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Nutrición Hospitalaria

On-line version ISSN 1699-5198Print version ISSN 0212-1611

Abstract

BARRIOS-VICEDO, Ricardo et al. A lower adherence to mediterranean diet is associated with a poorer self-rated health in university population. Nutr. Hosp. [online]. 2015, vol.31, n.2, pp.785-792. ISSN 1699-5198.  http://dx.doi.org/10.3305/nh.2015.31.2.7874.

Introduction and objective: A higher adherence to Mediterranean diet is considered as a protective factor against the large number of deaths attributable to the main chronic degenerative diseases in developed countries. Self-rated health is established as a good indicator of population health status and as a predictor of mortality. Studies exploring the relationship between the adherence to Mediterranean diet and self-rated health are scarce, especially, in young adults. Our aim was to explore the factors related, specially the adherence to a priori-defined Mediterranean diet with self-rated health in a cohort of Spanish university students. Methods: We analyzed data from 1110 participants of Spanish DiSA-UMH (Dieta, Salud y Antropometría en universitarios de la Universidad Miguel Hernández) study. Diet was assessed using a validated food frequency questionnaire and the adherence to Mediterranean diet was calculated using the relative Mediterranean Diet Score (rMED; score range: 0-18) according to the consumption of 9 dietary components. Self-rated health was gathered from the question: “In general, how do you consider your health to be? (Excellent, good, fair, poor, very poor). Information on sociodemographic and lifestyle characteristics was also collected. Multinomial logistic regression (using relative risk ratio, RRR) was used to analyze the association between the adherence to Mediterranean diet (low rMED: 0-6 points; medium: 7-10 points; high: 11-18 points) and self-rated health (Excellent (reference), good and fair/ poor/very poor). Results: A low, medium or high adherence to Mediterranean diet conformed to 26.8%, 58.7% and 14.4% of participants, which of them reported an excellent (23.1%), good (65.1%) and fair/poor or very poor health, respectively. In multivariate analysis, a lower adherence to Mediterranean diet was significantly (p<0.05) associated with a poorer self-rated health. Compared to a low adherence to Mediterranean diet (low rMED), a medium adherence was related to a lower risk of good (RRR= 0.81; 95% CI: 0.67-0.97) or fair/poor or very poor (RRR= 0.70; 0.58-0.85); the highest adherence (high rMED) was associated with a lower risk of good (RRR= 0.69; 0.61-0.79) or fair/poor or very poor (RRR= 0.68; 0.65-0.72) self-rated health. Smoking, low physical activity and excess weight were associated with a poorer self-rated health (p<0.05). Conclusions: A considerable proportion of university students (one in four) has a low adherence to Mediterranean diet, which was associated significantly with a poorer self-rated health. Other potential modifiable factors as smoking, low physical activity and excess weight were also associated with a poorer self-rated health.

Keywords : Mediterranean diet; Self-rated health; Smoking; Sedentarism; Excess weight.

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