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Open AccessArticle

Feasibility of the AusMed Diet Program: Translating the Mediterranean Diet for Older Australians

1
School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Health, University of Newcastle, University Drive, Callaghan, NSW 2308, Australia
2
Priority Research Centre for Stroke and Brain Injury, University of Newcastle, University Drive, Callaghan, NSW 2308, Australia
3
Priority Research Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition, University of Newcastle, University Drive, Callaghan, NSW 2308, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2020, 12(4), 1044; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12041044
Received: 28 February 2020 / Revised: 1 April 2020 / Accepted: 7 April 2020 / Published: 10 April 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diet, Lifestyle and Healthy Ageing)
The Mediterranean diet pattern (MEDI) is associated with a lower risk of chronic conditions related to ageing. Adherence research mostly comes from Mediterranean countries with high cultural acceptability. This study examines the feasibility of a MEDI intervention designed specifically for older Australians (AusMed). Phase 1 involved a consumer research group (n = 17) presentation of program materials with surveys after each section. In-depth individual semi-structured interviews (n = 6) were then conducted. All participants reported increased knowledge and confidence in adherence to the MEDI, with the majority preferring a booklet format (70%) and group delivery (58%). Three themes emerged from interviews—1. barriers (complexity, perceived cost and food preferences), 2. additional support and 3. individualisation of materials. Program materials were modified accordingly. Phase 2 was a 2-week trial of the modified program (n = 15). Participants received a group counselling session, program manual and food hamper. Adherence to the MEDI was measured by the Mediterranean Diet Score (MDS). All participants increased their adherence after the 2-week trial, from a mean score of 5.4 ± 2.4 (low adherence) to a mean score of 9.6 ± 2.0 (moderate to high adherence). All found that text message support helped achieve their goals and were confident to continue the dietary change. View Full-Text
Keywords: dietary intervention; prevention; Mediterranean diet; dietary behaviour change; intervention development; intervention evaluation; chronic disease dietary intervention; prevention; Mediterranean diet; dietary behaviour change; intervention development; intervention evaluation; chronic disease
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Zacharia, K.; Patterson, A.J.; English, C.; MacDonald-Wicks, L. Feasibility of the AusMed Diet Program: Translating the Mediterranean Diet for Older Australians. Nutrients 2020, 12, 1044.

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