Adherence to the mediterranean diet and its association with body composition and physical fitness in Spanish university students
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The aims of this study were to assess the association of adherence to the Mediterranean diet (MD) with physical fitness and body composition in Spanish university students and to determine the ability to predict the MD adherence of each Mediterranean Diet Adherence Screener (MEDAS) item. A cross-sectional study was performed involving 310 first-year university students. Adherence to the MD was evaluated with MEDAS-14 items. Anthropometric variables, body composition, and physical fitness were assessed. Muscle strength was determined based on handgrip strength and the standing long jump test. Cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) was measured using the Course–Navette test. Only 24% of the university students had good adherence to the MD. The ANCOVA models showed a significant difference between participants with high adherence to the MD and those with medium and low adherence in CRF (p = 0.017) and dynamometry (p = 0.005). Logistic binary regression showed that consuming >2 vegetables/day (OR = 20.1; CI: 10.1–30.1; p < 0.001), using olive oil (OR = 10.6; CI: 1.4–19.8; p = 0.021), consuming <3 commercial sweets/week (OR = 10.1; IC: 5.1–19.7; p < 0.001), and consuming ≥3 fruits/day (OR = 8.8; CI: 4.9–15.7; p < 0.001) were the items most associated with high adherence to the MD. In conclusion, a high level of adherence to the MD is associated with high-level muscular fitness and CRF in Spanish university students. © 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
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