Insulin resistance (IR) is regarded as one of the earliest features of many metabolic diseases, and major efforts are aimed at improving insulin function to confront this issue. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship of body mass index (BMI), cigarette smoking, alcohol intake, physical activity, green tea and coffee consumption to IR.
We performed a cross-sectional study of 1542 male self defense officials. IR was defined as the highest quartile of the fasting plasma insulin (≥ 50 pmol/L) or the homeostasis model assessment-estimated IR (HOMA-IR ≥ 1.81). An unconditional logistic model was used to estimate the odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) for the association between IR and influential factors. Stratified analysis by obesity status (BMI < 25 kg/m2, non-obese; ≥ 25 kg/m2, obese) was performed.
IR was significantly positively related to BMI and glucose tolerance, negatively related to alcohol use. Independent of obesity status, significant trends were observed between IR and alcohol use. Drinking 30 mL or more of ethanol per day reduced IR by less than 40%. Strong physical activity was associated with decreased risk of IR based on fasting plasma insulin only in the obese. Coffee consumption was inversely associated with the risk of IR based on HOMA-IR in the non-obese group.
Higher coffee consumption may be protective against IR among only the non-obese. Further studies are warranted to examine the effect modification of the obesity status on the coffee-IR association.