Determine the Relationship between Mediterranean Diet intake and Nutritional Knowledge
(2015) Determine the Relationship between Mediterranean Diet intake and Nutritional Knowledge, no. 33.
Introduction: The worldwide prevalence of obesity and related comorbidities is becoming an increasing burden on society (Beunza et al. 2010). Since the 1960s the Mediterranean diet and lifestyle has been considered a major model for healthy eating (Martinez-Gonzalez et al. 2011) and new NICE guidelines released in 2014 include encouragement of adherence to a Mediterranean diet as opposed to the current 'western diet and lifestyle' more commonly associated with British culture (NICE 2014). Recently, there has been a research focus on nutritional knowledge and how this affects adherence to a Mediterranean dietary pattern. We aimed to investigate the relationship between nutritional knowledge level and Mediterranean diet intake. Aims and Objectives: The aim of this study was to determine the relationship between Mediterranean diet intake and nutritional knowledge. The objectives were to assess participant knowledge with a nutritional knowledge questionnaire and to assess dietary intake of a Mediterranean diet using a Mediterranean diet intake questionnaire. Methodology: This study was a cross sectional study. Twenty-four participants aged between 20 and 41 in good health were recruited from QMU via the research moderator email. Daily adherence to the Mediterranean diet was assessed by a 14-item Mediterranean diet score (Martínez-González et al. 2012) and participants knowledge of nutrition was assessed by a general nutritional knowledge questionnaire (adapted from Parmenter & Wardle 1999). Measurements of height in centimetres and weight in kilograms were recorded in order to calculate BMI. Waist circumference was also recorded. All data was analysed using IBM SPSS 21 and any p values <0.05 were considered significant. Results: A spearman rho correlation analysis showed us that there is a positive significant association between Mediterranean diet questionnaire score and nutritional knowledge score (rho=.444, p=0.030). It was also determined that there was a significant difference between the scores of males and females in section 3 on everyday food choice (p=0.014).There are also differences between the scores of the nutritional knowledge questionnaire according to Mediterranean diet adherence category (good adherence, poor adherence). Those following a Mediterranean diet scored significantly higher in section 4 on diet and disease relationship (p=0.027) and on all sections overall (p=0.011). Discussion: A significant positive relationship exists between Mediterranean diet and nutritional knowledge within this study population. As this kind of investigation has not taken place before in Scotland, this result is of particular worth as it enhances the importance of nutritional education in this country. In light of this study, more education on the separate sections of nutritional knowledge and the Mediterranean diet would be beneficial in order to increase adherence and potentially reduce CVD incidence in Scotland. Keywords: Cardiovascular Disease, Mediterranean Diet, Metabolic Syndrome, Nutritional Knowledge, Scotland.