Differences in Mediterranean Diet Adherence between Cyclists and Triathletes in a Sample of Spanish Athletes
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Muros Molina, J.J; Zabala, M. Differences in Mediterranean Diet Adherence between Cyclists and Triathletes in a Sample of Spanish Athletes. Nutrients 2018, 10, 1480.
Adherence to the Mediterranean diet (MD) has rapidly declined in Mediterranean countries due to the increasing introduction of theWestern diet. The aim of this study was to describe adherence to the MD within a sample of athletes from Spain. A second aim was to predict adherence to various components of the MD according to region, sex, and sport discipline. A cross-sectional study was conducted with a sample of 4037 (34.14 ± 9.28 years old) cyclists and triathletes (men: 90.1%). Participants self-reported their sex, date of birth, the number of years they had been practicing their sport, height, weight, sport discipline (cyclist, triathlon), and region. Mediterranean Diet Adherence Screener (MEDAS) was used to determine level of adherence to the MD.Women reported a higher MEDAS score and body mass index (BMI) (ρ < 0.000) than men. Cyclists reported a lower MEDAS score (7.44, SD 2.12 vs. 7.85, SD 2.08), and older age (37.72, SD 9.67 vs. 34.54, SD 8.58) and BMI (23.74, SD 2.69) vs. 22.85, SD 2.28) than triathletes. The study showed that a large proportion of the surveyed athletic population were not meeting the MD guidelines, with particularly low consumption amongst men and cyclists. There were no regional effects. Nutritional guidelines for athletes should be individual rather than general and follow specifications identified by the present research.