Photo By Brittany Carlson (USAG Stuttgart) (United States Army) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Low Adherence to Mediterranean Diet Associated with Lower Socio-Economic Status in Spanish School-Aged Children

Earlier this year, a study was published in the journal Appetite by a group of Spanish researchers examining the adherence to a Mediterranean-style diet within school children in Logroño, Spain, and how various socio-demographic and lifestyle factors may influence this

Photo By Brittany Carlson (USAG Stuttgart) (United States Army) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Photo By Brittany Carlson (USAG Stuttgart) (United States Army) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
adherence.

Logroño is located in the well-known wine region of La Rioja in Spain, and within this area, 321 school children between the ages of 11 and 12 from 31 schools were included in the study.

Social and lifestyle factors were determined for each child, in addition to blood pressure, level of physiological and mental development, aerobic fitness, physical activity habits, and adherence to the Mediterranean diet.

Important findings:

  • 46.7% of the school children reported a high adherence to the Mediterranean diet.
  • 4.7% of the school children reported a low adherence to the Mediterranean diet.
  • Lower adherence to the Mediterranean diet was associated with children attending state schools, children from immigrant families, and children from families at a low-to-medium socio-economic status.
  • Body composition did not seem to have an association with adherence to the Mediterranean diet.
  • Greater adherence to the Mediterranean diet was associated with higher levels of physical activity.
  • Lower adherence to the Mediterranean diet was associated with higher levels of “screen time” (i.e. TV, video games, etc).

Overall, adherence to the Mediterranean diet in Spanish school children between the ages of 11 and 12 in an area known for higher levels of wine consumption was related to factors including socio-economic status, immigrant status, and physical activity levels. Those with a lower socio-economic status tended to adhere to less healthy diets than those in a higher socio-economic status.

Source:

Arriscado, D., Muros, J.J., Zabala, M., and Dalmau, J.M. 2014. Factors associated with low adherence to a Mediterranean diet in healthy children in northern Spain. Appetite 80: 28-34.