Objective: This study aims to assess the relationship of adherence to the Mediterranean dietary pattern, as well as the presence of menopausal symptoms, with overweight/obesity in Spanish perimenopausal and postmenopausal women.
Methods: Participants in this cross-sectional study were 8,954 Spanish perimenopausal or postmenopausal women. Anthropometric measurements were recorded, and all women were interviewed to assess their adherence to the Mediterranean dietary pattern, using a validated questionnaire and the Menopause and Health subscale of the validated Cervantes Scale. A logistic regression model was used to investigate the association between categories of adherence to the Mediterranean diet and the odds of being overweight/obese. Multinomial logistic regression was used to study the association between menopausal symptoms and the odds of being overweight/obese (reference categories: participants in the low-adherence category and participants with no menopausal problems).
Results: After adjustment for relevant confounders, the odds ratio (95% CI) for being overweight/obese among women in the highest category of adherence to the Mediterranean dietary pattern was 0.68 (0.60-0.78; P for trend <0.001). The odds ratio (95% CI) for being overweight/obese was 3.05 (1.98-4.71) for the category "severe problems" in comparison with the category "no problems."
Conclusions: Higher adherence to a healthy dietary pattern (Mediterranean diet) is inversely associated with overweight/obesity in perimenopausal and postmenopausal women. The occurrence of low to severe problems during perimenopause or postmenopause is positively associated with overweight/obesity. Therefore, high adherence to the Mediterranean dietary pattern and a body mass index of 25kg/m or lower might improve quality of life in women at these stages.