Investigating whether the mediterranean dietary pattern is integrated in routine dietetic practice for management of chronic conditions: a national survey of dietitians Academic Article uri icon


  • Evidence supports recommending the Mediterranean dietary pattern (MDP) in the management of cardiovascular disease (CVD), type 2 diabetes (T2D), non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and solid organ transplant (SOT). However, the evidence-practice gap is unclear within non-Mediterranean countries. We investigated integration of MDP in Australian dietetic practice, and barriers and enablers to MDP implementation for chronic disease management. Dietitians managing CVD, T2D, NAFLD and/or SOT patients (n = 182, 97% female) completed an online survey in November 2019. Fewer than 50% of participants counsel patients with CVD (48%), T2D (26%), NAFLD (31%) and SOT (0–33%) on MDP in majority of their practice. MDP principles always recommended by >50% of participants were promoting vegetables and fruit and limiting processed foods and sugary drinks. Principles recommended sometimes, rarely or never by >50% of participants included limiting red meat and including tomatoes, onion/garlic and liberal extra virgin olive oil. Barriers to counselling on MDP included consultation time and competing priorities. Access to evidence, professional development and education resources were identified enablers. An evidence-practice gap in Australian dietetic practice exists with <50% of participants routinely counselling relevant patient groups on MDP. Strategies to support dietitians to counsel complex patients on MDP within limited consultations are needed.


publication date

  • November 4, 2020