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Mediterranean Diet in Italian Adolescents
Our aim was to assess adherence to the Mediterranean diet in a group of 726 secondary school students (336 girls, 390 boys) who completed the web-based Medi-Lite questionnaire simultaneously, during school hours, at the “Istituto Professionale per l’Enogastronomia e l’Ospitalità Alberghiera Marco Polo” in Genoa, Italy. The mean adherence score was 9.28 ± 2.29, with significantly (p = 0.017) higher values in girls (9.5 ± 2.2) than boys (9.1 ± 2.4). As to the individual food components of the Medi-Lite score, 84% of students reported non-optimal consumption (i.e., the choice that yielded ≤ 1 point) of meat and meat products, and over 50% reported non-optimal consumption of vegetables, legumes, dairy products, and fish. Significant differences between girls and boys were observed for fruit (p = 0.003), cereals (p < 0.001), meat and meat products (p < 0.001), and dairy products (p = 0.003). By conducting a principal component analysis, we observed that Medi-Lite items on the consumption of some animal products (meat and meat products and dairy products) and some plant products (fruit, vegetables, and legumes) generated contrasting patterns of responses, denoting excessive consumption in the first case and underconsumption in the second. This result suggests the need for effective actions to promote healthy eating habits in young people.
2. Development and Findings
This entry is adapted from 10.3390/nu13082806
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