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Mediterranean Diet adherence in emerging adults in Izmir

Mahmut Genc (Faculty of Art and Design, Gastronomy and Culinary Arts, Beykoz Universitesi, Istanbul, Turkey) (Genc and Naturel Food Research and Innovation Co., Depark, Izmir, Turkey)
Seda Genc (Gastronomy and Culinary Arts, School of Applied Sciences, Yasar University, Izmir, Turkey)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 17 May 2019

Issue publication date: 17 May 2019



The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the adherence and abandonment of the Turkish emerging adults in an Izmir University located at western Mediterranean coast of Turkey and to assess potential associations with anthropometric characteristics.


A cross-sectional survey (n=494, 18–27 years) carried out in 2017 among emerging adults in University. KIDMED Index was used to assess the degree of adherence Mediterranean Diet (MedDiet). The associations of KIDMED scores with demographic, residency and anthropometric were separately reported. The data were collected through standardized questionnaires directly from participants.


The average KIDMED score was calculated 4.86±2.5. Optimum adherence to the MedDiet was found only in 13.0 percent of participants, whereas 32.6 percent had poor adherence levels. Considering self-reported anthropometric data, the BMI values of the population was calculated as 22.3±3.9 kg/m2. In population, 13.9 percent of the subjects were underweight, while 16.0 percent were overweight and 3.9 percent obese. A significant association was found between BMI and KIDMED scores both in genders and residency.


This is the first study reporting the level of adherence to the MedDiet among Turkish emerging adults in terms of residency during education and the first KIDMED study conducted in Izmir located at Aegean Sea. The results support previously proposed transition concept by several scholar from different Mediterranean countries: it was found that only 13 percent of young adults having desired dietary habits in an Aegean city with local traditional cuisine highly affected by Cretan cuisine. These results are significant for University managements and health authorities in order to take actions for returning this transition contrariwise beginning with these groups.



This research did not receive any grant from public, commercial or non-profit agencies/organizations. The authors thank Fatma Uzunel Safran for her precious comments and Professor Saban Eren for editing the manuscript. Additionally, the authors would like to thank the reviewers for their valuable and constructive comments, which have been very useful in improving the quality of the paper.


Genc, M. and Genc, S. (2019), "Mediterranean Diet adherence in emerging adults in Izmir", British Food Journal, Vol. 121 No. 3, pp. 725-737.



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