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To assess associations between three diet quality indices and metabolic syndrome (MetS) in the Cree (Eeyouch) of northern Québec, Canada, as well as to evaluate their pertinence in this Indigenous context.
The alternative-Healthy Eating Index 2010 (aHEI-2010), the Food Quality Score (FQS) and the contribution of ultra-processed products (UPP) to total daily dietary energy intake using the NOVA classification were calculated from 24 h food recalls. MetS was determined with the latest harmonized definition. Logistic regressions assessed the relationship between quintiles of dietary quality scores with MetS and its components.
Study sample from the 2005–2009 cross-sectional Nituuchischaayihititaau Aschii Environment-and-Health Study.
Eeyouch (n 811) from seven James Bay communities (≥18 years old).
MetS prevalence was 56·6 % with 95·4 % abdominal adiposity, 50·1 % elevated fasting plasma glucose, 43·4 % hypertension, 38·6 % elevated TAG and 44·5 % reduced HDL cholesterol. Comparing highest and lowest quintiles of scores, adjusted OR (95 % CI) of MetS was 0·70 (0·39, 1·08; P-trend=0·05) for aHEI-2010, 1·06 (0·63, 1·76; P-trend=0·87) for FQS and 1·90 (1·14, 3·17; P-trend=0·04) for the contribution of UPP to total daily dietary energy intake.
Although diet quality indices have been associated with cardiometabolic risk, only the dietary intake of UPP was significantly associated with MetS in the Eeyouch. Indices tailored to the food environment of northern communities are essential to further understand the impact of diet quality in this context.
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