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Abstract Title:

Evaluating Mediterranean diet adherence in university student populations: Does this dietary pattern affect students' academic performance and mental health?

Abstract Source:

Int J Health Plann Manage. 2019 Sep 12. Epub 2019 Sep 12. PMID: 31514237

Abstract Author(s):

Marina Antonopoulou, Maria Mantzorou, Aspasia Serdari, Konstantinos Bonotis, Giorgos Vasios, Eleni Pavlidou, Christina Trifonos, Konstantinos Vadikolias, Dimitris Petridis, Constantinos Giaginis

Article Affiliation:

Marina Antonopoulou

Abstract:

Adherence to a healthy diet such as Mediterranean Diet (MD) may exert beneficial effects in university students, promoting their academic performance and quality of life, as well as their mental and physical health status. In this aspect, the present study aimed to critically analyze the current epidemiological evidence concerning MD adherence of university students' populations. PubMed database was comprehensively searched, using relative keywords. Students' dietary habits are moving away from MD guidelines towards unhealthy eating patterns, especially for those living away from home and even for students with a Mediterranean country origin. Most of the available studies have documented that poorer students' health status was associated with lower MD adherence. Higher MD adherence was correlated with lower depression risk, while higher perceived stress score with lower fruit and vegetables intake. The access of students to information and knowledge provided by courses and lectures did not effectively enhance their compliance to MD. Alarmingly enough, the majority of students, even from medical and nutritional university departments, showed inadequate knowledge on healthy eating habits. Due to the influence of diet on the quality of life and the mental and physical health of students, it is crucial to redirect research focus on this important aspect.

Study Type : Review

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