Objective To test the hypothesis that lipid intake is associated with triglycerides to HDL-cholesterol ratio (TG/HDL-cholesterol), a predictor of the development of cardiovascular disease, in obese children and adolescents, independently from the level of overweight, insulin resistance, blood pressure, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Study design One hundred and eighty non-diabetic obese children/adolescents (age range 6-16 years) were enrolled. Diet (3-day weighed dietary record), physical and biochemical parameters and liver ultrasonography were measured. The impact of lipid intake on TG/HDL-cholesterol ratio >2.2 was measured by regression models, adjusting for covariates (age, gender, height, weight, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, NAFLD positivity, HOMA-IR, and total energy intake). Results Independently from covariates, children consuming a diet with a fat content higher than 35% of total energy had a significantly higher chance [OR = 3.333 (95% CI: 1.113-9.979), P = 0.031] to have a TG/HDL-cholesterol >2.2 than children consuming less than 35% of fat. Moreover, if saturated fatty acids (SFA) intake was higher than 13% of total energy, children had a significantly higher chance [OR = 4.804 (95% CI: 1.312-17.593), P = 0.018] to have a TG/HDL-cholesterol >2.2 than children consuming less than 13% of SFA in their diet. Conclusions High fat intake, especially SFA intake, is associated with TG/HDL-cholesterol levels of obese children and adolescents, independently from other cardiovascular risk co-factors. Further intervention studies will contribute to clarify the potential role of changes in the composition and amount of fat in the diet of obese children and adolescents, on their cardiovascular risk factors.
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