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Public Health Nutr. 2014 Sep;17(9):2001-9. doi: 10.1017/S1368980013002188. Epub 2013 Aug 14.

Mediterranean diet adherence rates in Sicily, southern Italy.

Author information

1
1Department G.F. Ingrassia,Section of Hygiene and Public Health,University of Catania,Via Santa Sofia 87,CT 95123,Catania,Italy.
2
3Provincial Health Authority of Catania,Catania,Italy.
3
2Department of Drug Sciences,Section of Biochemistry,University of Catania,Catania,Italy.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To assess adherence to the Mediterranean diet and nutrient intakes in a population of Sicily, southern Italy and to evaluate possible determinants, particularly socio-cultural and lifestyle factors.

DESIGN:

Cross-sectional.

SETTING:

Urban and rural areas of eastern Sicily.

SUBJECTS:

Between May 2009 and December 2010, 3090 adults were randomly recruited through the collaboration of fourteen general practitioners. Adherence to the Mediterranean diet was measured by the MedDietScore. Nutrient intakes were assessed through the 24 h recall of the previous day's dietary intake.

RESULTS:

Rural participants were barely more adherent to the Mediterranean diet than their urban counterparts (mean scores were 27·8 and 27·2, respectively, P = 0·037). The MedDietScore was correlated with intakes of MUFA, fibre and vitamin C, as well as with consumption of non-refined cereals, vegetables, fruit, meat, dairy products, alcohol and nuts. Regression analysis revealed that older and more educated people were more likely to be in the highest tertile of MedDietScore (OR = 1.90; 95 % CI 1·39, 2·59 and OR = 1·29; 95 % CI 1·05, 1·58, respectively). A significant difference in quantity (moderate) and quality (red wine and beer) of alcohol was found according to adherence to the Mediterranean diet. Finally, more active participants were 1·5 times more likely to form part of the high-adherence group.

CONCLUSIONS:

A slow but concrete moving away from traditional patterns has been observed in younger people and low educated people. Public health interventions should focus on these target populations in order to improve the quality of their diet.

PMID:
23941897
DOI:
10.1017/S1368980013002188
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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