The aim of the present study was to assess the nutritional status for thiamin (vitamin B1) and riboflavin (vitamin B2) in an adult Mediterranean population, in order to identify patterns of intake, groups at risk for deficiency and factors that might influence this risk. A cross-sectional survey was carried out in Andalusia, a western Mediterranean region in southern Spain. Nutrient intakes were studied in a random sample of 3390 subjects (1746 men, 1644 women) who were between 25 and 60 years of age. Blood samples were obtained for biochemical assays in a random subsample of 372 subjects (181 men, 191 women). Food consumption was assessed by 48 h recall. Vitamin B1 and B2 were measured as erythrocyte transketolase and as erythrocyte glutathione reductase activation coefficients, respectively. Energy and vitamin intakes were significantly higher in men than in women. Intakes were below two-thirds of the recommended dietary allowance for vitamin B1 in 7·80% of the men and 4·50% of the woman, and were below this level for vitamin B2 in 18·00% of the men and 11·70 % of the women. Age, educational level, alcohol use and smoking were also associated with differences in the intake of these nutrients. Biochemical analyses showed that vitamin B1 and B2 status was deficient in 6·40 and 5·30% of the population, respectively. Although factors such as gender, age, level of education, drinking and smoking can have an effect on the risk of inadequate intake of these nutrients, these factors did not affect biochemical indices of nutritional status in the present study.