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Open AccessArticle

Diets Rich in Fruits and Vegetables Are Associated with Lower Cardiovascular Disease Risk in Adolescents

1
Department of Nutrition, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC, 27412, USA
2
Jacobs Center for Productive Youth Development, University of Zurich, CH-8050 Zurich, Switzerland
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Department of Kinesiology, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC, 27412, USA
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Department of Human Development & Family Studies, Department of Psychology, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC, 27412, USA
5
Department of Psychology, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC, 27412, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2018, 10(2), 136; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10020136
Received: 30 November 2017 / Revised: 18 January 2018 / Accepted: 23 January 2018 / Published: 27 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Patterns, Diet Quality and Human Health)
Obesity and cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk are public health concerns in adolescents, yet few studies have examined the association of their diet to CVD risk factors. This study investigated associations between diet, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), blood pressure (BP), and blood lipids in 163 16–17 year olds. Diet recall data were converted into Healthy Eating Index-2010 (HEI) to assess diet quality. Differences in diet between groups with normal or obese BMI, normal or hypertensive BP, and normal or altered lipids were determined. Associations between diet and BMI, WC, BP, and lipids, controlling for race, gender, and socioeconomic status, were examined. Mean HEI was 49.2 (±12.0), with no differences observed between groups. HEI was not associated with any CVD risk. Sweetened beverage consumption was higher in obese adolescents, and positively related to total cholesterol (TC). Fruit intake was negatively related to BMI and diastolic BP. Total vegetable intake was negatively related to systolic BP. Greens and beans were negatively related to TC and LDL. Whole grains were negatively related to HDL. This research suggests a cardioprotective effect of diets rich in fruits and vegetables, as well as low in sweetened beverages in adolescents. View Full-Text
Keywords: diet quality; healthy eating index; adolescent; cardiovascular disease; obesity diet quality; healthy eating index; adolescent; cardiovascular disease; obesity
MDPI and ACS Style

Mellendick, K.; Shanahan, L.; Wideman, L.; Calkins, S.; Keane, S.; Lovelady, C. Diets Rich in Fruits and Vegetables Are Associated with Lower Cardiovascular Disease Risk in Adolescents. Nutrients 2018, 10, 136.

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