D’Alessandro and de Pergalo have published an article on dietary indexes for the Mediterranean diet.
They are primarily interested in cardiovascular disease research.
I’ve looked at this article to learn a little more about how adherence to the Mediterranean diet is measured. There is a lot of research about the Mediterranean diet and possible health benefits.
A core aspect of these studies is how adherence to the diet is measured. Researchers need to generate a quantitative measure of dietary adherence in order to correlate this with health measures (there are very valuable insights that can also be gained from qualitative studies).
The paper is a comprehensive review of the literature and along the way, the authors propose how different food groups could be treated in terms of indexes in future studies.
What I found really interesting was how the different indexes vary subtly and even individual measures generate variations which are then further refined. Understanding these indexes is key to understanding what researchers are measuring and the ecological validity.
This paper is a good starting point for those interested in the literature around the Mediterranean diet
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