The Mediterranean Diet’s Impact on Emotional Well-being: Insights from Statistical Analysis

by Ella

A recent study published in Nutrients delves into the relationship between adherence to the Mediterranean Diet (MD), subjective well-being (SWB), and various socioeconomic factors among adults in Greece and Cyprus. The MD, known for its emphasis on plant-based foods and minimal processing, has been associated with reduced mortality and lower rates of chronic diseases. However, recent trends towards Western dietary patterns in Mediterranean regions prompt further investigation into the diet’s effects on health outcomes. Through a cross-sectional design, the study explores correlations among MD adherence, SWB, and socioeconomic factors, shedding light on the complex interactions between diet, culture, and emotional well-being.


The traditional Mediterranean Diet, recognized by UNESCO, promotes plant-based foods and minimal processing, contributing to reduced mortality and lower rates of chronic diseases.


Recent studies suggest that adherence to the MD enhances subjective well-being (SWB) due to its high antioxidant and nutrient content.


However, shifts towards Western dietary patterns in Mediterranean regions like Greece and Cyprus raise questions about the diet’s impact on health outcomes.


Further research is needed to understand better the interactions between diet, cultural factors, and SWB and to address inconsistencies in existing studies.


About the Study:

The study employed a cross-sectional design to explore correlations among MD adherence, SWB, and socioeconomic factors in Greece and Cyprus.

Participants completed an online questionnaire including the 14-item Mediterranean Diet Adherence Screener (MEDAS) score and validated questions targeting SWB and emotional states.

Ethical approval was obtained, and data collection took place from April 2019 to the end of 2020 using Google Forms.

Statistical analyses were conducted using SPSS, incorporating parametric and non-parametric tests based on data distribution.

Study Results:

After normalization checks, 936 valid responses were analyzed.

Demographic analysis revealed a predominance of female respondents, with average ages of 35.1 and 38.7 in Greece and Cyprus, respectively.

Higher MD adherence correlated with positive SWB indicators such as life satisfaction, happiness, and reduced feelings of worry and depression.

Principal Component Analysis (PCA) identified key factors contributing to SWB, with notable differences based on MD adherence levels.

Lifestyle factors including smoking status and physical activity also correlated with SWB, with regular physical activity and non-smoking associated with higher SWB scores.


Higher adherence to the MD was associated with enhanced SWB, including increased happiness and life satisfaction.
The study underscores the positive impact of lifestyle habits on SWB and highlights the complex interplay of diet, lifestyle, and cultural factors in influencing emotional well-being.



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