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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111

Abstract

GONZALEZ, C.A. et al. Sociodemographic differences in adherence to the Mediterranean dietary pattern in Spanish populations. Gac Sanit [online]. 2002, vol.16, n.3, pp. 214-221. ISSN 0213-9111.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0213-91112002000300004.

Objectives: Lower social classes tend to eat a less healthy diet. The aim of this study was to compare adherence to the Mediterranean dietary pattern among different demographic and social groups in the adult population. Methods: A cross-sectional study was performed in southern and northern regions of Spain in healthy volunteers (15,634 men and 25,812 women), aged 29-69 years, who were members of the European Prospective Investigation on Cancer cohort in Spain. Nine groups of food were included in the definition of the Mediterranean diet: vegetables and garden products, fruits, pulses, cereals, red meat, fish, olive oil, milk and milk products, and wine. Two techniques were used in the analysis: comparison of the mean daily intake of each group and calculation of an overall score for all the foods according to educational level ang original social class. Results: Groups with the lowest educational levels consumed more cereals and pulses and lower quantities of vegetables, olive oil (women), milk and milk products (men). Wine consumption was positively associated with education in women and was negatively associated in men. Calculation of a score to measure overall adherence to the Mediterranean dietary pattern eliminated differences according to each food category. No variations were found according to educational level, but small differences were found in original social class. The adherence score was lowest in young adults and women and was slightly higher in the south than in the north of Spain. Conclusions: The results suggest that the Mediterranean dietary pattern is fairly uniform, at least in the adult population of the regions included in this study.

Keywords : Mediterranean diet; Social differences; Cross-sectional study.

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