High and moderate adherence to Mediterranean lifestyle is inversely associated with overweight, general and abdominal obesity in children and adolescents: The MediLIFE-index

the ΕΥΖΗΝ Study Group

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21 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Several lifestyle factors, such as diet and exercise, have been linked to pediatric obesity. However, relatively few studies have considered them simultaneously, as a pattern. To investigate the associations between students' lifestyle and overweight, general, and abdominal obesity, an a priori Mediterranean lifestyle index (ie, MediLIFE-index ) was created. We hypothesized that students' characteristics and their probability to be overweight or obese would be lower towards a better adherence to a Mediterranean lifestyle pattern. This study included 174 209 students aged 6 to 18 years from all geographical regions of Greece who participated in the 2014-2015 EYZHN study. The total range of MediLIFE-index was 0– 8 (higher values indicating greater adherence to the Mediterranean lifestyle). Index values were thereafter divided into three groups according to its tertiles (a) ‘non-adherent’; (b) ‘moderately adherent’; and (c) “highly adherent” to the Mediterranean lifestyle. The mean ± standard deviation of the MediLIFE-index was 5.1 ± 1.6. Students with higher scores had lower BMI and waist circumference (all P <.001). Those who were “highly adherent” compared to those who were “non-adherent” were associated with lower likelihood of being overweight, obese or abdominal obese, by 6% (OR 0.94, 95% CI 0.92, 0.98), 30% (OR 0.70, 95% CI 0.67, 0.75) and 20% (OR 0.80, 95% CI 0.77, 0.83), respectively. The optimal discriminating value of the index for overweight was 4.5 (78% sensitivity and 80% specificity), while for obese/abdominal obese was 3.5 (82% sensitivity and 85% specificity). A useful tool was developed in order to identify children and adolescents with increased odds of being overweight, obese, or abdominal obese based on their lifestyle.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-47
Number of pages10
JournalNutrition Research
Volume73
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020
Externally publishedYes

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