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Title: Adherence to Mediterranean diet among adults during the COVID-19 outbreak and the economic crisis in Lebanon
Authors: Karam, Joanne 
Ghach, Wissam
Bouteen, Carol
Makary, Mary-Joe
Riman, Marwa
Serhan, Mireille 
Affiliations: Faculty of Health Sciences 
Faculty of Health Sciences 
Keywords: Lebanon
physical activity
Mediterranean diet
adult population
Issue Date: 2022-08-09
Publisher: Emerald/Euromed Jounal of Business
Part of: Nutrition and food science
Volume: 52
Issue: 6
Start page: 1018
End page: 1028
The purpose of this study is to assess the adherence to MedDiet among adults during the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic crisis, using the validated 14-item MedDiet assessment tool.

A quantitative research approach, based on the distribution of an online survey throughout the social media platforms, via networking, was the applied method. The structure of the survey included the socio-economic and demographic data along with the weekly adherence to physical activity; and the validated MedDiet assessment tool. The target population included 1,030 Lebanese adults from all provinces. Descriptive statistics were used to explore the characteristics of the sample population. Adherence to the MedDiet was determined by the Med-Diet score ≥ 9. Significant differences among the variables and the adherence to the MedDiet were examined using the chi-square test.

Mean adherence to the MedDiet was found to be lower than an adequate score among 60.8% of participants [mean adherence 8/14 < 9 (S.D. 2.2)]. Participants from North Province, those aged 45 years and above, university graduates, participants with an average income and those who exercised for a minimum of 30 min for three times/week had a higher mean of adherence compared to other groups. Higher percentage of those who exercised had adequate adherence compared to those who exercised less or did not. More than 50% of the participants consumed olive oil, vegetables, red meat, butter/margarine, sugary drinks, commercial sweets and sofrito according to recommendations. Less than 50% of the participants consumed fruits, nuts, fish and wine according to the MedDiet standards. More men consumed fruits (55.1%), wine (21%), fish (29%) and nuts (48.5%) than women according to the MedDiet recommendations; however, more women consumed legumes (69.7%) and Sofrito (88.4%) than men, in addition more women preferred consuming chicken over meat (72.3%).

The findings call for an urgent need of spreading national awareness among adult population in Lebanon to increase the adherence to MedDiet. To add, information gained from this study serve to help understanding nutritional behavior during the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic crisis, so public health authorities can start planning to save the threatened health-care system and preserve the wellness of the population.
Ezproxy URL: Link to full text
Type: Journal Article
Appears in Collections:Department of Nutritional Sciences

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