Original research article
Porto Biomed. J. 2017; 2(4): 115-119 doi: http://dx.doi.org/doi:0.1016/j.pbj.2017.01.009 (Published 1 March 2017)

Adherence to the Mediterranean diet in children: Is it associated with economic cost?

G. Albuquerquea, P. Moreirala,b,c, R. Rosáriod,e, A. Araújoa, V. H. Teixeiraa,b, O. Lopesf, A. Moreirag,h, P. Padrãoa,c,*

Faculty of Nutrition and Food Sciences, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal
Research Centre in Physical Activity, Health and Leisure, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal
EPI Unit – Institute of Public Health, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal
Education School, Child Study Centre, University of Minho, Braga, Portugal
Nursing School, University of Minho Braga, Portugal
Erdal Association, Guimarães, Portugal
Department of Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal
Department of Immunoallergology, Hospital of São João, Porto, Portugal
*Corresponding author:
Accepted 23 January 2017
Objective: To assess how the diet cost is associated with socio-demographic factors and adherence to Mediterranean diet in children. Methods: Data were obtained from a community-based survey of children selected from public elementary schools in Portugal. Of a total of 586 children attending these schools, 464 (6–12 years), were studied. Dietary intake was assessed by a 24 hour recall and the adherence to Mediterranean diet was evaluated through the KIDMED index. The cost of the diet was calculated based on the collection of food prices of a national leader supermarket, and expressed as Total Daily Cost (TDC) and Total Daily Cost-Adjusted for Energy (TDEC). Anthropometric measures were taken and socio-demographic data were gathered from a questionnaire filled by parents. Logistic regression was used to quantify the association between diet cost, socio-demographics and adherence to Mediterranean diet. Results: The average TDC was 4.58€ (SD = 1.24). Most children (69.1%) reported medium adherence to Mediterranean diet, and 4.6% rated the higher score. TDC was higher for children with highest adherence to Mediterranean diet, compared to those with lowest adherence [TDC: OR = 5.70 (95% CI 1.53, 21.33), p for trend = 0.001; TDEC: OR = 2.83 (95% CI 0.89, 8.96, p for trend 0.018)]. No meaningful variation in the diet cost with age and parental education was observed. Conclusion: Higher adherence to Mediterranean diet was associated with higher diet cost in children.
Diet cost; Mediterranean diet; Children
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