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The Effect of the Traditional Mediterranean-Style Diet on Metabolic Risk Factors: A Meta-Analysis

Department of Allied Health Sciences, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269, USA
NYU Steinhardt, Department of Nutrition and Food Studies, New York University, New York, NY 10003, USA
Center on Aging, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, CT06030, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2016, 8(3), 168;
Received: 23 December 2015 / Revised: 1 March 2016 / Accepted: 10 March 2016 / Published: 15 March 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diet and Metabolic Dysfunction)
The Mediterranean-style diet (MedSD) has gained attention for its positive effects on health outcomes, including metabolic risk factors. However, it is unknown as to which components of MedSD interventions are most beneficial in reducing risk. The objective of this meta-analysis was to obtain effect sizes for metabolic risk factors and explain the variability across the current literature based on study design, sample, and diet characteristics. Six electronic databases were searched from inception until 9 February 2016. Data from 29 studies (N = 4133) were included. There were significant effects in favor of the MedSD for waist circumference, triglycerides, blood glucose, systolic blood pressure, and diastolic blood pressure (d+ = −0.54; d+ = −0.46; d+ = −0.50; d+ = −0.72; d+ = −0.94, respectively). The MedSD was significantly beneficial when the intervention was longer in duration, was conducted in Europe, used a behavioral technique, and was conducted using small groups. The traditional MedSD had significant beneficial effects on five of the six metabolic risk factors. Results from this study provide support for population specific dietary guideline for metabolic risk reduction. View Full-Text
Keywords: Mediterranean diet; metabolic syndrome; meta-analysis Mediterranean diet; metabolic syndrome; meta-analysis
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Garcia, M.; Bihuniak, J.D.; Shook, J.; Kenny, A.; Kerstetter, J.; Huedo-Medina, T.B. The Effect of the Traditional Mediterranean-Style Diet on Metabolic Risk Factors: A Meta-Analysis. Nutrients 2016, 8, 168.

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