Prospective association between a Mediterranean-style dietary score in childhood and cardiometabolic risk in young adults from the ALSPAC birth cohort

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
77 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose To investigate the prospective association between a children’s relative Mediterranean-style diet score (C-rMED)
in childhood and a Cardiometabolic Risk (CMR) score in adolescence/young adulthood in the Avon Longitudinal Study of
Parents and Children (ALSPAC).
Methods A C-rMED was calculated at 7, 10 and 13 years from diet diary data. Anthropometric and biochemical data at 17
(N=1940) and 24 years (N=1961) were used to calculate CMR scores (sum of sex-specifc log-transformed z-scores from
triacylglycerol, HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, mean arterial blood pressure, homeostatic model assessment of insulin
resistance (HOMA-IR) and fat mass index (FMI)). Adjusted logistic regression models examined associations between
C-rMED (categorical and 2-unit increments) and a high CMR score (≥80th percentile) and individual CMR components
(≥80th percentile).
Results A high C-rMED at 13 was associated with a 32% (OR 0.68 (95% CI: 0.49, 0.94)) decreased adjusted odds of having
a high CMR score at 24 years, compared to participants with a low C-rMED. No associations were evident at other ages.
Tracking of the C-rMED across the three ages showed a stronger negative association between C-rMED and CMR at 24 years
when children had at least two high C-rMED scores from 7 to 13 years (adjusted OR: 0.49, 95% CI: 0.29, 0.85), compared
to all low scores. FMI and HOMA-IR were the main CMR components contributing to this association.
Conclusion Higher Mediterranean-style diet scores in early adolescence were associated with a better CMR profle in young
adults (24 year olds). This underscores the importance of establishing healthy eating habits early in life for future cardiometabolic health.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
JournalEuropean Journal of Nutrition
Early online date17 Sept 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 17 Sept 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The UK Medical Research Council and Wellcome (Grant ref: 217065/Z/19/Z) and the University of Bristol provide core support for ALSPAC. A comprehensive list of grant funding is available on the ALSPAC website ( ). This research was specifically funded by Wellcome Trust and MRC (076467/Z/05/Z) and The British Heart Foundation (CS/15/6/31468). GB is supported by a British Heart Foundation Research Fellowship (FS/19/3/34255). CMT is supported by an MRC Career Development Award (MR/T010010/1). The study funders had no role in the study design, data collection or analysis, or preparation of the manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).

Structured keywords

  • SPS Exercise, Nutrition and Health Sciences


  • Mediterranean dietary pattern
  • Cardiometabolic risk score
  • Children and adolescents
  • Prospective cohort study


Dive into the research topics of 'Prospective association between a Mediterranean-style dietary score in childhood and cardiometabolic risk in young adults from the ALSPAC birth cohort'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this