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Article
Publication date: 14 March 2016

Antoine G. Farhat, Doris Jaalouk and Serine Francis

The relationship between adherence to a Mediterranean diet and reduced mortality or a lower incidence of major chronic diseases has been widely studied. The purpose of…

Abstract

Purpose

The relationship between adherence to a Mediterranean diet and reduced mortality or a lower incidence of major chronic diseases has been widely studied. The purpose of this study was to assess the adherence of a Lebanese adult sample to the Mediterranean diet.

Design/methodology/approach

This cross-sectional dietary survey involved a Lebanese population sample aged 19 to 70 years. A total of 615 men and women were asked to fill a diet history questionnaire (144 items), assisted by trained nutrition research assistants. Data were analyzed and compared to the Mediterranean diet recommendations, and the Mediterranean diet score, a ten-point scale based on above and below median levels of consumption, was estimated.

Findings

There was no significant difference in terms of adherence between men and women participants below the age of 30 years, while women over 30 years had a poorer score than men within this age group. The surveyed sample was found to have a 4.2 Mediterranean diet score and, thus, has a low adherence to the Mediterranean dietary pattern. Consumption of fruits, vegetables, dairy products, legumes and nuts of this Lebanese sample met the Mediterranean diet recommendations, while whole grains, poultry and fish consumption was lower than the recommended Mediterranean diet intake, and meat consumption was found to be much higher than what was recommended.

Originality/value

Facing the fast increase in non-communicable disease incidence, and with a more spread Western-type culture, it is central to raise awareness about the role of traditional Mediterranean diet in preventing and protecting against these diseases. This study contributes to the limited literature on the adherence to the Mediterranean diet in Lebanon.

Details

Nutrition & Food Science, vol. 46 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 22 August 2016

Franca Bimbi

The chapter is an auto-ethnographic account of the self-management of a chronic illness within the context of a participatory research project on Mediterranean Diet (MD)…

Abstract

Purpose

The chapter is an auto-ethnographic account of the self-management of a chronic illness within the context of a participatory research project on Mediterranean Diet (MD). A group of Italian women with type 2 diabetes is following a non-medical, personal interpretation of the Mediterranean-style diet. The research account is preceded by a critical appraisal of the scientific narratives of the MD.

Methodology/approach

Analysis of epidemiological research on MD examines some methodological aspects of gender blindness in its scientific approach. The ethnography concerns self-management of MD diet and redefinition of gender relations.

Findings

MD is analyzed as a case of transplantation of yesterday’s cultural and social capitals of the peasant classes, to today’s discourses on food considered as appropriate for affluent people suffering from satiety diseases. The ethnography highlights gender aspects of biographical work, examining in particular a “conversion” dietary model.

Research limitations

The ethnography must be amplified to include women and men from different social classes with various Mediterranean cooking habits, and family and gender patterns.

Practical implications

The chapter highlights cultural processes for women’s empowerment in self-managing type 2 diabetes.

Originality/value

This chapter may represent a seminal sociological work on chronic illness, gender and food studies in one of the “native” contexts of the Mediterranean-style diet.

Details

Gender and Food: From Production to Consumption and After
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-054-1

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 8 February 2011

Maria Karampola, Dimitrios Papandreou and Kelly Makedou

The purpose of this paper is to review the Mediterranean diet and its association to disease and health benefits derived from the adherence to it.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review the Mediterranean diet and its association to disease and health benefits derived from the adherence to it.

Design/methodology/approach

The review includes the most updated studies found in PubMed all in relation to the adaptation of the Mediterranean diet.

Findings

The cardioprotection of Mediterranean diet has been established. A number of cancer types could be prevented by following the Mediterranean type diet and the specific ingredients of it are also investigated to find their impact on health. Longevity is also favored by the adoption of this dietary pattern as is the population group diagnosed with metabolic syndrome and mental health disorders. The results about its consumption and obesity need further investigation. Patients with HIV, being on specific treatment, are advised not to follow the Mediterranean diet.

Originality/value

This paper gives a concise, up‐to‐date overview to nutritionists and dietitians on the Mediterranean diet and its relation to health and disease.

Details

Nutrition & Food Science, vol. 41 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 February 2013

Simon Poole and Mabel Blades

The purpose of this paper is to inform readers of the cultural and scientific basis of the Mediterranean diet.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to inform readers of the cultural and scientific basis of the Mediterranean diet.

Design/methodology/approach

This review was compiled using peer reviewed articles and with the support of Oldways, the non‐profit organisation responsible for designing the Mediterranean diet pyramid in association with Harvard School of Public Health. It is designed to create a resource, which could be disseminated within the food industry to stimulate debate and an understanding of the commercial opportunities for products based on the Mediterranean diet.

Findings

From the review of information on the subject there is compelling evidence of the benefits of a Mediterranean diet having a beneficial effect on health status with a reduction in conditions such as coronary heart disease and cancers.

Research limitations/implications

This is a literature review based on large studies of the Mediterranean diet and is not an intervention study.

