Diet plays an important role in the development of obesity and may contribute to dysregulated iron metabolism (DIM). A cross-sectional survey of 208 adults was conducted in Taipei Medical University Hospital (Taipei, Taiwan). A reduced-rank regression from 31 food groups was used for a dietary pattern analysis. DIM was defined as at least four of the following criteria: serum hepcidin (men >200 ng/mL and women >140 ng/mL), hyperferritinemia (serum ferritin of >300 ng/mL in men and >200 ng/mL in women), central obesity, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and two or more abnormal metabolic profiles. Compared to non-DIM patients, DIM patients were associated with an altered body composition and had a 4.52-fold (95% confidence interval (CI): (1.95–10.49); p < 0.001) greater risk of metabolic syndrome (MetS) after adjusting for covariates. A DIM-associated dietary pattern (high intake of deep-fried food, processed meats, chicken, pork, eating out, coffee, and animal fat/skin but low intake of steamed/boiled/raw foods and dairy products) independently predicted central obesity (odds ratio (OR): 1.57; 95% CI: 1.05–2.34; p < 0.05) and MetS (OR: 1.89; 95% CI: 1.07–3.35; p < 0.05). Individuals with the highest DIM pattern scores (tertile 3) had a higher visceral fat mass (%) (β = 0.232; 95% CI: 0.011–0.453; p < 0.05) but lower skeletal muscle mass (%) (β = −1.208; 95% CI: −2.177–−0.239; p < 0.05) compared to those with the lowest DIM pattern scores (tertile 1). In conclusion, a high score for the identified DIM-associated dietary pattern was associated with an unhealthier body composition and a higher risk of MetS.
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