Adherence to Mediterranean Diet and its Effect on Obesity among Healthy Saudi Adults
Obesity is considered as a global burden disease and its prevalence is increased worldwide. Physical inactivity and excessive calorie consumption are associated with increased obesity risk. Therefore, strategies for losing weight involved increased physical activity and reduced calorie and macronutrient diet. Also, recent studies showed that higher adherence to Mediterranean diet is associated with lower risk of obesity. This study investigated association between adherence to Mediterranean diet and obesity among healthy Saudi adults. The sample size of 127 participants (50 men and 77 women) from Jeddah city with mean age 38.2 ± 13.3 years and Body Mass Index (BMI) 26.5 ± 5.2. Adherence to Mediterranean Diet (Med-diet) was measured using a validated 14-item questionnaire of Mediterranean diet adherence. Independent t-test was used to examine significant differences between groups. Results showed that lower adherence to Med-diet among the participants was with mean 5.7 ± 1.9. The analysis of 14-item Med-diet questionnaire showed that around 45% of participants used olive oil in cooking and only 35% of participants consumed more than 4 tablespoons of olive oil daily. The consumption from vegetable, fruit and fish was below recommendation from Med-diet, however, the consumption of red meat was high. Individuals with great adherence to Med-diet had lower BMI, however, values were not statistically significant compared to lower adherence to Med-diet. In conclusion, study showed lower adherence to Med-diet among Saudis and adherence to Med-diet was not associated with reduced risk of obesity.
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