The Impact of a Short-Term Dietary Intervention on Adherence to the Mediterranean Diet, Body Composition and Lifestyle Factors in a Scottish University Population.
(2017) The Impact of a Short-Term Dietary Intervention on Adherence to the Mediterranean Diet, Body Composition and Lifestyle Factors in a Scottish University Population., no. 38.
Introduction: The Mediterranean Diet has long been reported to be the ideal diet for preventing Cardiovascular Disease (CVD). This diet is typical of countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea where rates of CVD are lower than their European counterparts. There is evidence to suggest that increased adherence to this diet can help to improve certain CVD risk factors however there is currently limited research of this within a Scottish population. This study therefore aims to fill this gap in the literature. Aims: (1) To determine the impact of a short-term intervention on adherence to the Mediterranean diet, body composition and lifestyle factors in a Scottish university population (2) To determine the association between Mediterranean diet score and CVD risk-factors. Methods: This study involved 12 participants aged 18-50 years. Mediterranean diet score, levels of physical activity and sedentary behaviour, blood pressure and body composition were measured at baseline. Participants then received an intervention in the form of a leaflet detailing advice on the Mediterranean diet and physical activity in-line with current guidelines. Participants then returned after a two-week period were all measurement were re-taken. Results: Analysis of the results found a significant (p=0.017) increase in Mediterranean diet score and a significant reduction in weight (p=0.007) and BMI (p=0.014) following intervention. The was no significant difference (p >0.05) in any other parameter. Further analysis showed a significant association between Mediterranean diet score and systolic blood pressure at baseline (r=-0.626 (p=0.029)) and between Mediterranean diet score and both systolic blood pressure (r=-0.680 (p=0.021)) and diastolic blood pressure (r=-0.730 (p=0.011)) following intervention. There was no significant (p >0.05) association between MDS and any other CVD risk factor. Conclusion: Overall this study had several positive results including an increase in adherence to the MD and a reduction in weight and BMI following intervention. This study was the first of its kind to be conducted with a Scottish population and highlights that further promotion of the Mediterranean diet in-line with current UK recommendations may have beneficial effects on CVD risk factors. Key Words: Mediterranean Diet, Cardiovascular Disease, Body Composition, Blood Pressure, Physical Activity, Scottish Population