Diet quality scores associated with improved cardiometabolic measures among African American adolescents

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Background: The Reversing the Negative cardiovascular Effects on Weight (ReNEW) Clinic is a prospective cohort study in children and adolescents (≤21 years) at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center. Methods: Cross-sectional analysis between diet quality using the Alternative Healthy Eating Index (AHEI-2010), pro-inflammatory potential using the Children’s Dietary Inflammatory Index (C-DII), and cardiometabolic outcomes. AHEI-2010 and C-DII scores were assessed by median intake determined from the sample distribution and associated with cardiometabolic measures using linear regression models. Changes in measures were evaluated in a sub-sample of participants invited to attend follow-up visits due to the presence of hypertensive blood pressure (n = 33). Results: Participants (n = 90) reported an average energy intake of 1790 kcal/day (SD ± 734), AHEI-2010 score of 55.04 (SD ± 9.86) (range: 0 to 110) and C-DII score of −0.12 (±0.86) (range −5 to 5). Participants with higher quality/anti-inflammatory diets trended towards more favorable cardiometabolic measures at baseline. Among the sub-sample (n = 33), there was a significant reduction in total energy (m = −302 kcal/day; p-value= 0.03) but no change in AHEI-2010 (p-value = 0.73) or C-DII score (p-value = 0.85) over follow-up. Conclusions: Despite stable diet quality scores, outpatient dietary and behavioral counseling may be an effective tool to reduce energy intake in youth with overweight/obesity and elevated blood pressure. Impact: Diet quality scores among obese, hypertensive, African American adolescents were low and reflect a pro-inflammatory diet.Reported intake was negligible for fruits, whole grains, nuts, and legumes, and well above the daily limit for sodium and saturated fat.Participants with high quality/anti-inflammatory diet quality scores trended toward improved cardiometabolic measures.Outpatient dietary counseling resulted in reduced total energy intake.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)853-861
Number of pages9
JournalPediatric research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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