Santos Labrador, Ricardo Manuel
Healthy life habits such as the Mediterranean diet and physical activity lead to increased health benefits. The objective of this study was triple: (i) To determine the adherence to the Mediterranean dietary pattern in teenagers from Salamanca (Spain); To observe if there is any variation related with teenagers’ gender, place of residence and physical activity levels; (iii) To examine the association between the adherence to the Mediterranean diet and self-perceived health. In total 867 subjects between 12 and 16 (14.04±1.19 years) took part in this study, being the boys the 53.9% (n=467). Their adherence to the Mediterranean dietary pattern was measured with the KIMED questionnaire, their self-perceived health was measured through the Health and Wellbeing Questionnaire and, their level of physical activity practice was measured through the IPAQ-A questionnaire. The results indicated that the 31.8% of the students showed a high adherence to the Mediterranean dietary, while the 12.4% showed a poor compliance with it. The girls (χ2 = 8.077; p = 0.018) and those who were the most physical active students (χ2 = 10.225; p = 0.037) showed a higher adherence to the Mediterranean dietary pattern. Likewise, the rate of adherence to the Mediterranean diet was positively associated with their self-perceived health (β = 0.162; p < 0.001). In consequence, most of these teenagers should improve their adherence to a healthy dietary pattern as the Mediterranean diet, especially those of male gender and the least physically active.