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The Mediterranean diet among British older adults: Its understanding, acceptability and the feasibility of a randomised brief intervention with two levels of dietary advice

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Jose Lara-Gallegos, Professor John Mathers


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Objectives: To assess (i) understanding, acceptability and preference for two graphical displays of the Mediterranean diet (MD); and (ii) feasibility of a brief MD intervention and cost of adherence to this diet among British older adults.Design: Two studies undertaken at the Human Nutrition Research Centre, Newcastle University are reported. In study-1, preference and understanding of the MD guidelines and two graphical displays, a plate and a pyramid, were evaluated in an educational group session (EGS). In study-2, we evaluated the feasibility of a three-week brief MD intervention with two levels of dietary advice: Group-1 (level 1) attended an EGS on the MD, and Group-2 (level 2) attended an EGS and received additional support. MD adherence using a 9-point score, and the cost of food intake during intervention, were assessed.Results Study-1: No differences in preference for a MD plate or pyramid were observed. Both graphic displays were rated as acceptable and conveyed clearly these guidelines. Study-2: The intervention was rated as acceptable. No significant differences were observed between groups 1 and 2. Analysis of the combined sample showed significant increases from baseline in fish intake (P = 0.01) and MD score (P = 0.05). The cost of food intake during intervention was not significantly different from baseline.Conclusion: British older adults rated a MD as an acceptable model of healthy eating, and a plate and a pyramid as comprehensible graphic displays of these guidelines. A brief dietary intervention was also acceptable and revealed that greater adherence to the MD could be achieved without incurring significantly greater costs. (C) 2015 Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Lara J, Turbett E, Mckevic A, Rudgard K, Hearth H, Mathers JC

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Maturitas

Year: 2015

Volume: 82

Issue: 4

Pages: 387-393

Print publication date: 01/12/2015

Online publication date: 03/08/2015

Acceptance date: 31/07/2015

ISSN (print): 0378-5122

ISSN (electronic): 1873-4111

Publisher: Elsevier Ireland Ltd


DOI: 10.1016/j.maturitas.2015.07.029


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Funder referenceFunder name
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Chief Scientist Office of the Scottish Government Health Directorates
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Wales Office of Research and Development for Health and Social Care
Economic and Social Research Council
LiveWell Programme through Lifelong Health and Wellbeing (LLHW) initiative
Medical Research Council
National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)/The Department of Health, The Health and Social Care Research & Development of the Public Health Agency (Northern Ireland)
G0900686Welsh Assembly Government