Adherence to Mediterranean Diet and Maternal Lifestyle during Pregnancy: Island–Mainland Differentiation in the CRIBS Birth Cohort

Dubravka Havaš Auguštin, Jelena Šarac, Mario Lovrić, Jelena Živković, Olga Malev, Nives Fuchs, Natalija Novokmet, Mirjana Turkalj, Saša Missoni

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Maternal nutrition and lifestyle in pregnancy are important modifiable factors for both maternal and offspring’s health. Although the Mediterranean diet has beneficial effects on health, recent studies have shown low adherence in Europe. This study aimed to assess the Mediterranean diet adherence in 266 pregnant women from Dalmatia, Croatia and to investigate their lifestyle habits and regional differences. Adherence to the Mediterranean diet was assessed through two Mediterranean diet scores. Differences in maternal characteristics (diet, education, income, parity, smoking, pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI), physical activity, contraception) with regards to location and dietary habits were analyzed using the non-parametric Mann–Whitney U test. The machine learning approach was used to reveal other potential non-linear relationships. The results showed that adherence to the Mediterranean diet was low to moderate among the pregnant women in this study, with no significant mainland–island differences. The highest adherence was observed among wealthier women with generally healthier lifestyle choices. The most significant mainland–island differences were observed for lifestyle and socioeconomic factors (income, education, physical activity). The machine learning approach confirmed the findings of the conventional statistical method. We can conclude that adverse socioeconomic and lifestyle conditions were more pronounced in the island population, which, together with the observed non-Mediterranean dietary pattern, calls for more effective intervention strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2179
Pages (from-to)1-35
Number of pages35
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020


  • : Mediterranean diet
  • Dalmatian islands
  • pregnancy
  • socioeconomic factors
  • lifestyle
  • nutrition
  • machine learning
  • random forest
  • Nutrition
  • Mediterranean diet
  • Random forest
  • Pregnancy
  • CRIBS cohort
  • Socioeconomic factors
  • Machine learning
  • Lifestyle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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