Objective: To evaluate dietary habits and nutritional status of Spanish school children and adolescents, and their relationship with the Mediterranean Diet.
Design: Cross-sectional study by face-to-face interview.
Setting: Free living children and adolescents of all Spanish regions.
Subjects: A random sample of 3166 people aged 6-24 y.
Methods: Home interviews conducted by a team of 43 dietitians included 24-h recalls (a second 24-h recall in 25% of the sample) and a short frequency questionnaire to determine the quality of the Mediterranean Diet (KIDMED).
Results: The participation rate was 68%. In general, the adequacy of the Mediterranean Diet rose with increased mean intakes of the majority of vitamins and minerals and decreased percentages of inadequate intakes (&<2/3 of the RNI) for calcium, magnesium, vitamin B(6) and C in both sexes, and iron and vitamin A only in females.
Conclusions: This study demonstrates that the Mediterranean Diet contributes to nutritional quality, and also shows concomitant risks as the Mediterranean Diet deteriorates.