Eating behavior and metabolic syndrome over time

  • Yun-Mi Song
  • Kayoung LeeEmail author
Original Article



We evaluated the longitudinal associations between eating behaviors (EB) and risk of metabolic syndrome (MetS).


We obtained complete data on EB, assessed using the Dutch Eating Behavior Questionnaire, and MetS components at baseline and follow-up. Participants included 1876 individuals (704 men, 1172 women; mean age, 45.0 ± 12.8 years) from those participating in the Korean Healthy Twin study. A generalized estimating equation model was applied, with sociodemographic factors, health-related factors, follow-up interval, and EB (baseline and changes over time) as independent factors.


MetS at baseline was 21.5%, while incident MetS and persistent MetS were 12.0% and 66.6%, respectively, at the 3.13 ± 1.38 years follow-up period. In men, baseline restrained EB had positive associations with concurrent MetS (odds ratio [95% confidence interval] per 1 point increase in the score, 1.55 [1.33–1.81]) and persistent MetS (1.53 [1.16–2.01]); baseline external EB and change in external EB had positive associations with persistent MetS (1.56 [1.04–2.33], 1.37 [1.01–2.22], respectively). In women, baseline restrained EB had a positive association with concurrent MetS (1.14 [1.01–1.30]); baseline external EB had an inverse association with persistent MetS (0.71[0.52–0.98]); baseline emotional EB had positive associations with concurrent, incident, and persistent MetS (1.23 [1.01–1.50], 2.14 [1.50–3.06], and 1.92 [1.40–2.64], respectively); and change in emotional EB had positive associations with incident and persistent MetS (1.50 [1.05–2.15], 1.62 [1.14–2.29], respectively).


Higher restrained and external EB, and an increase in external EB in men; and higher restrained and emotional EB, and an increase in emotional EB in women may be associated with increased risk of concurrent, incident, or persistent MetS.

Level of evidence

III, cohort study.


Dutch Eating Behavior Questionnaire Restrained eating behavior Emotional eating behavior Metabolic syndrome Sex 



This work was supported by 2018 Inje University Busan Paik Hospital Research Grant.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

This work was supported by the 2018 Inje University Busan Paik Hospital Research Grant. There are no conflicts of interest to declare.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Family MedicineSamsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of MedicineSeoulRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Department of Family Medicine, Busan Paik HospitalInje University College of MedicineBusanRepublic of Korea

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