British Journal of Nutrition

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British Journal of Nutrition (2010), 103:1657-1664 Cambridge University Press
Copyright © The Authors 2010

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Dietary Surveys and Nutritional Epidemiology

Adherence to the Mediterranean dietary pattern among Balearic Islands adolescents

Elisa Martíneza1, Rosa Llulla1, Maria del Mar Bibilonia1, Antoni Ponsa1 and Josep A. Tura1 c1

a1 Research Group on Community Nutrition and Oxidative Stress, University of the Balearic Islands, Guillem Colom Building Campus, E-07122 Palma de Mallorca, Spain
Article author query
martínez e [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
llull r [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
del mar bibiloni m [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
pons a [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
tur ja [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]


The aim of the present work was to assess the prevalence of the Mediterranean dietary pattern (MDP) in Balearic Islands adolescents, and socio-demographic and lifestyle factors that might determine adherence to the MDP. A cross-sectional nutritional survey was carried out in the Balearic Islands between 2007 and 2008. A random sample (n 1231) of the adolescent population (12–17 years old) was interviewed. Dietary questionnaires and a general questionnaire incorporating questions related to socio-economic status, parental education level and lifestyle factors were used. Dietary habits were assessed by means of two 24 h recalls and a quantitative FFQ. Adherence to the MDP was defined according to a score constructed considering the consumption of nine MDP characteristic components: high MUFA:SFA ratio, moderate ethanol consumption, high legumes, cereals and roots, fruits, vegetables and fish consumption, and low consumption of meat and milk. Then, socio-demographic, lifestyle and health status variables that could determine a higher or ower adherence were assessed. The mean adherence was 57·9 (sd 8·9) % and the median adherence was 57·3 %. Half of the Balearic Islands adolescents (50·5 %) showed an adherence to the MDP comprised between 52·7 and 62·8 %. By multivariate analyses, a high maternal level of education, increased physical activity, reduced alcohol intake and abstinence from smoking were independent associations of better adherence to the MDP. The promotion of not only the MDP but also the Mediterranean lifestyle, including greater physical activity, should be reinforced among the Balearic younger generations.

(Received March 19 2009)

(Revised November 17 2009)

(Accepted November 24 2009)

(Online publication January 21 2010)

Key Words:Nutrition surveys; Mediterranean dietary pattern; Balearic Islands; Mediterranean region; Adolescents


c1 Corresponding author: Dr Josep A. Tur, fax +34 971 173184, email


Abbreviations: MDP, Mediterranean dietary pattern; PAL, physical activity level