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Children consuming a Mediterranean diet are 15% less likely to be overweight, study finds


By: The Food Coach

A study of 8 European countries shows that children consuming a Mediterranean diet are 15% less likely to be overweight or obese than those children who do not.

The adherence to a Mediterranean-like diet was assessed by a score calculating by giving one point for high intakes of each food group which was considered typical of the Mediterranean diet (vegetables, fruit and nuts, fish and cereal grains), as well as one point for low intakes of foods untypical of the Mediterranean diet (such as dairy and meat products).

Interestingly, the prevalence of high adherence to a Mediterranean-like diet was found to be independent of the geographical distribution, with the Swedish children scoring the highest (followed by the Italians) and the children from Cyprus scoring the lowest.
The team found that children with a high adherence to a Mediterranean-like diet were 15% less likely to be overweight or obese than low-adherent children. The findings were independent of age, sex, socioeconomic status or country of residence.
The children with high adherence at baseline were 10-15% less likely to be among those who went through major increases in BMI, waist circumference and body fat.

The promotion of a Mediterranean dietary pattern is no longer a feature of Mediterranean countries. Considering its potential beneficial effects on obesity prevention, this dietary pattern should be part of obesity prevention strategies.

University of Gothenburg. "Children consuming a Mediterranean diet are 15% less likely to be overweight, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 June 2014.

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