Adherence to the Mediterranean diet and subjective well-being among Chilean children

Appetite. 2022 May 1;172:105974. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2022.105974. Epub 2022 Feb 15.


Scientific literature has demonstrated positive associations between psychological health (e.g., self-esteem, self-concept) and quality of diet in young population. However, the relationship between subjective well-being (SWB) (referred to the way in which individuals experience and evaluate their lives in positive versus negative ways) and adherence to the Mediterranean diet (MD), as well as the specific eating MD patterns in this population is unexplored. The aim of this study was two-fold: first, to explore the association between subjective well-being (SWB) and adherence to the MD, and second, to determine the possible MD specific eating patterns that could be associated with SWB among schoolchildren. This cross-sectional study includes a sample of 1490 Chilean children aged 8-12 (33.6% girls). SWB was evaluated according to Diener's tripartite model, evaluating the life satisfaction (CUBE questionnaire), positive affect and negative affect (PANAS-C questionnaire). Adherence to the MD was assessed by the Mediterranean Diet Quality Index for Children and Adolescents (KIDMED) questionnaire. Both life satisfaction (p = 0.009) and positive affect (p = 0.041) are significant higher in children with high adherence to the MD in comparison to non-adherence peers. Similarly, daily intake of fruit or fruit juice was associated with life satisfaction (β = 0.117, p = 0.008) and positive affect (β = 0.087, p = 0.050). This association was also found for the intake of a dairy product for breakfast (life satisfaction: β = 0.117, p = 0.005; positive affect: β = 0.104, p = 0.013). Our study demonstrated that higher life satisfaction and SWB are related with higher adherence to the MD, as well as, with the intake of fruit/fruit juice and dairy intake (for breakfast); not being so for negative affect.

Keywords: Diet quality; Emotions; Life satisfaction; Negative affects; Positive affects.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Chile
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet, Mediterranean* / psychology
  • Feeding Behavior / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Surveys and Questionnaires