A dietary guideline adherence score is positively associated with dietary biomarkers but not lipid profile in healthy children

Rebecca K. Golley, Sarah A. McNaughton, Gilly A. Hendrie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Whether dietary indexes are associated with biomarkers of children's dietary intake is unclear. Objective: The study aim was to examine the relations between diet quality and selected plasma biomarkers of dietary intake and serum lipid profile. Methods: The study sample consisted of 130 children aged 4-13 y (mean ± SD: 8.6 ± 2.9 y) derived by using baseline data from an intervention study. The Dietary Guideline Index for Children and Adolescents (DGI-CA) comprises the following 11 components with age-specific criteria: 5 core food groups, whole-grain bread, reduced-fat dairy foods, discretionary foods (nutrient poor; high in saturated fat, salt, and added sugar), healthy fats/oils, water, and diet variety (possible score of 100). A higher score reflects greater compliance with dietary guidelines. Venous blood was collected for measurements of serum lipids, fatty acid composition, plasma carotenoids, lutein, lycopene, and α-tocopherol. Linear regression was used to examine the relation between DGI-CA score (independent variable) and concentrations of biomarkers by using the log-transformed variable (outcome), controlling for confounders. Results: DGI-CA score was positively associated (P < 0.05) with plasma concentrations of lutein (standardized ß = 0.17), α-carotene (standardized ß = 0.28), ß-carotene (standardized ß = 0.26), and n-3 (ω-3) fatty acids (standardized ß = 0.51) and inversely associated with plasma concentrations of lycopene (standardized ß = -0.23) and stearic acid (18:0) (standardized ß = -0.22). No association was observed between diet quality and α-tocopherol, n-6 fatty acids, or serum lipid profile (all P > 0.05). Conclusion: Diet quality, conceptualized as adherence to national dietary guidelines, is cross-sectionally associated with plasma biomarkers of dietary exposure but not serum lipid profile. This trial was registered with the Australia New Zealand Clinical Trial Registry (www.anztr.org.au) as ACTRN12609000453280.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)128-133
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number1
Early online date19 Nov 2014
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Cardiovascular risk factor
  • Child
  • Diet quality
  • Dietary biomarker
  • Disease
  • Validity


Dive into the research topics of 'A dietary guideline adherence score is positively associated with dietary biomarkers but not lipid profile in healthy children'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this