Nut Intake Inversely Linked to Obesity, Metabolic Syndrome

Frequency of nut intake inversely associated with obesity; weaker link for metabolic syndrome

MONDAY, Jan. 13, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Nut consumption is inversely associated with obesity and with metabolic syndrome, with stronger associations seen for tree nuts, according to research published online Jan. 8 in PLOS ONE.

Karen Jaceldo-Siegl, Dr.P.H., from Loma Linda University in California, and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional analysis on clinical, dietary, anthropometric, and demographic data from 803 adults to examine the correlations between nut consumption, metabolic syndrome, and obesity. Intake of total nuts, tree nuts, and peanuts was assessed and participants were classified as low tree nut/low peanut (LT/LP), low tree nut/high peanut (LT/HP), high tree nut/high peanut (HT/HP), and high tree nut/low peanut (HT/LP) consumers.

The researchers found that obesity was lower for LT/HP, HT/HP, and HT/LP consumers, compared with LT/LP consumers (odds ratios, 0.89, 0.63, and 0.54, respectively; P trend = 0.006). The corresponding odds ratios were 0.77, 0.65, and 0.68, respectively, for metabolic syndrome (P trend = 0.056). There was a significant inverse association for nut intake frequency (once per week) with metabolic syndrome (3 percent less for tree nuts and 2 percent less for total nuts) and with obesity (7 and 3 percent less, respectively).

"Tree nuts appear to have [a] strong inverse association with obesity, and favorable though weaker association with metabolic syndrome independent of demographic, lifestyle, and dietary factors," the authors write.

One author serves on the scientific advisory board of Paramount Farms.

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