© 2015 The Authors. The long-term adherence to the dietary guidelines has not been evaluated against emergence of cardiometabolic risks in adolescents with increasing rates of obesity. The present study aimed to (1) determine the level of adherence to the guidelines using the Australian Dietary Guideline Index for Children and Adolescents (DGI-CA) in adolescents of age 14 and 17 years and to (2) examine the relationship between their assessed diet quality and concurrently measured cardiometabolic risk factors over time. Data were analysed from the Western Australian Pregnancy Cohort (Raine) Study. The DGI-CA was determined from a FFQ. Anthropometry and fasting biochemical measures were taken using standard procedures. Hierarchical linear mixed models examined associations between cardiometabolic risk factors and DGI-CA, adjusting for socio-economic status, physical activity, BMI, and sex, and examining for interactions. The mean DGI-CA scores were 47·1 (sd 10·2) at 14 years (n 1419) and 47·7 (sd 11·0) at 17 years (n 843), and were not different between sex. There was a significant inverse association between DGI-CA and insulin, homeostasis model assessment score and heart rate. The DGI-CA was positively associated with BMI (P= 0·029) but negatively with waist:hip ratio (P= 0·026). It was not associated with lipids or blood pressure, with the exception of a negative association with TAG (P= 0·011). The degree of adherence in the Raine Study adolescents was suboptimal but similar to the Australian Children's Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey. The present study shows that, at any particular time, better diet quality was associated with better insulin sensitivity and TAG levels and decreased abdominal fatness.