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Appetite. 2008 Mar-May;50(2-3):455-63. Epub 2007 Oct 9.

Differentiating between the effect of rapid dietary acculturation and the effect of living away from home for the first time, on the diets of Greek students studying in Glasgow.

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Human Nutrition Section, Division of Developmental Medicine, University of Glasgow, Scotland.


The diets of University students, particularly those living away from the family home, are characterised by a number of undesirable practices such as meal skipping, frequent snacking and low intakes of fruits and vegetables. This study aimed to identify the extent to which the previously reported negative changes in the eating habits of Greek students living in Glasgow were the result of rapid dietary acculturation (the 'Glasgow effect'), and the extent to which these changes were the result of living away from the family home for the first time. Using a self-administered questionnaire, we assessed the diets before and after commencing university of Greek students living in the family home (n=43) or away from home either in Greece (n=37) or in Glasgow (n=55). No significant changes were observed in the diets of students who continued to live at home after starting university. Significant changes observed only in the students living in Glasgow were decreases in consumption frequency of fresh fruits, meat and cheese, and increases in consumption of snack foods. These changes were attributed to rapid dietary acculturation. Young Greek adults faced difficulties in maintaining a traditional Mediterranean diet after leaving the family home, particularly after moving to a Northern European environment.

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