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Nutr Hosp. 2013 Sep-Oct;28(5):1741-9. doi: 10.3305/nh.2013.28.5.6758.

[Mediterranean and Western dietary patterns in adult population of a Mediterranean area; a cluster analysis].

[Article in Spanish; Abstract available in Spanish from the publisher]

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Departamento de Salud Pública. Universidad Miguel Hernández Campus San Juan. España.


in English, Spanish


To identify dietary patterns among participants in a representative nutritional survey in the Valencia Community, and to analyze the association with socio-demographic characteristics and lifestyles.


Data for this study were from 1803 participants (973 women) in the Nutrition and Health Survey conducted in 1994 on a representative sample of adult population of Valencia Community. Diet was assessed by a validated food frequency questionnaire. Foods intakes were adjusted for 1,000 calories and grouped in 26 groups. Cluster analysis was used to identify dietary patterns using standardized values of the variables (z-scores).


Three dietary patterns were identified and labeled as follows: the Prudent pattern (57.2%), characterized by a low-medium intake of most food of groups; the Mediterranean pattern (29.1%) characterized by high intake of fruits, vegetables, fish, poultry, cheese, and legumes; and the Western pattern (13.7%) characterized by high intake of meat and processed meats, high fat content foods, sweets and sugar, beverages, and alcoholic beverages. The Mediterranean pattern obtained higher scores for known diet quality index defined a priori. Using the Mediterranean pattern as reference, Western pattern included significantly more young people, higher number of men and smokers, and the Prudent pattern higher number of men, lower physical activity and lower alcohol consumption.


Three dietary patterns were identified among participants in the Nutrition Survey of Valencia conducted in the mid-1990S: Prudent, Mediterranean and Western. The Prudent pattern was the most prevalent; the Mediterranean pattern was associated with healthier lifestyles and behaviors; and the Western pattern, the less prevalent although more frequently followed by youth, men and smokers. Further Nutrition Surveys should be carried out to make nutritional surveillance and analyze health effects of these observed patterns.

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