Practical implications

It is hoped that the food industry can consider the scientific and market research evidence presented and, through innovation and new brand development, offer the possibility of products, which will promote choice and access to increasingly healthy foods.

Social implications

The compilation of evidence citing the benefits of the Mediterranean diet supports an easily adapted and flavourful diet with numerous health benefits. For the food industry it provides an original concept designed to support the research and development of new initiatives to promote healthy food products.

Originality/value

The benefits of the Mediterranean diet are shown to have significant benefits on health and are easily implemented.

Details

Nutrition & Food Science, vol. 43 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 21 September 2020

Paulina Górska, Ilona Górna and Juliusz Przysławski

This study aims to analyze the antioxidant properties of the Mediterranean diet and describe methods that are used in clinical studies to assess its role in reducing…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to analyze the antioxidant properties of the Mediterranean diet and describe methods that are used in clinical studies to assess its role in reducing oxidative stress.

Design/methodology/approach

The review presents the results of interventional and observational clinical trials aimed at assessing the influence of the Mediterranean diet on the level of enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidants, as well as the total blood antioxidant capacity.

Findings

The Mediterranean diet as a varied diet can be a better way to provide antioxidants to the body than supplements. Individual compounds administered in an isolated form can give the opposite effect to the expected, stimulating oxidative stress. The administration of antioxidants in the form of supplements instead of a varied diet is also associated with a lack of synergism of action. In studies on the importance of the Mediterranean diet in the reduction of oxidative stress, single markers are used to measure oxidative damage, the activity of enzymatic antioxidants and the concentration of individual non-enzymatic antioxidants. At the same time, the need to find markers that would assess the level of oxidative stress and the body’s antioxidant capacity more comprehensively is emphasized.

Practical implications

It should be taken into account that differences between in vivo and in vitro results may result from the fact of various factors, including genetic, smoking, intestinal microflora or diet composition. It is also necessary to answer the question about which marker or set of markers could in the most comprehensive way to assess the level of oxidative stress and the body’s antioxidant capacity.

Originality/value

The literature review shows not only the source of antioxidants in the Mediterranean diet. This paper also presents a critical approach to markers that allow the assessment of the antioxidant properties of the diet.

Details

Nutrition & Food Science , vol. 51 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 13 November 2017

Belay Haile, Kumera Neme and Tefera Belachew

The Mediterranean Diet (MD) is an expression of different Mediterranean food cultures and lifestyles. It is characterized by high consumption of olive oil, vegetables…

Abstract

Purpose

The Mediterranean Diet (MD) is an expression of different Mediterranean food cultures and lifestyles. It is characterized by high consumption of olive oil, vegetables, legumes, whole grain products, fruits and nuts. This paper aims to emphasize on the evolution of human diet from earliest human ancestors to current civilization, the effect of MD on human health and the role of globalization to shift traditional diet, particularly MD to processed foods.

Design/methodology/approach

Different published papers were collected from the internet by using the following phrases: evolution of human diet, human ancestors, the effect of globalization on a regional diet, Mediterranean diet, healthy food, food pyramid, evolution of human diet and effect of globalization on diet. Finally, the papers were read and summarized as a review paper.

Findings

MD has been accepted worldwide owing to its health impact such as prevention and control of type 2 diabetes, anti-inflammatory effects and decrease in the risk of cardiovascular diseases and incidence of Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. However, in conjunction with this discordance between our ancient, genetically determined biology and the nutritional, cultural and activity patterns of contemporary Western populations, many of the so-called diseases of civilization have emerged. Particularly, the food staples and food-processing procedures introduced during the Neolithic and Industrial periods have fundamentally altered nutritional characteristics of ancestral hominin diets. MD is currently under the risk of extinction for a result of the effects of globalization.

Originality/value

The review paper focuses on the evolution of human diet as an effect of globalization on the regional diet with emphasis on the MD. It specifically focuses on the link between diet and earliest human ancestors, about MD and its health benefit, diet pyramid and effect of globalization on regional diet.

Details

Nutrition & Food Science, vol. 47 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 8 July 2021

Athanasios Michalis and Vassiliki Costarelli

The purpose of this paper is to develop and validate the Greek version of the Mediterranean Diet Adherence Screener (MEDAS).

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop and validate the Greek version of the Mediterranean Diet Adherence Screener (MEDAS).

Design/methodology/approach

The MEDAS was translated to the Greek language forward and backward, twice and subsequently was administered to 50 healthy adult participants living in Attica, Greece. The participants had to complete the tool twice, within a period of 15 days. Participants also completed the well-recognized Mediterranean Diet Score (MedDietScore), for comparison purposes with the tested tool. Socioeconomic and anthropometric characteristics were also assessed.

