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Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism
Volume 2016, Article ID 2742841, 8 pages
Research Article

Adherence to the Mediterranean Diet and Lifestyle Characteristics of University Students in Cyprus: A Cross-Sectional Survey

1Department of Agricultural Sciences, Biotechnology and Food Science, Cyprus University of Technology, 3036 Limassol, Cyprus
2Cyprus International Institute for Environmental and Public Health in Association with the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Cyprus University of Technology, 3041 Limassol, Cyprus

Received 5 February 2016; Revised 30 March 2016; Accepted 26 April 2016

Academic Editor: Pedro Moreira

Copyright © 2016 Elena Hadjimbei et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. To assess dietary-related habits among young adults. Design and Setting. Dietary habits were assessed cross-sectionally, using a self-completed questionnaire in 193 students enrolled in public and private universities in Cyprus. Adherence to the Mediterranean diet was evaluated using the validated KIDMED index. BMI was estimated based on weight and height measurements. Results. The mean BMI was 23.31 (±3.98). The mean adherence score to the Mediterranean diet was 6.0 (IQR 4 to 8), with 26.9% of students being classified as high adherers and 21.8% as low adherers to the Mediterranean diet. About 32% of students consumed a second serving of fruit and vegetables more than once a day, whereas 26% reported going more than once a week to a fast-food restaurant and 31% consumed sweets and candy several times a day. On the other hand, 76% of participants reported consumption of at least two dairy products daily and 88% use olive oil at home. The majority consume coffee 2-3 times per day. Conclusions. Results support a shift from traditional healthy diets to more unhealthy eating patterns. However, we also report a high dairy intake and use of olive oil. Tailored-made strategies targeting the young adult population could be warranted.