Mediterranean diet in the southern Croatia - does it still exist?

Ivana Kolčić, Ajka Relja, Andrea Gelemanović, Ana Miljković, Kristina Boban, Caroline Hayward, Igor Rudan, Ozren Polašek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

AIM: To assess the adherence to the Mediterranean diet in the population of Dalmatia in southern Croatia.

METHODS: A cross-sectional study was performed within the 10001 Dalmatians cohort, encompassing 2768 participants from Korčula and Vis islands and the City of Split, who were recruited during 2011-2014. Using the data obtained from food frequency questionnaire we calculated the Mediterranean Diet Serving Score (MDSS). Multivariate logistic regression was used to identify the characteristics associated with the adherence to the Mediterranean diet, with age, sex, place of residence, education attainment, smoking, and physical activity as covariates.

RESULTS: The median MDSS score was 11 out of maximum 24 points (interquartile range 8-13), with the highest score recorded on the island of Vis. Participants reported a dietary pattern that had high compliance with the Mediterranean diet guidelines for consumption of cereals (87% met the criteria), potatoes (73%), olive oil (69%), and fish (61%), moderate for consumption of fruit (54%) and vegetables (31%), and low for consumption of nuts (6%). Overall, only 23% of the participants were classified as being adherent to the Mediterranean diet, with a particularly low percentage among younger participants (12%) compared to the older ones (34%). Men were less likely to show good adherence (odds ratio 0.52, 95% confidence interval 0.42-0.65).

CONCLUSION: This study revealed rather poor compliance with the current recommendations on the Mediterranean diet composition in the population of Dalmatia. Public health intervention is especially needed in younger age groups and in men, who show the greatest departure from traditional Mediterranean diet and lifestyle.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)415-424
Number of pages10
JournalCroatian Medical Journal
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2016


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