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Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 Oct;92(4):912-21. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.2010.29482. Epub 2010 Sep 1.

Mediterranean dietary patterns and prospective weight change in participants of the EPIC-PANACEA project.

Author information

1
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom. d.romaguera-bosch@imperial.ac.uk

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

There is an association between a greater adherence to a Mediterranean diet and a reduced risk of developing chronic diseases. However, it is not clear whether this dietary pattern may be protective also against the development of obesity.

OBJECTIVE:

We assessed the association between the adherence to the Mediterranean dietary pattern (MDP), prospective weight change, and the incidence of overweight or obesity.

DESIGN:

We conducted a prospective cohort study [the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition-Physical Activity, Nutrition, Alcohol Consumption, Cessation of Smoking, Eating Out of Home, and Obesity (EPIC-PANACEA) project] in 373,803 individuals (103,455 men and 270,348 women; age range: 25-70 y) from 10 European countries. Anthropometric measurements were obtained at recruitment and after a median follow-up time of 5 y. The relative Mediterranean Diet Score (rMED; score range: 0-18) was used to assess adherence to the MDP according to the consumption of 9 dietary components that are characteristic of the Mediterranean diet. The association between the rMED and 5-y weight change was modeled through multiadjusted mixed-effects linear regression.

RESULTS:

Individuals with a high adherence to the MDP according to the rMED (11-18 points) showed a 5-y weight change of -0.16 kg (95% CI: -0.24, -0.07 kg) and were 10% (95% CI: 4%, 18%) less likely to develop overweight or obesity than were individuals with a low adherence to the MDP (0-6 points). The low meat content of the Mediterranean diet seemed to account for most of its positive effect against weight gain.

CONCLUSION:

This study shows that promoting the MDP as a model of healthy eating may help to prevent weight gain and the development of obesity.

PMID:
20810975
DOI:
10.3945/ajcn.2010.29482
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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