The journal of nutrition, health & aging

, Volume 15, Issue 9, pp 739–743 | Cite as

Validation of questionnaires to estimate adherence to the Mediterranean Diet and life habits in older individuals in Southern Spain

  • M. Marisca-Arcas
  • M. L. A. Caballero-Plasencia
  • C. Monteagudo
  • M. Hamdan
  • M. I. Pardo-Vasquez
  • Fatima Olea-Serrano
JNHA: Nutrition



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.

Diet Design

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.

Key words

Elderly people mediterranean dietary pattern 


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Copyright information

© Serdi and Springer Verlag France 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Marisca-Arcas
    • 1
  • M. L. A. Caballero-Plasencia
    • 2
  • C. Monteagudo
    • 1
  • M. Hamdan
    • 1
  • M. I. Pardo-Vasquez
    • 1
  • Fatima Olea-Serrano
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Nutrition and Food ScienceUniversity of GranadaGranadaSpain
  2. 2.Concejalia de Salud del ExcmoAyuntamiento de GranadaGranadaSpain
  3. 3.Department of Nutrition and Food ScienceUniversity of GranadaGranadaSpain

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