Food Literacy Is Associated With Adherence to a Mediterranean-Style Diet in Kidney Transplant Recipients

Karin Boslooper*, Marco D. Boonstra, I.M.Y. van Vliet, António Gomes Neto, Maryse Osté, Maartje P. Poelman, Stephan Bakker, Andrea de Winter, Gerjan Navis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Adherence to a Mediterranean-style diet is associated with improved health outcomes in kidney transplant recipients (KTR). However, poor dietary habits, including excessive sodium intake, are common in KTR, indicating difficulties with incorporating a healthy diet into daily life. Food literacy is identified as potential facilitator of a healthy diet, but the precise relationship between food literacy and dietary intake in KTR has not been investigated. This study examined food literacy levels in KTR and its association with adherence to a Mediterranean-style diet and sodium intake.

This cross-sectional study is part of the TransplantLines Cohort and Biobank Study. Food literacy was measured with the Self-Perceived Food Literacy (SPFL) questionnaire. Dietary intake assessment with food frequency questionnaires was used to calculate the Mediterranean Diet Score. Sodium intake was based on the 24-hour urinary sodium excretion rate. Associations of SPFL with Mediterranean Diet Score and sodium intake were assessed with univariable and multivariable linear regression analyses.

In total, 148 KTR (age 56 [48-66]; 56% male) completed the SPFL questionnaire with a mean SPFL score of 3.63 ± 0.44. Higher SPFL was associated with a higher Mediterranean Diet Score in KTR (β = 1.51, 95% confidence interval 0.88-2.12, P ≤ .001). Although KTR with higher food literacy tended to have a lower sodium intake than those with lower food literacy (P = .08), the association of food literacy with sodium intake was not significant in a multivariable regression analysis (β = 0.52 per 10 mmol/24-hour increment, 95% confidence interval −1.79 to 2.83, P = .66).

Higher levels of food literacy are associated with better adherence to a Mediterranean-style diet in KTR. No association between food literacy and sodium intake was found. Further studies are needed to determine if interventions on improving food literacy contribute to a healthier diet and better long-term outcomes in KTR.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)628-636
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Renal Nutrition
Issue number6
Early online date4-Mar-2021
Publication statusPublished - 1-Nov-2021

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