Factors associated with adherence to the Mediterranean diet among adolescents living in Sicily, Southern Italy.Nutrients 2013; 5(12):4908-23N
The present study aimed to examine the factors associated with increased Mediterranean diet (MD) adherence among a sample of Italian adolescents. A cross-sectional survey was conducted on 1135 students (13-16 years) attending 13 secondary schools of Sicily, southern Italy. Validated instruments were used for dietary assessment and the KIDMED score to assess adolescents' adherence to the MD. A higher adherence to the MD was associated with high socioeconomic status (Odds Ratio [OR] 1.53, 95% Confidence Interval [CI]: 1.03-2.26) and high physical activity (OR 1.19, 95% CI: 1.02-1.70), whereas lower adherence was associated with living in an urban environment (OR 0.65, 95% CI: 0.44-0.97) and being obese (OR 0.59, 95% CI: 0.37-0.94). The adolescents' KIDMED scores were inversely associated with adolescents' intake of sweets, fast foods, fried foods, and sugary drinks, and directly with fruit, vegetables, pasta, fish, and cheese intakes. Urban-living adolescents were less likely to eat fruit and more prone to consume meat, sugary drinks, and fast food than rural-living adolescents. The latter were more likely to eat sweets and snacks. A general poor quality of food consumption in Italian adolescents away from the MD was reported, especially among those living in urban areas.