Oral Presentation Joint Annual Scientific Meeting of the Nutrition Society of NZ and the Nutrition Society of Australia

Mediterranean dietary adherence amongst older Australians over 6 months: results from the MedLey trial (317)

Courtney R Davis 1 , Janet Bryan 2 , Jonathan M Hodgson 3 , Carlene Wilson 4 , Karen J Murphy 1
  1. Alliance for Research in Exercise, Nutrition and Activity, University of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
  2. School of Psychology, Social Work and Social Policy, University of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
  3. School of Medicine and Pharmacology, University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
  4. Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Background/Aims: We aim to present the results of the dietary changes achieved during the MedLey trial (Mediterranean diet (MedDiet) for cardiovascular and cognitive health in the elderly).

Methods: Volunteers (n=166, age: 65 - 86y, 85 females) were randomly assigned to follow either their habitual diet (HabDiet) or the MedDiet for 6 months. Food and nutrient intakes were measured by 3-day weighed food records (WFR) completed at baseline, 2 months and 4 months. Baseline and changes in dietary  intake and two MedDiet adherence scores were calculated for all volunteers. Differences between groups were assessed using a linear mixed effects model, and Pearson’s correlations were used to compare MedDiet adherence scores.

Results: One hundred and thirty-seven volunteers completed the trial (70 MedDiet, 67 HabDiet). Participants following the MedDiet had lower cholesterol and % energy from saturated fat (P<0.0001) and consumed more fibre, iron, vitamin C and total, monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and long chain omega-3 fatty acids(P<0.025) compared to the HabDiet group after 4 months.  Based on a maximum 15 point MedDiet adherence score, mean score amongst the MedDiet group increased from 7.2±2.0 to 8.9±2.2 (P=.000), compared to 7.3±2.1 to 6.4±1.9 in the HabDiet group (P=0.001). Scoring adherence against the food intakes of the Greek cohorts from the Seven Countries Study yielded similar results (Pearson’s correlation coefficient 0.581, P=.001).

Conclusions: Older Australians were successful at adhering to a MedDiet over 4 months. This may have positive health implications if maintained in the long term, however this needs further investigation.

Funding source(s): NHMRC