In this week’s newsletter we have a look at trends in adherence to the Mediterranean diet (MD) among Spanish children and adolescents over the last two decades. In this study, the researchers conducted a comparative analysis of two cross-sectional nationwide representative studies by using the KIDMED questionnaire to measure adherence to the MD. They found that optimal adherence to the MD was associated with primary education and residence in smaller areas, while residence in southern regions of Spain was associated with lower adherence. The 2019-2020 study showed an increase in consumption of dairy products, pasta or rice, olive oil and nuts. Conversely, fish, legumes, and fruit consumption decreased. The article highlights the importance of the promotion of healthy foods, including olive oil, in order to achieve a high-quality diet among Spanish adolescents.
Another important topic featured this week is the effectiveness of the Mediterranean Diet in people suffering from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). This systematic review and meta-analysis shows that the MD has the potential to improve parameters associated with NAFLD severity, such as liver enzymes and NAFLD scores. Although a reduction in waist circumference and certain liver enzymes could be observed, it was not statistically significant. On the other hand, the meta-analysis showed a significant reduction in total cholesterol and liver stiffness. As we know, olive oil, which is a key component of the MD, has beneficial effects in improving lipid metabolism, and thus in reducing cardiovascular risk.
In summary, both articles highlight the importance of the Mediterranean diet to achieve healthy eating habits and improve health outcomes. The first article stresses the need to reverse the trend towards unhealthy diets among Spanish children and adolescents, while the second article suggests that the MD may have beneficial effects on lipid profile and liver health, particularly in individuals with NAFLD. Both articles point out the importance of promoting the consumption of healthy foods, including olive oil, to achieve diets of higher quality and overall well-being.
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