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, 28 (5), 955-961

Mediterranean Diet and Health Outcomes: A Systematic Meta-Review


Mediterranean Diet and Health Outcomes: A Systematic Meta-Review

Roberto Martinez-Lacoba et al. Eur J Public Health.


Background: The Mediterranean diet (MeDi) is considered a healthy dietary pattern, and greater adherence to this diet may improve health status. It also may reduce the social and economic costs of diet-related illnesses. This meta-review aims to summarize, synthesize and organize the effects of MeDi pattern on different health outcomes.

Methods: This meta-review was performed following the PRISMA guidelines. A systematic search was conducted in the electronic databases PubMed, Web of Science and Scopus. Two researchers screened all the records to eliminate any duplicate, and they selected the articles to be fully reviewed. A third researcher was consulted to resolve discrepancies and so reach a consensus agreement.

Results: Thirty-three articles were included, nine were systematic reviews and twenty-four were meta-analyses. Most of the diseases analysed are catalogued as non-communicable diseases (NCD), and the impact of these in populations may have major financial consequences for healthcare spending and national income. The results showed that the MeDi may improve health status, and it also may reduce total lifetime costs.

Conclusion: MeDi has been shown to be a healthy dietary pattern that may reduce risk related to NCD. The effect is larger if the pattern is combined with physical activity, and tobacco and excessive alcohol consumption are avoided. Promoting the MeDi as a healthy dietary pattern presents challenges which need the collaboration of all levels of society.

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