A Generation Shift in Mediterranean Diet Adherence and Its Association with Biological Markers and Health in Dalmatia, Croatia

Jelena Šarac, Dubravka Havaš Auguštin, Mario Lovrić*, Sarah Stryeck, Iva Šunić, Natalija Novokmet, Saša Missoni

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Previous studies have confirmed the beneficial effect of a Mediterranean diet in mitigating health issues related to cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. However, rapid changes in the traditional way of life and the ”westernization” of the diet in Mediterranean populations, especially in younger generations, has led to progressive abandonment of healthy dietary patterns. In order to investigate the generation shift in dietary patterns and lifestyle habits in the Mediterranean part of Croatia, we compared two cohorts of 610 women (266 pregnant and 344 non‐pregnant) from the same region, but from different age groups. The MDSS score was derived from food frequency questionnaires. The results showed that the young, reproductively active generation (pregnant women) in Dalmatia, Croatia, although having a higher education and socioeconomic status, exhib-its a more adverse eating behaviour (lower adherence to the Mediterranean diet) and lifestyle (ex-cessive smoking in pregnancy) than the older population from the same region. Lower MDSS scores across aggregated age groups in both cohorts showed significant association with higher blood lipid levels and higher smoking frequency. In conclusion, Mediterranean diet adherence is associated with biological markers (age, lipid profile) and lifestyle (smoking) in our study, with a more adverse trend observed in the younger generation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4564
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 20 Dec 2021


  • Biological markers
  • CRIBS cohort
  • Croatia
  • Diet
  • Eastern Adriatic islands
  • Lifestyle
  • MDSS score
  • Mediterranean diet
  • NIH cohort
  • Westernization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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