Mediterranean Adequacy Index in Young People in Syria

Malda Atasi


Objective: To assess, the degree of adherence to Mediterranean Diet (MD) in Syrian young people, and studying the effect of some variables on Mediterranean Adequacy Index (MAI) value and its comparison with other studies in Spain and Mediterranean area. Background: It has been observed that the Syrian population, especially the young ones, are abandoning
the (MD), which affects in long term their health, the same has been observed in Spanish youth. The longitudinal study of the “seven counties” involved active rural population in Italy, was firstly demonstrated the progressively abandoning of MD. Methods: The sample under the study was 204 young people (41.7% men and 58.3% women) in the area of Damascus (65% were students). They filled in a semi-quantitative Food Frequency Questionnaire, then the Mediterranean Adequacy Index (MAI) was computed by dividing the sum in gram of typical Mediterranean food Groups (Cereals, Legumes, Fruits,
Fish), by the sum in gram of non-typical Mediterranean food groups (Meats, Eggs, Cookies and cakes, dairy). It was used the SPSS program to study the correlation between the variables and MAI of the sample. Results: The average MAI of the young sample was (1.17) which is lower than another study in Spanish young people and much lower than 7.2 in Italy several decades ago. Those results demonstrated that the young Syrian are abandoning the Mediterranean Diet as well asnthe Spanish young people. The caloric profile has changed over time that results in lower consumption of carbohydrates
and higher consumption of protein and lipids, similar to almost Mediterranean area. Moreover the war has an impact onthe type of food consumed which affect MAI. The lipid profile (measured by the cocient of intake of Mono Unsaturated
Fatty Acids (MUFA) and Poly Unsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFA) divided by Saturated Fatty Acids (SFA) of the sample was 3.71 better than other studies in Spain 1,69, 1,71 (the recommended value should be > 2). This illustrates a moderate consumption of olive and vegetable oil, but poor consumption of meat and eggs in contrast of Spanish diet.

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