Background: Although previous studies have established a close relationship between caloric intake and metabolic syndrome, there is limited research exploring the impact of meal frequency adjusted by caloric intake on metabolic syndrome (MetS). Objective: To evaluate the association of meal frequency and MetS after adjusting for confounding factors including caloric intake in Korean men and women. Methods: We analyzed the national representative data of a total 12,389 adults (5171 men, 7218 women) from the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES) 2010-2012. Subjects were categorized as eating 3 meals/day (MF3) or 2 or fewer meals/day (MF ≤ 2). Daily caloric intake was calculated using CAN-Pro 4.0 (The Korean Nutrition Society, Seoul, Korea). Results: The prevalence of components of MetS differed significantly according to meal frequency in both men and women. In an unadjusted analysis, the prevalence of MetS in women was significantly higher in the MF3 group than the MF ≤ 2 group (27.5% vs. 17.8%, P < 0.001), whereas the prevalence of MetS in men did not differ between the MF3 and MF ≤ 2 groups (24.6% vs. 22.7%, P = 0.281). However, after adjusting for age, caloric intake, smoking status, alcohol consumption, physical activity, income, and education level, men in the MF ≤ 2 group had an increased risk of metabolic syndrome compared to men in the MF3 group (OR = 1.37, 95%, CI = 1.12-1.67). On the other hand, meal frequency did not affect the risk of metabolic syndrome in women after adjusting for confounding factors including caloric intake (OR = 1.09, 95%, CI = 0.90-1.31). Conclusions: This study suggests that lower meal frequency adjusted for caloric intake, physical activity, age, smoking, alcohol, income, and education may be associated with increased risk of MetS in Korean men.
- Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey
- Meal frequency
- Metabolic syndrome
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism