Surprising Finding About the Mediterranean Diet

by Julia Samuel on  August 1, 2017 at 10:42 AM Diet & Nutrition News
RSS Email Print This Page Comment bookmark
Font : A-A+

The socioeconomic status of people has an impact on the benefits of the Mediterranean diet, finds a recent study.
Surprising Finding About the Mediterranean Diet
Surprising Finding About the Mediterranean Diet

This is the surprising finding by researchers from the Italian I.R.C.C.S. Neuromed, who performed a study on over 18,000 subjects recruited within the Moli-sani study and published in the International Journal of Epidemiology.

Cardiovascular advantages associated with the Mediterranean diet are well-known but now the Italian study, conducted by a team of researchers at the Department of Epidemiology and Prevention led by Giovanni de Gaetano, reveals that such benefits are strongly influenced by the socioeconomic position of people.

Basically, given a comparable adherence to this eating pattern, the study has shown that the reduction in cardiovascular risk is observed only in people with higher educational level and/or greater household income. No actual benefits were observed for the less advantaged groups.

"The cardiovascular benefits associated with the Mediterranean diet in a general population are well known says Marialaura Bonaccio, researcher at the Department of Epidemiology and Prevention and first author of the study. Yet for the first time our study has revealed that the socioeconomic position is able to modulate the health advantages linked to Mediterranean diet."

In other words, a person from low socioeconomic status who struggles to follow a Mediterranean model, is unlikely to get the same advantages of a person with higher income, despite the fact that they both similarly adhere to the same healthy diet.

Neuromed researchers went further and tried to unravel the possible mechanisms underlying such disparities.

"Given a comparable adherence to the Mediterranean diet, the most advantaged groups were more likely to report a larger number of indices of high quality diet as opposed to people with low socioeconomic status" explains Licia Iacoviello, head of the Laboratory of nutritional and molecular Epidemiology at the Department.

For example, within those reporting an optimal adherence to the Mediterranean diet (as measured by a score comprising fruits and nuts, vegetables, legumes, cereals, fish, fats, meat, dairy products and alcohol intake) people with high income or higher educational level consumed products richer in antioxidants and polyphenols, and had a greater diversity in fruit and vegetables choice.

It was also found that a socioeconomic gradient in the consumption of whole-grain products and in the preferred cooking methods. These substantial differences in consuming products belonging to Mediterranean diet lead us to think that quality of foods may be as important for health as quantity and frequency of intake.

"Our results should promote a serious consideration of socioeconomic scenario of health - comments Giovanni de Gaetano, director of the Department -- Socioeconomic disparities in health are growing also in access to healthy diets. During the very last years, we documented a rapid shifting from the Mediterranean diet in the whole population, but it might also be that the weakest citizens tend to buy 'Mediterranean' food with lower nutritional value. We cannot be keeping on say that the Mediterranean diet is good for health -- de Gaetano concludes -- if we are not able to guarantee an equal access to it".

Source: Eurekalert

Post a Comment

Comments should be on the topic and should not be abusive. The editorial team reserves the right to review and moderate the comments posted on the site.
Notify me when reply is posted
I agree to the terms and conditions

Related Links

More News on:

Diet Pills Low Carbohydrate Diet Atkins Diet The Cabbage Diet South Beach Diet Mediterranean Diet Negative Calorie Diet Bulimia Nervosa Why Do We Eat - Nutrition Facts Diet Lifestyle and Heart Disease 

News A - Z

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

News Search

Medindia Newsletters

Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

Find a Doctor

Stay Connected

  • Available on the Android Market
  • Available on the App Store

News Category

News Archive

Loading...