Alexis Elinkowski, Weber State University
Purpose/hypothesis We investigated the difference in metabolic syndrome parameters among college students based on their individual caloric distributions. We hypothesize that meal calorie distribution consumption will be influential on the MetS parameters in both males and females. Methodology We assessed MetS parameters in 108 Weber State University student participants, ages 18-54 years. Two-day diet records for each participant were collected and analyzed using Diet and Wellness Plus. Participants were separated by gender (Male:33; Female:75) and by meal calorie distribution. Groups included high, medium and low % of calories in breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Correlations between MetS parameters and calorie consumption, as well as mean comparisons between meal calorie distribution groups and MetS parameters, were assessed using SPSS software. Results Significant correlations in MetS parameters and total calories were found among participants in the categories of weight (r=0.27, p=0.005), waist circumference (r=0.23, p=0.01) and systolic blood pressure (r= 0.39, p=0.0001). Women in the high calorie breakfast distribution group presented lower systolic blood pressure than women in the low or medium breakfast group (ë_= 106.3 mm/Hg, ë_= 113.2. mm/Hg, ë_= 112.01 mm/Hg p – 0.05). Men in the high snack consumer group presented higher HDL than the low snack group (ë_= 41.9 mg/dL, ë_= 29.9 mg/dL p – 0.01). Men in the high snack consumer group also presented higher blood glucose than the low and moderate snack groups(ë_= 98.9 mg/dL, ë_= 92.9 mg/dL, ë_= 91.5 mg/dL p – 0.05). Conclusion In this study, males with a higher snack calorie distribution presented higher HDL-C than the lower snack calorie distribution counterparts. It is possible that this observation is due to HDL-C promoting foods consumed as snacks. High snack consumption is linked to increased exercise which is known to increase HDL-C. In females, higher caloric intake distribution for breakfast resulted in lower systolic blood pressure compared to the medium and lower breakfast intake groups. Previous studies have shown that skipping breakfast increases cortisol levels, which may result in higher blood pressure. Furthermore, many breakfast associated foods such as milk and eggs have shown to exert blood pressure lowering effects. Consumption of such foods may play a role in the results observed in this study. Meal calorie distribution seems to have an effect on MetS parameters. Further, research elucidating possible mechanisms behind this observation such as common foods consumed for each meal and meal effects on appetite hormones are warranted.