Affiliations: [a] Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences and Advanced Technologies “G.F. Ingrassia”, University of Catania, Catania, Italy
| [b] Clinical Directorate, University Hospital “G. Rodolico” Catania, Italy
Corresponding author: Marina Marranzano, Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences and Advanced Technologies “G.F. Ingrassia”, University of Catania, Catania, Italy. Tel.: +39 0953782180; E-mail: [email protected].
Abstract: BACKGROUND:Eating habits, such as breakfast, snaking, and out-of-home meals, have been reported to potentially influence health status of general population. OBJECTIVE:The aim of this study was to characterize the food and nutrient intake and level of adherence to the Mediterranean diet of a sample of Italian adults according to their eating habits. METHODS:Data derived from 1,952 participants from the Mediterranean Healthy Eating, Aging and Lifestyle study was used for the study. RESULTS:Individuals having breakfast (any time) had higher intakes of nuts and dairy products compared to those who had not, but also lower adherence to the Mediterranean diet. Those having snacks (any time) had higher energy intake, lower intake of meat and olive oil, while higher intake of protein, total fats, nuts and lower adherence to the Mediterranean diet, compared to those subjects who do not consume snacks. Those who reported eating meals out of home (any time) had lower intake fiber, cereals, fruit and olive oil, while they had higher intakes sodium, nuts, processed meat and beer compared to the others; no relation with adherence to Mediterranean diet was detected though. CONCLUSIONS:Healthy eating habits might be positively associated with adherence to the Mediterranean diet, however, further studies are needed to confirm this association.