolescents with high milk intake had lower CMRS, compared with those with low intake (10.6% vs 18.1%, P = .018). Adolescents with appropriate milk intake were less likely to have high CMRS than those with low milk intake (odds ratio, 0.531; 95% confidence interval, 0.302-0.931). No association was found between CMRS and total dairy, yogurt, and cheese intake. Only milk intake seems to be inversely related to CMRS in adolescents.