Validation of questionnaires to estimate adherence to the Mediterranean Diet and life habits in older individuals in Southern Spain
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- Marisca-Arcas, M., Caballero-Plasencia, M.L.A., Monteagudo, C. et al. J Nutr Health Aging (2011) 15: 739. doi:10.1007/s12603-011-0136-z
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The aim of the present study was to determine the nutritional behaviour of an elderly urban population in Southern Spain, estimating their degree of adherence to the Mediterranean.
A population-based cross-sectional nutritional survey, recruiting a representative sample of elderly inhabitants. The study sample comprised 260 people. The mean age was 73.60 yrs for the men and 72.25 yrs for the women. Around 70% lived with their family.
The questionnaires used were first validated by using the Bland-Altman plot and the Wilcoxon test for paired samples. The degree of adherence to the Mediterranean Diet was around 50%, similar to findings in other Mediterranean populations. We highlight the mean consumption of milk and milk products (300–317 g/day) and of fruit/vegetables (250 g/day), which are slightly below recommendations. Our study subjects were all autonomous in their movements and were physically independent: 80% reported that they performed some type of physical activity.
In this study, both adherence to the Mediterranean Diet and physical activity were considered as components of a healthy life. In summary, a majority of this elderly population was slightly overweight, considered themselves to be in good health.