Dietary inflammatory potential is an established risk factor for adverse cardiovascular events. In this study we analyzed the relation between the Dietary Inflammatory Index (DII) and cardiovascular risk factors, based on anthropometric, body composition, blood pressure, and heart rate parameters in children and adolescents. We conducted a cross-sectional study of 428 Spanish schoolchildren (mean age 12.32 ± 1.84), whose DII was calculated, based on a 24-hr diet recall over 3 days. Anthropometric measurements were taken, and body composition analyzed by bioelectrical impedance analysis. Blood pressure and heart rate parameters were assessed with an automatic monitor. Pubertal stage was assessed based on Tanner criteria. We analyzed the DII both as a continuous variable and as a category variable based on quartiles. Linear regression analysis revealed that the DII was significantly associated with waist to height ratio (WHtR) (p =.026; B = 0.128, 95% CI [.001–.016]) after adjusting for age, sex, total energy intake, and Tanner stage. All macro- and micronutrient intakes were found to be higher in the DII Q1 (anti-inflammatory diet) except for caffeine. This study provides preliminary evidence of a significant association between the DII and WHtR, an index of cardiovascular risk. The results obtained indicate that the inflammatory potential of the diet may play a role in children and adolescents becoming overweight or developing obesity. Future studies in young people should be conducted to validate and further explore these relationships.
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