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Nutrients. 2018 Jul 26;10(8). pii: E966. doi: 10.3390/nu10080966.

Adherence to the Mediterranean Diet Is Associated with Physical Activity, Self-Concept and Sociodemographic Factors in University Student.

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Department of Didactics of Musical, Plastic and Corporal Expression, University of Granada, 18071 Granada, Spain.
Department of Nursing, University of Granada, 18071 Granada, Spain.
Department of Integrated Didactics, University of Huelva, 21007 Huelva, Spain.
Department of Education, University of Almería, 04120 Almería, Spain.
Department of Didactics of Musical, Plastic and Corporal Expression, University of Granada, 18071 Granada, Spain.


(1) Background: The aim of this study was to assess adherence to the Mediterranean diet (MD) and to examine the relationship between MD adherence, physical activity, self-concept, and other sociodemographic factors; (2) Methods: A cross-sectional study (N = 597; 18.99 ± 0.64 years) was conducted in a sample of university students from Ceuta, Melilla, and Granada (Spain). Religious beliefs and place of residence were directly reported, while physical activity and adherence to the MD were self-reported using the Physical Activity Questionnaire for Adolescents (PAQ-A) and the Mediterranean Diet Quality Index (KIDMED) respectively. Self-concept was evaluated using the Five-Factor Self-Concept Scale; (3) Results: Of those students reporting high levels of habitual physical activity, 82.3% also reported high adherence to the MD, with 17.7% reporting a medium adherence. Of students reporting no physical activity, 25.7% also reported medium adherence to the MD. No significant associations were found between the MD and religious beliefs. It was observed that the university campus was associated with the level of adherence to the MD (p = 0.030), with adherence being lowest in Ceuta and Melilla. Finally, the MD was associated with academic (p = 0.001) and physical self-concept (p = 0.005); 4) Conclusions: The MD should be promoted to university students, particularly those studying at Ceuta and Melilla, given the present findings of lower MD adherence. In addition, as higher MD adherence was also highlighted with more positive self-concept, its promotion would be beneficial in wider educational contexts.


Mediterranean diet; physical activity; self-concept; socioeconomic factors

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