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Purpose

The traditional Mediterranean diet (MD) is recognized worldwide as one of the healthiest existing dietary patterns. However, over the past few decades, a significant deviance from this diet has been observed in a number of Mediterranean countries. The purpose of this study was to assess the Spanish population’s degree of deviance from the MD and to explore the possible causes.

Materials and methods

A survey was completed by a total of 126 Spanish citizens over the age of 18 years. Dietary and lifestyle habits were assessed using MEDLIFE, a validated index, which was complemented with a questionnaire developed for this study, as well as a 24-hour recall.

Results

The mean MEDLIFE score of 15 ± 3.07 revealed the average adherence to the MD, while the maximum score was 28. This study showed no significant positive correlation between MEDLIFE scores and age. The mean ratio of macronutrient intake was 20%E protein, 47%E carbohydrates, and 33%E fat.

Conclusions

The results of the study indicate a deviation from several components of the MD. Low MD adherence could be associated with insufficient knowledge regarding the exact composition and health effects of the MD.

Open access