Guerra, Antonio; Feldl, Franziska; Koletzko, Berthold
Fatty acid composition of plasma lipids in healthy Portuguese children: Is the Mediterranean diet disappearing?
In: Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism, No. 2: pp. 78-81
Background: Adults and children in Mediterranean countries are believed to consume a Mediterranean-type diet wh ich is h ig her in monounsaturated a nd n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids than compared to central and northern parts of Europe and has preventive effects for cardiovascular risks. Subjects and Methods: in preschool children from Porto, Portugal (n = 35) and Munich, Germany (n = 18) we determined the plasma phospholipid fatty acid composition considered as a biomarker for dietary fat intake. Results: The plasma phospholipid contents of total saturated fatty acids are similar in both groups, but the Portuguese children have lower values of monounsaturated and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. The results indicate that the food habits of Portuguese children are even less close to the traditional Mediterranean diet than those of German children, Conclusions: Efforts should be made to encourage young families as well as manufacturers and distributors of food products in Portugal to emphasize traditional Mediterranean food habits, especially in young children. Copyright (C) 2001 S. Karger AG. Basel.