Relationship between adherence to the Mediterranean diet, sustainable and healthy eating behaviors, and awareness of reducing the ecological footprint

Int J Environ Health Res. 2023 Apr;33(4):430-440. doi: 10.1080/09603123.2023.2172384. Epub 2023 Feb 1.

Abstract

This study evaluated the relationship between adherence to the Mediterranean diet (MD), sustainable and healthy eating behaviors, and awareness of reducing the ecological footprint. It was conducted with 1333 adults (38.2% male, 61.8% female, mean age 24.2 ± 7.5 years). The questionnaire included socio-demographic characteristics, anthropometric measurements, the Awareness Scale for Reducing Ecological Footprint (ASREF), the Sustainable and Healthy Eating (SHE) Behaviors Scale, and Mediterranean Diet Adherence Scale (MEDAS). 40.2% of the participants adhered to the MD (≥7 scores). Obese individuals' total scores on MEDAS, SHE Behaviors Scale, and ASREF were the lowest (p < 0.05). In regression analysis, education duration, SHE Behaviors Scale total score, and BMI affected the ASREF score (p < 0.05). The education duration, SHE Behaviors Scale scores, and ASREF scores were higher in those in MD-adherence group (p < 0.05). In conclusion, adherence to the MD was associated with higher sustainable and healthy eating behaviors and higher awareness of ecological footprint reduction.

Keywords: Mediterranean diet; ecological footprint; sustainability; sustainable and healthy eating behaviors.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Diet, Healthy
  • Diet, Mediterranean*
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Obesity
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult