There is little data on the type of vegetable oil used and the prevalence of metabolic syndrome (MS) in Asian Indians. Food frequency questionnaire was used to document the type of cooking oil in 1875 adults in Chennai city. MS was assessed by new harmonizing criteria. The prevalence of MS was higher among sunflower oil users (30.7%) than palmolein (23.2%) and traditional oil (17.1%, p < 0.001) users. The higher prevalence of MS in sunflower oil group persisted even when stratified according to body mass index, except in obese groups. The risk of MS was further compounded by quantity of refined cereals consumed. Higher LA%E and linoleic acid/alpha-linolenic acid ratio in sunflower oil probably contributes to increased risk of MS. © 2012 Informa UK, Ltd.
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