Public Health Nutrition

Research Paper

Comparing diet composition and growth of children living in two limitary Greek islands (Samos and Corfu)

Maria G Grammatikopouloua1 c1, Efstratia Daskaloua1, Margarita Hatzopouloua1, Loukia Sourtzinoua1 and Maria Tsiggaa1

a1 Department of Nutrition & Dietetics, Alexander Technological Educational Institute, PO Box 141, GR-57400 Thessaloniki, Greece


Objective The study aimed to assess differences in dietary intake and growth of pre-schoolers and schoolchildren living in two limitary Greek islands; Samos, situated on the eastern border, and Corfu, situated on the western border.

Design Cross-sectional two-site study.

Methods A total of 248 children aged 3–12 years from the two islands participated in the survey. Body weight and height were recorded and Z-scores were calculated. A 3 d food record was collected for each child, computer-analysed and compared with the Recommended Daily Allowances (RDA). Intakes ≤70 % of the RDA were considered inadequate.

Results The prevalence of overweight in participants from Samos and Corfu was 10·7 % and 6·5 % respectively, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention growth charts. In Corfu, the diet comprised 52 % carbohydrate, 34 % fat and 14 % protein, all different from the composition of the Samian diet (42 % carbohydrate, 39 % fat, 19 % protein; P ≤ 0·05). Inadequacies in micronutrient intake were evident only in the diet of Samos and concerned folate and P of the pre-schoolers and biotin of the school-aged participants. The diet in Corfu was more similar to the overall Mediterranean pattern as well as that of Italian children. Growth and overweight trends in Corfu resembled the ones in Italy, whereas in Samos, similarities were identified with trends from Turkey.

Conclusions Border areas at a distance from the mainland exhibit different dietary intakes compared with rest of the country; thus when designing nutrition surveys the setting should also include such limitary areas.

(Received April 28 2008)

(Accepted September 23 2008)


c1 Corresponding author: Email