University of Oulu

Rodrigues M, de Castro Mendes F, Padrão P, Delgado L, Paciência I, Barros R, Rufo JC, Silva D, Moreira A, Moreira P. Mediterranean Diet and Airway Inflammation in School-Aged Children. Children. 2023; 10(8):1305.

Mediterranean diet and airway inflammation in school-aged children

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Author: Rodrigues, Mónica1; de Castro Mendes, Francisca2,3; Padrão, Patrícia1,3;
Organizations: 1Faculty of Nutrition and Food Sciences, University of Porto, 4150-180 Porto, Portugal
2Basic and Clinical Immunology, Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Porto, 4200-319 Porto, Portugal
3Epidemiology Research Unit, Laboratory for Integrative and Translational Research in Population Health, Institute of Public Health, University of Porto, 4050-600 Porto, Portugal
4Immuno-Allergology Department, Centro Hospitalar São João, 4200-319 Porto, Portugal
5Center for Environmental and Respiratory Health Research (CERH), Population Health, University of Oulu, 90014 Oulu, Finland
6Biocenter Oulu, University of Oulu, 90014 Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.5 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-10-23


There seems to exist an intricate relationship between airway inflammation, body mass index (BMI), and diet. The intake of specific foods or food groups has been suggested to suppress the oxidative stress and inflammatory processes that characterize airway inflammation, but little is known about dietary patterns and their complex interplay with BMI and airway inflammation. Therefore, this cross-sectional study aimed to explore the association between adherence to the Mediterranean diet (MD), a characteristic European diet, and levels of airway inflammation in school-aged children, taking into account their BMI. This cross-sectional analysis comprised 660 children: 49.1% females, 7–12 years old. Adherence to the MD was assessed through the alternate Mediterranean score (aMED). Higher scores represent a healthier diet (0–8). Airway inflammation was assessed measuring exhaled fractional nitric oxide (eNO). Two categories of BMI were considered: non-overweight/non-obese (p < 85th) and overweight/obese (p ≥ 85th). The associations between diet and airway inflammation were estimated using logistic regression models. Higher scores of the aMED were associated with decreased odds of having eNO ≥ 35 ppb, but only in non-overweight/non-obese children (OR = 0.77; 95% CI, 0.61–0.97). For overweight/obese children, the previous association was not significant (OR = 1.57, 95% CI, 0.88–2.79). Our findings suggest that adherence to the MD is associated with lower levels of airway inflammation among non-overweight/non-obese children.

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Series: Children
ISSN: 2227-9067
ISSN-E: 2227-9067
ISSN-L: 2227-9067
Volume: 10
Issue: 8
Article number: 1305
DOI: 10.3390/children10081305
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3123 Gynaecology and paediatrics
3141 Health care science
Funding: This research was funded by Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia through the Project NORTE-01-0145-FEDER-000010—Health, Comfort and Energy in the Built Environment (HEBE), cofinanced by Programa Operacional Regional do Norte (NORTE2020), through Fundo Europeu de Desenvolvimento Regional (FEDER) and the EXALAR 21 project financed by FEDER/FNR and by Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (EXALAR 21 02/SAICT/2017—Project No. 30193).
Copyright information: © 2023 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (