Clustering eating habits: frequent consumption of different dietary patterns among the Italian general population in the association with obesity, physical activity, sociocultural characteristics and psychological factors.

Auteur(s) :
Denoth F., Scalese M., Siciliano V., Di Renzo L., De Lorenzo A., Molinaro S.
Date :
Oct, 2015
Source(s) :
Eating and weight disorders : EWD. #: p
Adresse :
Institute of Clinical Physiology, CNR (Italian National Research Council), Via Moruzzi n. 1, 56126, Pisa, Italy.

Sommaire de l'article


(a) To identify clusters of eating patterns among the Italian population aged 15-64 years, focusing on typical Mediterranean diet (Med-diet) items consumption; (b) to examine the distribution of eating habits, as identified clusters, among age classes and genders; (c) evaluate the impact of: belonging to a specific eating cluster, level of physical activity (PA), sociocultural and psychological factors, as elements determining weight abnormalities.


Data for this cross-sectional study were collected using self-reporting questionnaires administered to a sample of 33,127 subjects participating in the Italian population survey on alcohol and other drugs (IPSAD®2011). The cluster analysis was performed on a subsample (n = 5278 subjects) which provided information on eating habits, and adapted to identify categories of eating patterns. Stepwise multinomial regression analysis was performed to evaluate the associations between weight categories and eating clusters, adjusted for the following background variables: PA levels, sociocultural and psychological factors.


Three clusters were identified: "Mediterranean-like", "Western-like" and "low fruit/vegetables". Frequent consumption of Med-diet patterns was more common among females and elderly. The relationship between overweight/obesity and male gender, educational level, PA, depression and eating disorders (p < 0.05) was confirmed. Belonging to a cluster other than "Mediterranean-like" was significantly associated with obesity.


The low consumption of Med-diet patterns among youth, and the frequent association of sociocultural, psychological issues and inappropriate lifestyle with overweight/obesity, highlight the need for an interdisciplinary approach including market policies, to promote a wider awareness of the Mediterranean eating habit benefits in combination with an appropriate lifestyle.

Source : Pubmed