Background: Dietary patterns represent a broad picture of food and nutrient consumption and may be more predictive of health outcomes than individual foods and nutrients.
Objective: We investigated the relations among race, gender, family structure, parental socioeconomic status (SES), dietary patterns, and cardiovascular disease (CVD) profiles among adolescents in the southeastern region of the United States.
Methods: A total of 743 adolescents from a cross-sectional study were divided into 4 dietary pattern groups by K-means cluster analysis. Multinomial logistic regression was performed to determine the relations among the parental SES, family structures, and dietary patterns of the adolescents. Associations between dietary patterns and CVD profiles were analyzed by multiple linear regression.
Results: Four dietary patterns were derived: "healthy" (17%), "snacks and sweets" (26%), "processed meat" (20%), and "sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) and fried food" (37%). Whites and females were more likely to have a "healthy" dietary pattern (Ps < 0.001). There were significant race/ethnicity differences in family structures, SES, and dietary patterns (Ps < 0.05). In whites, higher mother's education and father's education and occupation were associated with greater likelihood of a "healthy" dietary pattern (Ps < 0.05). Stay-at-home mother was associated with less likelihood of an "SSB and fried food" pattern (P = 0.023). In blacks, higher mother's occupation, father's education, and living with both parents were associated with more likelihood of a "healthy" dietary pattern (Ps < 0.05). Stay-at-home father was associated with less likelihood of the "snacks and sweets" (P = 0.025) and "SSB and fried food" dietary patterns (P = 0.044). Overall, adolescents with poor dietary patterns exhibited higher percentage body fat, waist circumference, systolic blood pressure, fasting insulin, homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance, C-reactive protein, and total triglyceride (Ps < 0.05).
Conclusions: Our data suggest that family structure, parental working status, and SES are associated with the diet quality in adolescents. Moreover, "snacks and sweets," "processed meat," and "SSB and fried food" dietary patterns are all associated with worse CVD risk profiles.