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A symposium on the health significance of dietary fat in the prevention and treatment of the metabolic syndrome (MetS) was held at the 20th International Congress of Nutrition in Granada, Spain, on September 19, 2013. Four nutrition experts addressed the topics of dietary fat and obesity, effects of dietary fat quality in obesity and insulin resistance, influence of early nutrition on the later risk of MetS and the relative merits of high- or low-fat diets in counteracting MetS. Participants agreed that preventing weight gain and achieving weight loss in overweight and obese patients were key strategies for reducing MetS. Both low-fat and low-carbohydrate diets are associated with weight loss, but adherence to the diet is the most important factor in achieving success. Avoidance of high saturated fats contributes to lower health risks among obese, MetS and diabetic patients. Further, healthy maternal weight at conception and in pregnancy is more important that weight gain during pregnancy for reducing the risk of obesity in the offspring. The effects of different polyunsaturated fatty acids on MetS and weight loss require clarification.

Original publication




Journal article


Ann Nutr Metab

Publication Date





167 - 178


Congresses as Topic, Diet, Carbohydrate-Restricted, Diet, Fat-Restricted, Dietary Carbohydrates, Dietary Fats, Fatty Acids, Fatty Acids, Unsaturated, Feeding Behavior, Female, Humans, Insulin Resistance, Male, Metabolic Syndrome, Obesity, Pregnancy, Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic, Spain, Weight Loss