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Open AccessArticle

Adherence to the Mediterranean Diet and Its Association with Body Composition and Physical Fitness in Spanish University Students

1
Grupo Interdisciplinar en Cuidados IMCU, Universidad de Castilla la Mancha, 45071 Toledo, Spain
2
Health and Social Research Center, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, 16071 Cuenca, Spain
3
Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad Autónoma de Chile, 1101 Talca, Chile
4
Facultad de Fisioterapia y Enfermería, Universidad de Castilla la Mancha, 45071 Toledo, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2019, 11(11), 2830; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11112830
Received: 25 September 2019 / Revised: 14 November 2019 / Accepted: 15 November 2019 / Published: 19 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Intake and Eating Patterns in College Students)
The aims of this study were to assess the association of adherence to the Mediterranean diet (MD) with physical fitness and body composition in Spanish university students and to determine the ability to predict the MD adherence of each Mediterranean Diet Adherence Screener (MEDAS) item. A cross-sectional study was performed involving 310 first-year university students. Adherence to the MD was evaluated with MEDAS-14 items. Anthropometric variables, body composition, and physical fitness were assessed. Muscle strength was determined based on handgrip strength and the standing long jump test. Cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) was measured using the Course–Navette test. Only 24% of the university students had good adherence to the MD. The ANCOVA models showed a significant difference between participants with high adherence to the MD and those with medium and low adherence in CRF (p = 0.017) and dynamometry (p = 0.005). Logistic binary regression showed that consuming >2 vegetables/day (OR = 20.1; CI: 10.1–30.1; p < 0.001), using olive oil (OR = 10.6; CI: 1.4–19.8; p = 0.021), consuming <3 commercial sweets/week (OR = 10.1; IC: 5.1–19.7; p < 0.001), and consuming ≥3 fruits/day (OR = 8.8; CI: 4.9–15.7; p < 0.001) were the items most associated with high adherence to the MD. In conclusion, a high level of adherence to the MD is associated with high-level muscular fitness and CRF in Spanish university students. View Full-Text
Keywords: Mediterranean diet; physical fitness; cardiovascular fitness; body composition Mediterranean diet; physical fitness; cardiovascular fitness; body composition
MDPI and ACS Style

Cobo-Cuenca, A.I.; Garrido-Miguel, M.; Soriano-Cano, A.; Ferri-Morales, A.; Martínez-Vizcaíno, V.; Martín-Espinosa, N.M. Adherence to the Mediterranean Diet and Its Association with Body Composition and Physical Fitness in Spanish University Students. Nutrients 2019, 11, 2830.

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