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During the first 1000 d of life, gestational weight gain (GWG) and postpartum weight retention (PPWR) are considered critical determinants of nutritional status. This study examined the effect of adherence to the Mediterranean diet (MD) during pregnancy on GWG and PPWR at 2 and 6 months among women in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), using data from the Mother-Infant Study Cohort. The latter is a prospective study, for which pregnant women were recruited (n 243) during their third trimester and were followed up for 18 months. Data on socio-demographic characteristics and anthropometric measurements were obtained. An eighty-six-item FFQ was used to examine dietary intake during pregnancy. Adherence to the MD was assessed using the alternate MD (aMED) and the Lebanese MD (LMD). Adherence to the MD, PPWR2 (2 months) and PPWR6 (6 months) were considered high if participants belonged to the third tertile of the respective measures. Results indicated that 57·5 % of participants had excessive GWG while 50·7 % and 45 % retained ≥ 5 kg at 2 and 6 months postpartum, respectively. After adjustment, adherence to both MD scores was associated with lower odds of excessive GWG (aMED, OR:0·41, 95 % CI:0·18, 0·93; LMD, OR:0·40, 95 % CI: 0·16, 0·98). Adherence to MD was also associated with PPWR2 (aMED: OR: 0·23, 95 % CI: 0·06, 0·88) and PPWR6 (aMED OR:0·26; 95 % CI:0·08–0·86; LMD, OR:0·32; 95 % CI: 0·1, 0·98). The findings of this study showed that adherence to the MD may reduce GWG and PPWR and, hence, underscored the importance of promoting the MD for better health of the mother and infant.
At a time when the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet (MD) are pervasively recognised, a paradoxical observation is the decreasing adherence to this dietary pattern in its native countries. This study aims to investigate temporal trends in adherence to the MD among adolescents (10–19 years old) in Lebanon. Data were drawn from three national cross-sectional surveys conducted at three points in time: 1997 (n 2004), 2009 (n 3656) and 2015 (n 1204). Dietary intake was assessed using 24-h dietary recalls, and adherence to the MD was assessed using two country-specific indexes: the composite Mediterranean diet (c-MED) index and Lebanese Mediterranean diet (LMD) index. Significant decreases in c-MED and LMD scores and in the proportion of adolescents adhering to the MD were observed between 1997 and 2015, with more consistent results among females (P < 0·05). Projections for the year 2030 showed further decreases, with less than a quarter of adolescents remaining adherent to the MD. Based on linear regression analyses, belonging to the year 2009 was associated with significantly lower MD scores compared with 1997, even after adjustment for potential covariates (c-MED β = –0·16, 95 % CI –0·30, –0·01; LMD β = –0·42, 95 % CI –0·67, –0·17). Similar results were obtained when comparing survey year 2015 with 1997 (c-MED score β = –0·20, 95 % CI –0·33, –0·06; LMD score β = –0·60, 95 % CI –0·82, –0·37). Findings highlight the erosion of the MD among Lebanese adolescents and underline the need for a comprehensive food system approach that fosters the promotion of the MD as a nutritionally balanced and sustainable dietary pattern.
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