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Nutrients 2013, 5(12), 4908-4923; doi:10.3390/nu5124908
Article

Factors Associated with Adherence to the Mediterranean Diet among Adolescents Living in Sicily, Southern Italy

1,2,* , 1
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1 Department "G.F. Ingrassia", Section of Hygiene and Public Health, University of Catania, Catania 95123, Italy 2 Department of Clinical and Molecular Biomedicine, Section of Pharmacology and Biochemistry, University of Catania, Catania 95123, Italy 3 Biomedical Department of Internal and Specialist Medicine, University of Palermo, Palermo 90127, Italy 4 Department of Agri-Food and Environmental Systems and Management (DIGESA), University of Catania, Catania 95123, Italy 5 Department of School Policies, Municipality of Catania, Catania 95131, Italy These authors contributed equally to this work.
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 September 2013 / Revised: 8 November 2013 / Accepted: 18 November 2013 / Published: 4 December 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mediterranean Diet Pattern and Public Health)
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Abstract

The present study aimed to examine the factors associated with increased Mediterranean diet (MD) adherence among a sample of Italian adolescents. A cross-sectional survey was conducted on 1135 students (13–16 years) attending 13 secondary schools of Sicily, southern Italy. Validated instruments were used for dietary assessment and the KIDMED score to assess adolescents’ adherence to the MD. A higher adherence to the MD was associated with high socioeconomic status (Odds Ratio [OR] 1.53, 95% Confidence Interval [CI]: 1.03–2.26) and high physical activity (OR 1.19, 95% CI: 1.02–1.70), whereas lower adherence was associated with living in an urban environment (OR 0.65, 95% CI: 0.44–0.97) and being obese (OR 0.59, 95% CI: 0.37–0.94). The adolescents’ KIDMED scores were inversely associated with adolescents’ intake of sweets, fast foods, fried foods, and sugary drinks, and directly with fruit, vegetables, pasta, fish, and cheese intakes. Urban-living adolescents were less likely to eat fruit and more prone to consume meat, sugary drinks, and fast food than rural-living adolescents. The latter were more likely to eat sweets and snacks. A general poor quality of food consumption in Italian adolescents away from the MD was reported, especially among those living in urban areas.
Keywords: adolescents; Mediterranean diet; food intake; obesity; environment; nutrition transition adolescents; Mediterranean diet; food intake; obesity; environment; nutrition transition
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Grosso, G.; Marventano, S.; Buscemi, S.; Scuderi, A.; Matalone, M.; Platania, A.; Giorgianni, G.; Rametta, S.; Nolfo, F.; Galvano, F.; Mistretta, A. Factors Associated with Adherence to the Mediterranean Diet among Adolescents Living in Sicily, Southern Italy. Nutrients 2013, 5, 4908-4923.

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