BACKGROUND AND AIMS: This study aims to examine the associations of food portion size (PS) with markers of insulin resistance (IR) and clustered of metabolic risk score in European adolescents.
METHODS: A total of 495 adolescents (53.5% females) from the Healthy Lifestyle in Europe by Nutrition in Adolescence (HELENA) study were included. The association between PS from food groups and homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) index, VO2 max, and metabolic risk score was assessed by multilinear regression analysis adjusting for several confounders. Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was used to determine the mean differences of food PS from food groups by HOMA-IR cutoff categories by using maternal education as a covariable.
RESULTS: Larger PS from vegetables in both gender and milk, yoghurt, and milk beverages in males were associated with higher VO2 max, while larger PS from margarines and vegetable oils were associated with lower VO2 max (p < 0.05). Males who consumed larger PS from fish and fish products; meat substitutes, nuts, and pulses; cakes, pies, and biscuits; and sugar, honey, jams, and chocolate have a higher metabolic risk score (p < 0.05). Males with lower HOMA-IR cutoff values consumed larger PS from vegetables, milk, yoghurt, and milk beverages (p < 0.05). Females with lower HOMA-IR cutoff values consumed larger PS from breakfast cereals, while those with higher HOMA-IR cutoff values consumed larger PS from butter and animal fats (p = 0.018).
CONCLUSION: The results show that larger PS from dairy products, cereals, and high energy dense foods are a significant determinant of IR and VO2 max, and larger PS from food with higher content of sugar were associated with higher metabolic risk score.