The geographical environment, food culture, and dietary habits are substantially different between the southern and northern regions in China. We investigated the associations with dietary patterns and metabolic syndrome between Chinese adult from the southern and northern regions (North: 1249; South: 1849) using data from the Chinese Health and Nutrition 2009 survey. Respectively, four dietary patterns were identified by factor analysis in each of the two regions. Using factor analysis, each dietary pattern of factor score was calculated for three groups by tertile (T1 < T2 < T3). In the northern region, the association between the Alcohol and Western pattern and the risk of abdominal obesity (OR: 1.31; 95%: 1.01, 1.68) (OR: Odds Ratio), hypertriglyceridemia (OR: 1.35; 95%: 1.05, 1.74), high fasting blood glucose (OR: 1.37; 95%: 1.05, 1.80), and hypertension (OR: 1.55; 95%: 1.45, 1.99) was increased compared T1 to T3. In the southern region, the Convenience Food pattern was positively associated with hypertriglyceridemia (OR: 1.53; 95%: 1.03, 2.26), low high density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol (OR: 1.96; 95%: 1.12, 3.43), and metabolic syndrome (OR: 1.79; 95%: 1.03, 3.11). The Alcohol dietary pattern was positively associated with high fasting blood glucose (OR: 1.83, 95%: 1.13, 2.97). There are some dietary pattern differences in the two regions. It is necessary to consider the factors of food culture and food intake habits in order to provide nutrition education to Chinese individuals from different regions in the future.
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