Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Helen Swede, Joe A. Burleson

Field of Study

Public Health


Master of Public Health

Open Access

Open Access


Metabolic syndrome currently affects one third of adults in the U.S. and has been associated with a variety of chronic diseases that pose a burden to the nation. 1,2 In the nationally representative NHANES dataset (2001-2006), dietary inflammatory index scores were found to significantly predict metabolic syndrome outcome among individuals above the age of 50 (OR=1.088; 95% CI=1.014-1.167; p=0.0184). Individuals older than 50 years of age who consume diets very high inflammatory properties were found to be 2.14 times more likely to have metabolic syndrome than those who consume a diet with very low inflammatory properties. This study supports the hypothesis that there is a link between diet and metabolic syndrome, possibly through inflammatory mechanisms. Future research to establish causality between the dietary inflammatory index and metabolic syndrome could lead to further developments in the utilization of the DII as a tool for dietary intervention of this syndrome.

Major Advisor

Richard G. Stevens