Findings

There was a moderate association between the Greek MEDAS (MEDAS-Gr) and the MedDietScore [(Pearson r = 0.50, p < 0.001; Intraclass Correlation Coefficient (ICC)=0.46, p = 0.015)]. The concordance between these two questionnaires varied between the items (Intraclass correlation coefficient of 0.62 for fruit at the highest and −0.09 for alcohol consumption). The Cronbach’s a coefficient of reliability for the Greek MEDAS was good (a = 0.62). The two administrations of the MEDAS-Gr produced similar mean total scores (7.6 vs 7.9, p = 0.090), which were correlated (r = 0.71, p < 0.001; ICC = 0.85, p < 0.001) and agreed substantially [k statistic (k)=0.72, 95% CI 0.54–0.89, p < 0.001)].

Originality/value

The MEDAS-Gr seems to be a valid tool for assessing adherence to the Mediterranean diet in the Greek population.

Details

Nutrition & Food Science , vol. 52 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 6 December 2018

Jasenka Gajdoš Kljusurić

Diet therapy or nutritional therapy has become a real challenge in the fight against the increasing number of modern illnesses such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular…

Abstract

Diet therapy or nutritional therapy has become a real challenge in the fight against the increasing number of modern illnesses such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancers. The scientific community has recognized the importance of studies that will support or rebut the association of certain nutrition/energy inputs with the prevention and/or improvement of certain diseases. Patient counseling is offered by medical doctors, nutritionists and dieticians, but patients often seek additional sources of information from popular media that may not be adequately scientifically supported. Whose responsibility is it when the Diet Therapy is not an effective treatment and where does the consequent ethical and moral responsibility lie?

This chapter argues for the importance of a nutritionally educated scientist evaluating the diets that are seen to be related with the health improvement also excluding diets that are mostly related to the patients’ well-being as the Mediterranean, DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension), Ketogenic and Vegetarian diet. Diet guidelines are often explained with linguistic variables (as “reduce the input of” etc.) which can be differently perceived by the end user. The interpretation if a linguistic variable is presented using the body mass index categories using a bell-shaped curve. The preferable area fits to the linguistic variable “acceptable BMI.” But also are indicated those areas which are less preferable. Those examples of information interpretations show the necessity of knowledge transfer. The quantity of information presented in diet guidelines can be experienced as a great muddle for patients; leaving them not knowing where and how to start. So, remains the ethical and moral responsibility of all links in the chain of nutritional and diet research and recommendations. Only objective and open-minded recommendations based on the latest scientific facts can gain confidence of the social, economical, and political subjects which must put the well-being of the population uppermost in their mind.

Details

Ethics and Integrity in Health and Life Sciences Research
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-572-8

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 30 June 2017

Cecilia Díaz-Méndez and Cristobal Gómez-Benito

In this chapter the aim is to analyse the way the relationship between health and food has been changing at the same time as Spanish society itself. From the beginnings of…

Abstract

In this chapter the aim is to analyse the way the relationship between health and food has been changing at the same time as Spanish society itself. From the beginnings of the consumer society until the present day the modernization process has made its imprint on the guidelines public bodies have issued to the public on caring for their health and diet. Beginning in the 1960s with a welfare idea of a healthy diet, very typical of the decade, and meant for a population with nutritional problems, today we have guidelines for an overfed population. The social trends dominant in each historical moment are shown throughout this transformation process and the dietary recommendations have been part of the social change. However, the perceptions of the administration itself on what constitutes a healthy diet have also made their mark on the criteria. The modernizing nature of the paternalistic administration of the 1960s can be easily seen in contrast with the public bodies of the 1980s competing with the messages from the food and agricultural businesses. As the 20th century drew to a close, dietary advice was in keeping with a background dominated by considerations on the nature of social change and in which both public bodies and citizens trusted in the truths of science as a reference point for correct action. At the beginning of the 21st century, reflexivity and questioning of scientific power appear and also an increase in public preoccupation with food risks. Each stage is analysed relating historical background and dietary recommendations.

Details

Transforming the Rural
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-823-9

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 11 September 2009

Anthimia M. Batrinou and Anastassia Kanellou

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate how healthy food options recommended by the Mediterranean diet pyramid are actually consumed and advertised.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate how healthy food options recommended by the Mediterranean diet pyramid are actually consumed and advertised.

Design/methodology/approach

Three types of food consumptions in Greece are compared, the diet recommended by the Mediterranean diet pyramid, the actual consumption as was presented by the Data Food NEtwortking project and the advertising expenditure spent in the food sector. Data are presented in the form of a “food advertising pyramid”, equivalent to the food choices pyramids.

Findings

Comparison of the “food advertising pyramid” with the Mediterranean food pyramid reveals that the two pyramids have a somehow reverse relationship, meaning that the recommended for frequent consumption “healthy” food categories of the Mediterranean diet pyramid (placed at the base of the pyramid such as cereals, fruits and vegetables) were the least advertised by the food industry, and the less “healthy” options (dairy and sugary products) were the most advertised. This trend was more evident in advertisements targeted to children. An exception was the high advertising of yoghurt, a probiotic product considered to be a healthy food option.

Originality/value

The findings of this paper could be useful to nutritionists and national health authorities who should take into consideration the impact of food advertisement upon their strategy for healthy nutrition and prevention of obesity in childhood.

Details

Nutrition & Food Science, vol. 39 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

Keywords

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