BACKGROUND: The role of yogurt consumption in the development of metabolic syndrome (MetS) is not fully understood and the available epidemiologic evidence is scarce. The aim of our study was to assess the association between total, whole-fat, or low-fat yogurt consumption and the risk of developing MetS. METHODS: Yogurt consumption was assessed at baseline through a 136-item validated FFQ. MetS was defined following the harmonized definition for MetS according to the AHA and the IDF criteria. Logistic regression models were used. RESULTS: During the first 6-y of follow-up of the SUN cohort, 306 incident cases of MetS were identified. Frequent consumption [≥875 g/week (≥7 servings/week) versus ≤ 250 g/week (2 servings/week)] of total, whole-fat and low-fat yogurt consumption showed non-significant inverse associations with MetS [OR = 0.84 (95% CI: 0.60-1.18); 0.98 (95% CI: 0.68-1.41); and 0.63 (95% CI: 0.39-1.02) respectively]. Only one component of the MetS, central adiposity, was inversely associated with total and whole-fat yogurt consumption [OR = 0.85 (95% CI: 0.74-0.98) and 0.85 (95% CI: 0.73-0.99) respectively]. In the joint assessment of exposure to total yogurt consumption and fruit consumption, those in the highest category of total yogurt consumption, and having a high fruit consumption (above the median ≥264.5 g/day) exhibited a significantly lower risk of developing MetS [OR = 0.61 (95% CI: 0.38-0.99)] compared with those in the lowest category of total yogurt consumption and had fruit consumption below the study median. CONCLUSION: No significant association between yogurt consumption and MetS was apparent. Only one component out of the 5 MetS criteria, central adiposity, was inversely associated with high yogurt consumption. The combination of high consumption of both yogurt and fruit was inversely associated with the development of MetS.