Medical school fails to improve Mediterranean diet adherence among medical students.
Sommaire de l'article
The Mediterranean Diet (MeDi) is associated with a reduced risk of several non-communicable chronic diseases. High levels of nutrition knowledge are associated with greater MeDi adherence irrespective of education and other socio-economic factors. The present study investigates whether attending medical school changes students' adherence to the MeDi.
A cross-sectional study was conducted in November-December 2014 using the 16-item KIDMED questionnaire, which inquiries into eating habits. Each respondent's KIDMED index (range 0-12), whose scores reflect 'poor', 'average' or 'good' MeDi adherence, was calculated. Scores were analyzed for gender, age and early/late medical school year. The Mann-Whitney U-test and the chi-square test were used for group comparisons. Ordinal logistic regression was applied to estimate the odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) for changes in MeDi adherence from early to late medical school after adjustment for potential confounders.
Participants were 1038 medical students (573 females) aged 18-34 years (mean 21.9 ± 2.4). There were 20.8% 'poor', 56.5% 'average' and 22.7% 'good' scores. Gender significantly affected scores (P < 0.01). In the ordinal logistic regression model the odds for greater MeDi adherence increased for the female gender (P < 0.05); females were 48% more likely to have a 'good' KIDMED score than their male peers, whereas early/late medical school year did not affect results [adjusted odds ratio (OR) = 0.95; P = 0.15].
More than 70% of our medical students know very little about healthy eating and the MeDi. However, this knowledge is essential in their future profession both to support therapeutic decision-making and effective preventive actions.