Body mass (kg) was measured in minimal clothing without shoes to the nearest 0.01 kg, using a digital weighing scale (Seca 707, Hamburg, Germany). Height was measured, using a tape meter to the nearest 0.1 cm in a standing position, without shoes, and with shoulders in a normal alignment. Waist circumference (WC) was measured at the umbilical level over light clothing, using a tape meter nearest 0.1 cm over the skin, without any pressure to body surface. Body mass index (BMI) was calculated as body mass in kilograms divided by height in square meters.

After 12–14 h overnight fasting, a blood sample was taken between 07:00 and 09:00, at baseline and follow up. All blood analyses were done at the TLGS research laboratory on the day of blood collection. Fasting plasma glucose (FPG) at baseline and follow-up phases and 2‐h post‐challenge plasma glucose (2‐h PCPG) at follow-up phase were measured using an enzymatic colorimetric method with glucose oxidase (inter- and intra‐assay coefficients of variation at baseline and follow‐up phases were both less than 2.3%). High‐density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL‐C) was measured after precipitation of the apolipoprotein B‐containing lipoproteins with phosphotungstic acid and serum triglycerides (TGs) were assayed using an enzymatic colorimetric method with glycerol phosphate oxidase. Both inter‐ and intra‐assay coefficients of variation were below 3 and 2.1% for HDL‐C and TGs, respectively, in all baseline and follow‐up assays. Analyses were performed using Pars Azmon kits (Pars Azmon Inc., Tehran, Iran) and a Selectra 2 auto‐analyzer (Vital Scientific, Spankeren, Netherlands).

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