Mediterranean diet and wellbeing: evidence from a nationwide survey

Darío Moreno-Agostino, Francisco Félix Caballero, Natalia Martín-María, Stefanos Tyrovolas, Pilar López-García, Fernando Rodríguez-Artalejo, Josep Maria Haro, José Luis Ayuso-Mateos, Marta Miret

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Although there is some evidence of the association between specific food groups, such as plant foods, and subjective wellbeing, this is the first study to assess the relationship between adherence to the Mediterranean dietary pattern and subjective wellbeing. 

Design: Data were collected in 2014–2015, within the Edad con Salud project, a follow-up study of a multistage clustered survey on a representative sample of the population of Spain. The final sample comprised 2397 individuals with ages ranging from 21 to 101 years. 

Main outcome measures: Experienced wellbeing (positive and negative affect) was measured using the Day Reconstruction Method, and evaluative wellbeing was assessed with the Cantril Self-Anchoring Striving Scale. 

Results: A higher adherence to the Mediterranean diet showed a small but statistically significant inverse relationship with negative affect (β = −0.076, p=.001), and direct with evaluative wellbeing (β = 0.053, p=.015), whereas it was not related to positive affect. Several components of the Mediterranean diet were independently associated with wellbeing. 

Conclusion: The results suggest that adherence to a dietary pattern such as the Mediterranean diet, and not only the isolated consumption of its components, is associated with a better subjective wellbeing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321-335
Number of pages15
JournalPsychology and Health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Day Reconstruction Method
  • evaluative wellbeing
  • experienced wellbeing
  • Mediterranean diet
  • subjective wellbeing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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