Role of Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension Diet in Risk of Metabolic Syndrome: Evidence from Observational and Interventional Studies

Hossein Farhadnejad, Hadi Emamat, Farshad Teymoori, Hadith Tangestani, Azita Hekmatdoost, Parvin Mirmiran


Background: This systematic review was conducted to review the studies investigating the role of dietary approach to stop hypertension (DASH) diet in prevalence and progression of the metabolic syndrome (MetS) in children, adolescents, and adults.

Methods: Electronic searches for included studies were performed in MEDLINE, SCOPUS, EMBASE, Cochrane Trial Register, and ISI Web of Science until 30 March 2020. Study selection, data extraction, and quality assessment were fulfilled independently by two reviewers using predefined criteria. Studies were included if they assessed the role of adherence to DASH diet in risk of incidence, prevalence, and development of MetS.

Results: Twelve eligible studies (eight observational studies and four clinical trials) were identified. Despite methodological heterogeneity, limited statistical power, and the cross‑sectional nature of most of observational studies, greater adherence to DASH diet was associated with reduced risk of MetS. However, results for change in metabolic characteristics based on dietary intervention with DASH diet in some interventional studies were somewhat controversial.

Conclusions: The current study demonstrates that, based on observational studies, greater adherence to a DASH diet is inversely associated with MetS presence and progression. However, more interventional studies are needed in this regard to clarify the exact effect of DASH diet on MetS.


DASH diet; dietary approaches to stop hypertension diet; metabolic syndrome; systematic review

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