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Revista Española de Nutrición Humana y Dietética

On-line version ISSN 2174-5145Print version ISSN 2173-1292


BALADIA, Eduard et al. Adherence to a Mediterranean dietary pattern, consumption habits and practice of recreational physical activity in the Spanish population: RECREA-DIET a cross-sectional study. Rev Esp Nutr Hum Diet [online]. 2022, vol.26, n.1, pp.30-40.  Epub June 20, 2022. ISSN 2174-5145.


Establish the level of adherence to the Mediterranean diet (MD) and the level of recreational physical activity (R-PA), is of interest for decision-making. The aim of this research was to describe the degree of adherence to a Mediterranean dietary pattern and the level of R-PA in a sample of the Spanish population, establishing their relationship.


Cross-sectional descriptive study using a self-administered online questionnaire composed of: Mediterranean Diet Adherence Screener (MEDAS) and the R-PA domain of the Global Physical Activity Questionnaire (GPAQ). 5,700 randomly and stratified pre-selected subjects (general population, >16 years old, both sexes, all Spanish regions, proportional to census data). Statistical analyzes performed, as appropriate: mean, median, standard deviation, interquartile range, Kolmorogrov-Smirnov test, T-Student, U Man-Withney, χ2 of Pearson, ANOVA, Kruskal-Wallis.


4,302 valid interviews. The mean score for adherence to MD was 6.34 (2.00). 70.8% practiced R-PA at least once a week. Moderate intensity prevailed over vigorous or intense (85.3% vs. 61.2%). The level of adherence to MD among those who practiced sports tended to be higher (0.5 points; mean: 6.49 [2.00]) than those who did not practice (mean: 5.98 [1.95]). The higher the mean score of adherence to MD, the shorter the sitting time (sedentary behavior).


Adherence to MD was low, while the level of R-PA was moderate-high. A high percentage of the population reported having sedentary behaviors. Adherence to the MD pattern tended to be higher among those who performed R-PA (20% PA vs. 10% non-PA), this increase being dependent on the intensity of PA and the amount of time spent.

Keywords : Diet Mediterranean; Feeding Behavior; Exercise; Recreation; Sports; Spain; Cross-Sectional Studies.

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